Sports And The City

It was 4-1.

Starting the year off right

with 10 comments

The Raptors won two games in January. Better than I remembered, actually. I thought they only beat the lowly Cavaliers, back on January 5th. But there was that magical Sunday afternoon, January 9th, when DeMar DeRozan scored 28, and Andrea Bargnani 30, against the Sacramento Kings, when the Raptors last tasted victory. They may never win again.

Twelve straight losses. At what point, exactly, does Bryan Colangelo fire Jay Triano? Is there a magic number? Say, a 15-game losing streak? Twenty, a nice and nasty round number? I wonder. And at what point does Colangelo himself get fired? I can’t imagine the suits at MLSE are looking to the Raptors’ final 33 games to make a decision regarding their lame duck GM. Bottom line: Do something. Shine the Wayne Embry signal into the Toronto night sky, if you must. Anything.

All that being said, I’ve grown rather fond of Triano. At the very least, he at least acts like he gives a damn, and that’s more than you can say for his players some nights. Surprising to absolutely no one, it was Triano who was most upset at Indiana’s Darren Collison for jacking a three with a second left on the clock in an already decided game Monday night. If I had to choose one of Triano and Colangelo moving forward, I might just pick Triano.

Let’s say for a minute, though, that Colangelo does get re-signed. Does he get a raise? How the hell do you spin that on the paying public? So many questions!

Earlier today, The Score’s Scott Carefoot tweeted a link to a rather depressing Sports Illustrated article, “On Andrea Bargnani and the East’s other pathetic team,” by Zach Lowe. That “other pathetic team” would be the Raptors, hence the whole depressive vibe of the piece. But at least there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. A couple of lights, actually: Ed Davis’ strong play, and the team’s 2011 first-round pick in tow. And, yes, it does feel fantastic to be able to write that.

Finally, on Bargnani: Since he began averaging more than 30 minutes on the floor per month, dating back to January 2009, Il Mago’s never had a poorer shooting month from the floor — 40.9% — and from beyond the arc — 27.9% — than January 2011. If that performance isn’t the definition of bad timing, I’m not sure what is.

Here’s to the next 11 months. Cheers.

Addendum:

Great column here by the National Post’s Bruce Arthur. Losing is okay. Losing is better than okay; it’s good. Losing is productive. And that bodes well, because lord knows we’re used to it around here.

I hate to say use the following, I really do, but: The Raptors are who we thought they were. Perhaps there won’t be any changes. Perhaps Triano and Colangelo will both be around next year, and maybe even the next year after that. Why not?

More good news: DeMar DeRozan’s off to the Rookie Challenge. And that’s exciting. I’m excited. I think. Yes, I am.

Image courtesy Andrew Stark.

Written by Navin Vaswani

February 1st, 2011 at 4:24 pm

10 Responses to 'Starting the year off right'

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  1. The lone bright side to Bargnani’s tailspin is that the teeming masses of Bargnani apologists I’ve had to deal with for the past several years are finally going silent.

    Bargnani is a sixth man, at best. Raptors fans will be able to achieve a small measure of peace if we can just get on the same page about that.

    Scott Carefoot

    1 Feb 11 at 4:54 pm

  2. I was one of those very Bargnani apologists. I accept his (my?) fate. I only want peace.

    Navin Vaswani

    1 Feb 11 at 4:59 pm

  3. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Navin Vaswani, Toronto Raptors Buzz and Leanna S, Ana SK. Ana SK said: RT @eyebleaf: Andrea Bargnani's bad timing: http://bit.ly/gaXpL9 Also: Has anyone started a pool on when Colangelo and/or Triano will be … [...]

  4. Neither B.C. or Triano gets fired this year. B.C. will get a new contract sometime in the middle of THIS February or at the very least, he’ll get a commitment from the MLSE Board that he’ll get renewed. This crappy season is pretty much expected. The Raptors were AT BEST an average team with Chris Bosh (SUCKS) in their lineup. B.C. is back in rebuild mode and with all that cap space plus draft picks and some young guns to mode the team around (DeRozan, Davis, maybe Bargnani), I’m going to bet MLSE will give him another 5 years to see his plan go through. The other thing that is more behind the scenes and less talked about is that B.C. is a good talker and charmer. MLSE needs B.C. around because he’s the type of “suits-guy” that can wine and dine corporate execs to fill all those nice expensive AC Center boxes.

    Jay Triano will be fired before B.C. The Raptors continue to show an inept ability to play any thing that resembles defense. At some point you may have to stop saying it’s the players fault and start wondering if the coach has the ability to teach defense.

    A look at the schedule will say that if the Raptors don’t win this Friday vs. Minnesota, they may be on a 17 game losing streak when the Heat and Chris Bosh Sucks comes into town. That is just downright disgusting.

    Lee(tch)

    1 Feb 11 at 6:00 pm

  5. We were going to be bad this year, no doubt. At least we have some pieces. I think.

    On another note…spring training is around the corner.

    Escaped Lab Rat

    1 Feb 11 at 8:20 pm

  6. Kiener, how do you feel about Bosh doing pretty damn good down in Miami? As for Triano and the defense, I still think it’s more of a personnel issue than anything. And I think it would be great if the Raps extend the losing streak until the Miami game, and then beat the Heat. We should go to that game.

    Escaped, saw a tweet last night about Amir last night, again from Scott Carefoot:

    In 13 games where Amir Johnson has played 30+ minutes this season, he’s averaged 14.1 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.3 SPG, 1.2 BPG, .619 FG%

    They key is, obviously, for Amir to play more 30+ minute games. He’s been damn efficient from the floor this season. Like you say, pieces. It’s a shame Weems has been hurt most of the year. In a contract year, it would have been great to see what he was made of. The injuries, in general, this season have been absurd.

    Navin Vaswani

    2 Feb 11 at 9:48 am

  7. Bosh is having a good, not great, statistical season. But here’s the thing about Bosh and the difference between them and the Boston Celtics: When KG and Allen signed with Boston, KG checked his ego aside for the good of the team and the pursuit of a championship. KG was a stats whore during his time in Minnesota and I’m sure he posted double double averages during his time there. I hate KG just as much as the next guy but if you ask me who’d I rather have on my team to chase a championship, KG or CB, I’d say KG in a heartbeat. KG understands his role: defense, defense, defense. Let the other kids do the scoring. And this is the thing I think makes the Heat not there yet. The Heatles need to converged and say, “Chris, fuck the scoring, leave it to us, just grab some damn rebounds and play defense.” Can you imagine how scary this Heat’s team can be once Bosh starts to realize this? He’s got his contract already…now it’s time to get the rings since that’s what he said he went to Miami for. If Miami could ever trade Bosh for someone like Perkins or Joakim Noah, that will quickly push them over the top.

    I heard tickets being scalped for that game is going to run north of $300. Ouch…

    Lee(tch)

    2 Feb 11 at 4:39 pm

  8. I say the Raps and Leafs just trade GMs. I mean, it couldn’t get any worse, right?? It could work?? Please???!?!?!

    Xave

    3 Feb 11 at 5:14 am

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