Sunday, November 29, 2009

Raptors Facing Extinction

Steve Nash has a long list of accomplishments in his tenure in the NBA. After today's game against the Raptors, he can add being 12-0 lifetime versus this franchise. That's not the real story though. The Toronto Raptors have lost 7 out of 9 games and seem to be struggling to compete with the best teams in the league. The problem has been brewing since last year, so lets do a little recap.

Last year they ended the regular season with a record of 33-49. Sam Mitchell was fired and Jay Triano was brought in. They traded highly paid Jermaine O'neal for Shawn Marion. The team went into the All-Star break 13 games below 0.500 and ended up missing the playoffs. In the off season they unloaded the talents of Jamario Moon, Anthony Parker and Shawn Marion. They picked up Marco Bellini, Hedo Turkoglu and Jarrett Jack.

Jarrett Jack and Chris Bosh are best friends since they played basketball together in college, so his acquisition brings some comfort to Bosh. Smart move by management. Toronto is really becoming a team full of international players with the likes of Turkoglu, Bellini, Nesterovic and Bargnani. With the way their team is built right now they are considered one of the better offensive teams in the league. They have a top 10 player in Chris Bosh and bunch of decent shooters. Their problem lies in their atrocious defense. Jay Triano said something today along the lines of "we are just getting used to some defensive schemes." Well here's the problem. The Raps are 17 games into the season and Triano should have addressed the defensive schemes in the preseason. The Raptors have the talent to score 100+ each game, but when they aren't firing on all cylinders their team is in trouble. It seems that every day player is a superstar when playing against them. It's time for Triano to work on some team defense or else this team will be facing extinction. If they miss the postseason this year it will decrease their chance of resigning Chris Bosh. If he leaves the team won't have a chance of making it their in the new future. Continually missing the playoffs spells extinction for the Raptors, just like the Grizzlies in their time in the NBA.