Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Effort Too Mellow For Jazz
Really? That was it?
Exactly where was the effort tonight? Does this team not get it? Tonight's performance by the Raptors had to be the worst display of effort ever seen by a team fighting for a playoff spot - Ever.
This is the time of the year you want to hit your stride. It's at this point of the season where all excuses are left at the door. With the playoffs just around the corner, you're either doing one of two things:
1) Getting ready for the lottery.
2) Jockeying for better playoff positioning.
And truth be told - based on the last few games - the Raptors look like they're going with number 1 on that list. What absolutely boggles the mind is the fact that it's not like the Raptors are in a bad position. The magic number countdown that so often pops up with Leafs fans is irrelevant (for now) in Raptors Nation. And it's not like the Raptors are necessarily trying to chase an 8th seed, nor are they depending on other teams to help them out. Their playoff destiny is entirely in their hands.
And yet time after time again, the effort isn't there. How many blowouts can one team victimize itself through before the intensity picks up? Is it too much to ask for the Raptors play hard every game? Scratch that - make that every other game.
The magic Raptors formula: Effort + Skill + Some Luck = Success.
Just look at the recent Atlanta game.
My solution: Triano - it's time to be bold.
And no, I'm not talking about something like taking Jack out of the starting lineup for Jose. Nope. Think bolder. Why? Because whatever you've done so far, well, it's not working. It's not even close to working. If it were up to me, I'd want to blow this team up and do a complete rebuild. A different theme, a different attitude, and a different perspective on both sides of the court. But with the season dwindling down, it's too late for that. Such an act would have to wait. So how do we change it up with the resources we have and the realistic options we have available to us?
Play anyone and everyone ready to commit on the defensive end. From keeping your man in front of you, to boxing out, to cleaning up the glass. Triano shouldn't care about whether or not someone scores 20 points. All that should matter is you play defense.
Disgusting Fact of the Night: The Raptors have given up at least 100 points in 14 of their last 16 games. A petty Knicks team almost got there with 96, while the juggernaut New Jersey Nets could only put up 90.
Triano should not hesitate to take away minutes from Reggie and Bargnani if it means getting more court time for Amir. He shouldn't be afraid to give Banks some of the time Jack and Jose are seeing. And go ahead and give Sonny more burn as well. Do something, anything! Because teams are clinching playoff spots left and right.
The time's ticking Toronto.