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O.J.
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For years I've tried not to perceive you as a BC apologist but it's so clear now that you are....."deception he suffered at the hands of Chris Bosh" Really? If you truly have your hand on the pulse of the team shouldn't you have a sense for how the players truly feel? If BC wasn't sure about how Bosh felt, get assets for him when you still can. The last 5 years in Toronto for BC was a MAJOR FAILURE anyway you look at it. It's all good that he loves the city and did a lot for the community but his main job was to make the team a winner. That's the bottom line. After his initial success due to a weak Eastern conference he overvalued our talent. BC would follow that winning blip by doing patchwork jobs to try and regain immediate success around a player everyone knew was a major stiff and he failed to see the big picture leaving the franchise in a perpetual non-playoff state. How he even lasted this long perplexes me.
Great job covering the Finals Doug! Do you think Bosh will remain with the Heat next year or will they pursue a more legit post presence? Has Lebron finally shed the image of not having killer instinct? I think this championship should permanently erase the doubt. Whether people like the way this team was put together or not, you still have to play the games. Blogger's note: No clue about Bosh and don't really care
If the goal of Raptors is to be a great team, than why not pursue George Karl? I'm sure he has a good relationship with Masai and his teams have averaged 50 wins. Lieweke has repeatedly said that money is not an issue, winning is. So why not go after the best coach available and one that actually has a pedigree of success so that the team can take that next step?
I know it's an important decision for Masai but I still don't see why this decision should take more than one week. He's already familiar with the organization and I'm sure he's aware of our roster and cap situation. With all the other assistants, scouts and even the head coach's job that lie in the balance wouldn't it be prudent for there to be a resolution this week? Shouldn't the Raps have given him a deadline date to make his final decision? If he doesn't sign here, doesn't all the time wasted on one candidate leave us at a significant disadvantage in pursuing other GM candidates and potentially a new coach, assistants, etc?
Let's be real here, who fails for 5 years in a row at their job and it's still a question whether they should retain it? Nah, only in Toronto do we coddle failure. Winning organizations wouldn't put up with it, he would've been put to the curb a long time ago! I am still waiting for how BC (and certain media types) justified sinking so much time and effort into Bargs when it was obvious YEARS ago he wasn't a good fit for this team. I am leery of giving Stefanski the job here because they haven't exactly been world beaters since he's come here and his Sixers teams and draft picks haven't been that great save for Holiday. I want a guy to come in who has no ties to anyone (sorry Masai) so that he's not afraid to clean house. I wouldn't mind seeing Maurizio and Jim Kelly be shown the door first. I haven't been overly impressed with any of the international players that have been here the last 5 years except for Jonas. There was always talk of orgnanic growth. But we have never had a second round or late 1st rd pick that has done ANYTHING. EVER! If that isn't cause for heads to roll, I don't know what is.
I'll have to side with commenter "Truth be Told" Doug. The difference between next year as the last year of BC's contract as compared to the last time this happened was that now we've had even more losing seasons under BC. Why give him another year when his ability to lead this team is obviously in doubt? Blogger's note: To you, maybe. No one who matters has said that outright.
Hey Doug, I don't know how waiting this long can be seen as a vote of confidence for BC. Leweike is quoted as saying "He may not want to be here if he does not get a long-term commitment.” That does not sound like a CEO who was very impressed by his GM's presentation does it? Blogger's note: Not necessarily, no. Not sure long-term was ever in the equation or whether it should have been
Do you think BC would consider moving Lowry in the offseason if he doesn't show much these last few games, or do you think he would be concerned about upsetting his best player, Rudy Gay? I definitely think the off-season (maybe in a deal with Bargs) would be a better time to seek a trade rather than mid-season. Do you envision Ross one day supplanting Demar in the starting lineup do to his ability to extend defenses with his 3 pt shooting? Blogger's: Anything's possible
From what i've seen of the bench this year my feelings are mixed. But overall, I think there is a HUGE dropoff in production when we go to our bench. Is it as simple as trading Bargs for a competent post up playing pf and moving Amir to the bench? Along with the addition of an improvement over Lucas or are we likely resigned to pinning our playoffs hopes(next year) on drastic improvement and consistency from Ross, Fields, Lucas and AA?
Doug, I thought Telfair played great last night. His decision making and perimeter defense was some of the best I've seen all year. If he impresses these last 20 odd games is there a spot for him next year? Or do you think Raps retain Lucas as the 3rd pg and pursue another backup? More importantly do you think BC has earned an extension? The Rudy trade will pay off but I think it was also done out of desperation to save his job which I think, after 7 years and a 5 year playoff drought, he should lose. Agreed? Why or why not? Blogger's note: Don't agree, not going into it here, it's not the place. Telfair? Meh. Dime a dozen so maybe he gets a look
Hey Doug, I'm not saying we should necessarily get Boozer but you want a stretch 4 who can shoot a three? How has that worked out for us the last 7 years? How about getting a true power forward that can rebound, play solid interior defense and score inside consistently? The last time we had one of those(Antonio Davis) with some dynamic wings (HWSNBN, Tmac etc) we were a pretty good team. Wouldn't Milsap be the best option right now? Blogger's note: Actually for the two playoff years with a more talented team, it worked quite well
Hey Doug, Seasons Greetings. I think Demarcus Cousins is precisely the player we need on the Raps. He is the anti - Bargnani a solid rebounder and great inside presence. Yes, he has his issues but there are numerous examples of players who have had major behaviourial issues in the NBA that have contributed to winning or even championship teams. To be successful Raps management have to be willing to think outside the box or they will be stuck in a perpetual cycle of mediocrity. Just good enough to get decent picks but never getting the star player and just missing or making the playoffs. To get to the next level we need to acquire top shelf talent. Taking a flyer on Cousins in some sort of package with Bargs would be a big step in that direction.
I always catch the end of it's a wonderful life....I guess it's time I sat down and watched the entire film! It's great seeing Jose play great these last few games. However, I would have to imagine that it would be difficult to trade Bargs straight up unless you include Jose seeing as many playoff teams would want a low maintenance backup up pg (or for the Lakers right now, a starting pg) and would be interested in Jose especially come the trade deadline. The question I ask myself is unless we get a star in the draft, which may be unlikely with the Raps improved play, how can this team get better? Yes, the team will grow through its core of JV, DD, TR and KL which shouldn't be touched unless an amazing deal comes along but does what Jose get us on the market outweigh what he brings to this team? I guess we'll have to wait and see (and I would prefer if BC weren't the one making this decision) but I would have to think that you would have to shop Jose because of his expiring contract (we don't want to be left with nothing again) and the fact that packaged with Bargs they could fetch us that wing or even more importantly, scoring and defensive inside presence that would take us to the next level. I also think that Lowry's play will improve once he returns and gets a few more games under his belt and when Bargs is traded as that will open up the perimeter as well as allow for more fast breaks due to better rebounding and better post play which allows for more assists.
Doug, I have to agree with some of the above comments. You preach patience every year and every year the team under-performs. This year the goal was to get a bottom seed in the playoffs. I like the core of DD, Lowry, JV and Ross but I don't see any signs that would indicate them going on an extended win streak on this challenging road trip with their current personnel. I think it's time to trade Bargs because he's not going to take you to that next level. 7 years of inconsistency has shown us that. I want BC replaced but especially if they do fall deeper under 500, I do think BC's must go and we bring in a GM who brings in the best available players, not a GM who brings in the players he thinks will stay here and then rounds out the bench with d-leaguers and overseas players, because when injuries occur, which they inevitably will, guess which players we turn to for production? Blogger's note: So, the same GM who brought in -- this year -- Ross, Valancuinas and Lowry -- can't bring in the best available players? Counter-intuitive
I don't think the coach is to blame here. He is going with Bargnani because as a coach, you're supposed to trust your "star" player. Unfortunately, after 7 years off watching Bargnani sputter around the court with that deer-in-the headlights-look while taking jumpshots in crunch time, I can say the experiment with him has failed. Doug, I was the biggest Colangelo fan coming in, but Bargs is no Dirk. He is no leader and he doesn't exude confidence or put fear into an opponent. Not only that, after 7 years he still doesn't consistently box out his man or make the hustle plays that star players make. Jose is having a good year, but he is also a product of many losing seasons. So if we're trying to make a fresh start, I think we should consider packaging Bargs and Jose for a PF that can defend & score in the paint and elevate Lucas to the backup roll. We won't get value for Bargs but in a package with Jose, it might happen. As long as we get a player we can plug in to Casey's system that is an established defender, it will improve our chances. Then the priority in the off-season, once a new GM is found, should be to draft or trade for a quality small forward because at 3 - 10, with our current personnel (rookies getting extended minutes) I don't see a turnaround substantial enough to give us a hope in the improved eastern conference.
Hey Doug, I have seen Lamb play a few times and I have concern about his strength, ability to penetrate and one dimensional style shooting game and intensity at the next level. Lillard from all the interviews I've seen and when i've watched him play seems to have the right intensity that's sorely needed on the Raps. If somehow we find a way to get Lillard, do you think Jose is trade bait? Is there any scenario where we would could still get Gay if we kept our draft pick? Blogger's note: No, don't know
I would rearrange the holidays differently for various reasons: Simcoe Day would be number one as it is Caribbana weekend and this holds great cultural significance for me. I have never worked this weekend as I feel it very important to my cultural heritage and it is time to celebrate and reflect. Also, August just happens to be my favourite month. I would put Canada Day long weekend second as it is in the heart of summer and it is a time where there is so much going on in the city and although most are proud to be Canadian, I find that everybody stands a bit taller this weekend. I agree that the Blue Jays should always play home games on this weekend, especially seeing as they're the only Canadian team in baseball. Labour Day In hockey and basketball there is the anxiousness and buzz of the coming seasons; those teams can still win a championship at that point! The summer is coming to an end but the weather is usually still nice, still a great time to go down to the beach or harbourfront, enjoy a patio, play an outdoor sport. People are still fairly relaxed and in summer chill mode. Victoria Day Although still an excellent long weekend and much needed after a long winter, the weather is not necessarily hot at this time. People are still usually recovering from a long winter and dreary spring. The Raptors have been golfing for a while so you have cheer for another team. Ditto for you leaf fans (i'm a Pens fan so my team is usually still playing). The Blue Jays are starting to sink out of playoff contention and the city isn't really buzzing with any major festival or event at this time. Ya, BBQ'ing is good but it becomes even more enjoyable for the following long weekends when the weather is usually warmer!
I agree with Rob V and others who are for trading Jose. Admittedly, I haven't been the biggest Jose supporter over the years (he is injury prone and doesn't consistently attack the net and look for his own offense during games), but I think if we are rebuilding, what he could bring in return could definitely help more when this team will be peaking, hopefully 3 - 5 years from now. Yes, it does make sense to sell a player high, especially a player who has not been consistently healthy, a good defender or consistent scorer over the years. He is definitely a central contributor to the horrible teams we've had over the years. What Jose has shown the past few games points wise and defensively have been the exception rather than the rule so BC should definitely consider selling high rather than having a 10 million dollar backup on the books.
Hey Doug, Why is Calderon starting if we are building for the future? Shouldn't we see what the 23 year old Bayless can do as a starter, seeing as his contract expires after this season? I thought he played admirably as a starter at the end of last season and I would like to see what he can do given the minutes at the beginning of this season, because realistically, Jose will not be part of the young nucleus moving forward.
Hey Doug, Happy Birthday!!! A couple of quick questions. Do you think now that BC is on a short leash (the 2 year contract) He will try to make aggresive moves i.e. trying to trade the draft pick for a vet or do you think he will continue to build through the draft and free agency. Question 2: Would it not make more sense for BC to trade his pick down (barring he doesn't get a Brandon Knight) and pick up a wing that can shoot and score in a variety of ways (i.e. Alec Burks) and then maybe also try to acquire a pick in next years super draft or a vet? Blogger's note: There is no "leash" short or long. And I'm sure trades will be contemplated but if they want a guy, they should take him regardless
Wasnt maurizio supposed to be able to discern the top euro talent and bring that to us? As an assistant gm he is mostly advising us on euro players his supposed specialty. . . I havent been impressed with him thus far and feel he should be let go.
Hi Doug, I think what Joe was referring to when he spoke about Hollinger wanting to keep BC on a short leash was more in regards to his contract than anything. Don't you think a couple of years should be shaved off BC's next contract? How about 2 years and an option for a third, instead of committing a substantial amount of money to a GM that has completely struck out the last 3 years? Blogger's note: How about 3 and a mutual option?
I didn't have a problem with Jay going to Bargs again, although I would have preferred to see what DD could do, but i'm beginning (well i've thought this for a while) to think that Bargs' basketball IQ is not that high. Not only due to the fact that he was given a second opportunity in virtually the exact same situation and he failed again, bailing out the defense by settling for yet another jumpshot, but I noticed that when he wasn't on the floor we actually took the lead and had better defence and rebounding. He's been in the league 5 years now, so he is more veteran than he is novice and I think the excuses for him need to stop. On a team where he is the go to guy playing 30+ minutes a game, he should at least be getting 8 boards a game and making 4 trips to the FT line. He's a decent piece but his lack of defense awareness is troubling as our starter. Don't you think Bryan would be better served exploring Bargs' worth on the market?
If we are going with Bargs as a focal player on the team and starting lineup, as seems the case, I don't think that Jose can be in the starting lineup as well. I've been saying for years that both in the starting lineup is too much of a defensive liability. I've always thought that Jose is a back-up pg. His clutch factor in the fourth quarter is low. A decision has to be made on who you move forward with as back-up. Bayless has showed little since his hot start here and his temperament for the PG position is horrible, but he's young and shows flashes. Either way, I agree with you Doug and think PG is a position they have to address, and production wise I think it's the position they have to address the most and use these last 20 something games to see if Johnson shows improvement and is the real deal. Who do you think they should go with point guard wise?
The Raps history of getting good late first round picks begins and ends with Mo Pete. Regardless of who the GM was that's the best we've done. So, in a weak draft year I look at James Johnson and remember him torching the Raps (I know, who doesn't torch the Raps) and think that if he had the opportunity to play and grow with a team, which he couldn't do on a title contender in Chicago, he could develop and easily surpass Julian Wright's production and eventually Weems as well.