April 6, 2009
by Ryan P… The 2008-2009 NBA season for the Toronto Raptors has been a disappointing one. With high expectations coming into this year, it is easy to see that Toronto have not even come close to matching them. After the Raptors started the season 3-0, they soon slided below .500 and fired head coach Sam Mitchell. His replacement was assistant Jay Triano. He has not done a terrible job, but not a good job either.
The Raptors are a team that has a good starting line-up with Calderon (who has been injured for most of the season), Parker, Marion (acquired in a trade with Miami for Jermaine O’neal), Chris Bosh, and Andrea Bargnani.
The major problem with this team is their lack of depth. They clearly have no bench. The only consistent names I can think of are Joey Graham and newly acquired Pops Mensah-Bonsu.
Because of this lack of depth, does this not make Triano the problem?
Let’s look at the positives and negatives of his time as head coach:
Andrea Bargnani has become a very consistent centre (which is where he belongs) and has proven to be an elite player on the team.
Joey Graham (who was given zero minutes under Sam Mitchell) has become a great energy booster off the bench.
The team has now taken a turn for the best at the later stages of the year, now on a four-game winning streak, with the team looking very confident and playing as a group.
The Raptors miss the playoffs.
Triano’s record is well below a good one.
Triano lacks experience as a head coach.
I believe that the problem with this team is more than the coach. If you look at the statistics in lost games, the only productive players are in the starting line-up. There is no support from players such as Jason Kapono, and the overall guard position.
If he returns, it will not be a tragety, but I still believe the Raptors can do better.