At the end of January some scientists down in Australia concluded that the universe is 30 times more disorderly than previously thought. And the Raptors seem to have taken those conclusions to heart. Right now, with 13 games left, this team needs to fight against the tendencies of entropy. They can start against the Jazz, and maybe they should consider how jazz itself is something of an aural representation of entropy, at it’s best when it’s close to breaking apart and ultimately bringing a momentary transcendent order within our grasp, in the midst of combustive energies. That’s the task at hand for the Dinosaur team. They need to make some sweet music in this moment. They need to look dead-on at the current random nature of their play, and fight against complete disintegration, then strike some positive notes that give them some validity as a playoff team, whether they make it as an eighth seed or higher.
It’s time for them to start playing playoff basketball from here on in. If they can’t muster the appearance of playoff intensity now, then they are going to look like they do not belong in the post-season at all. They will just be the random team laid bare for the upper tier teams. They will be the face of entropy. They will be just another NBA black hole. A total collapse now is going to impact this team for at least another season, and likely much longer.
And so it is time for Triano to earn his paycheque. He needs to figure this team out for real. I don’t doubt that he has a good grasp of basketball. I agree with much of how he looks at the game. But he has to find a much better understanding of how this team fits within his ideals. If he keeps trotting out ten guys in the rotation, and trying to work everything around keeping both point guards happy, then entropy will not be contained. If he keeps handing out paltry amounts of playing time to Amir Johnson, game in and game out, then how is he going to harness some of that energy that provides a rare example of overachieving here? It’s time to take any examples of play that provide a steady beat, expand some roles accordingly, and ride those rhythms. If there is discord on the bench that is one thing to deal with. Discord on the floor is something that is not going to be transcended at this point. There is no time or space left for problem avoidance. The time for real problem-solving, as imperfect as it may seem, is at hand. If Triano cannot figure out this team’s best shot at making harmony where it counts, then his future involves being sucked into the black hole of his own making.
Of course the guy he needs to lean on the most is Chris Bosh. If he is going to prove his worth to this team, or any team, then he needs to take the shortened rotation that we will hopefully see take shape, and make it look like it belongs in the playoffs. He needs to bring possibilities back into play. More than anything, he needs to make for enough of an overall improvement on defense to allow them a chance to win every game from here on out. If he fails to do that, then in spite of a big chunk of the season where he was an all-NBA calibre player, it’s hard for me to see where any team rewards him with the kind of contract and recognition he’s looking for. Yes, there has been some difficulties beyond his control. But this is a mere 13 games. 13 games in which everything needs to be very clear in spite of difficulties. Surely he can at least give his team a chance to overcome the entropy that has crept into the picture. If not – there is a black hole swirling in the shadow of those locks.
Please Chris and Jay – bring some sense of order and structure into play again. Win enough games to show a marked improvement over last season, and do so in a manner that makes that improvement firm and viable going forward. Make every bit of progress at least a reality that is not so easily questioned. And then each of you will have earned the right to go on, together or apart, with some sense of legitimacy to build upon. And whether or not you continue on together with this franchise, the team will still benefit far more from that taste of legitimacy as opposed to simply surrendering to entropy.