When things get tough, the Raptors
don't. When pushed, they tend to fall.
"Tenacity and intensity and competitiveness," says Chris Bosh. "That's what's missing."
More than that is missing from this edition of the Raptors, but those are major components. Maybe it's the result of a long and dispiriting season; more likely, it's part of the innate makeup of this nice-guy, offence-oriented roster. Either way, this team has beaten one plus-.500 team since Jan. 5. There is an extra competitive gear that Toronto simply does not possess.
But as Calderon
put it, it was not one thing. There has been bleeding from many tiny cuts. There were the different systems -- first under Mitchell, who liked to walk it up and play pick-and-roll basketball; then under current coach Jay Triano, who without the benefit of a training camp tried to introduce more motion; then the Marion acquisition, at which point the Raptors
tried to run. The ability to adapt, it seems, was absent.
"What's missing from that team is an identity," says one league source who has studied the Raptors. "Are they a running team? A half-court team? A shutdown team? They need to decide what they are."