Monday, March 24, 2008

A General Complaint About the Toronto Raptors

This is the photo I wanted to post.

I’ve kind of ignored posting anything on the Raptors in the last little while, but reading Michael Grange’s article in the Globe this morning (3.24.2008), or more likely a couple of mornings from now by the time this goes up, has made me feel that I have something to say about the Raps now 35-35, 2-8 in their last 10. Grange quotes Bosh as saying we need to stop standing around in the 4th quarter waiting for the game to fall into our laps, to which I say: true, absolutely, couldn’t agree more. My follow up question for Bosh would be how does this happen? He says we need to keep taking the ball to the basket, again, I couldn’t agree more. What Bosh doesn’t say is anything about defense. I think that speaks volumes about the Raps over the past 2 years.

An anecdote from last Friday week: I was hanging out with my buddy Atk, who is not a huge basketball guy, but he suggested flipping on the Raps game so who am I to object ... I'm a good host. It’s the beginning of the 4th quarter, tie game or close to it, he's now much more excited to watch the game (over the Leafs), and I said to him why don't we watch something else, its over. The Raps don't win close games against good teams with veteran players. In the next 5 minutes LeBron takes over the game and has at least 3 uncontested dunks - Cavs win comfortably by 7.

The moral of the story is not that the Raps got beat by LeBron, the Cavs, LeBron, but they lost another close one down the stretch, which is the calling card of the Raps over the last two years. What worries me is not losing in the playoffs this year, that is pretty much inevitable, but that the Raptors during the Bosh era will be the equivalent of Sundin's Leafs - always good enough to make the playoffs, never good enough to make a serious run at the Cup. This is not to say that BC ought to blow things up and try again, its way too early for that, but that he ought to recognize that Bosh is not Shaq, Duncan, or even KG. He is clearly a gifted offensive player, but he is not the guy that takes the tough defensive assignment or pushes everyone else to play better defense. And, if history has taught us nothing its that defense wins championships. Hopefully BC sees that and it doesn't take Steve Kerr to come in and give the Raps a shot at the title.


ack said...

I don't know if it's so much Bosh, or the fact they have a team full of dudes who stand around waiting to shoot a 20-footer.

TJ Ford needs to stop thinking he's the best basketball player in the world and remember he's tiny. AP is the only consistent second option, and that's the problem. BC got all these players that have skill, but no one has the mentality to be the "man".

As horrible as this sounds, I wish people had half of Kris Hump's desire to score and make an impact. Sure he takes terrible shots, but that is because he has limited skills. He still drives, plays hard and wants to be part of the act. The rest of the guys (Moon, El Mago) just kind of stand there.

I think they lose so many tight ones because no one can create their own shot or get fouled. They get worn down and never get any easy baskets.

Go Celtics

The R.O.B. said...

I don't disagree with anything you said, except that somebody has be a catalyst for turning things around. I say that's gotta fall on Bosh's shoulders. He's got to step up play defense like the best guy on the team, and push everyone else to - ala a KG or a Duncan. I think if you were to replace Bosh with one of those two I think you have a completely different defensive team...

I mean, Calderon-Parker-Delfino-Duncan-Rasho
is essentially the Spurs championship team minus two good swingmen.

Right now, with Bosh's defense the way it is I'm not sure he could ever be the best player on even a team that would make the conference finals...

ack said...

Yeah, I agree with you on that one. Like last night, KG completely locked up Amare in the third quarter (0 points, 4 TOs) and the Celtics broke away from the Suns.

Bosh talks like a leader, but he really can't dominate on both ends.

The funniest part of this whole thing, is people are actually talking about Rasho as a key to the Raps. Nit sure why, but him being labeled a "key" scares me. :)

The R.O.B. said...

Rasho is a key because he's the only big man who can play ANY defense or get a rebound in traffic... scary because I've never actually seen him jump. Does this remind you of a UCLA forward....?

If I were Bosh I'd be spending the summer with KG - if he's not too busy after Boston wins the title.

Allan said...

The key to the Raps is clearly Andrea Barganani.

He needs to become a star in order the for the Raptors to come out what looks like inevitable mediocrity. He was the 1st overall pick after all.
He is usually given the role of centre when he plays and clearly gets man-handled on the boards.

It's funny how they're even making him a centre considering he's more like Nowitzki.

Basically we have two power forwards and two point guards on this team. As good of the trades Colangelo has made, it's not as good as it seems. He needs to trade for a superstar and if that means trading a guy like Ford I'm all for it.

Otherwise we have two power forwards that are not that elite, Bargs is good is own right, Bosh is a good inside presence but both suck at defending and rebounding. Calderon is an elite passer, not much of a scorer and Ford is a good scorer with no intelligence of how to run an offense.

This team has the spare parts.. I love our bench. But I would say a big star SF/SG or C need to be acquired to be dominant.