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Starting the year off right

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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