Raptors Forum | Toronto Raptors Forums & Message Boards - View Single Post - ClingRap: Post-Seasons Reasons
View Single Post
Old 04-15-2008, 06:51 PM   #1 (permalink)

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Localhost
Posts: 908
Default ClingRap: Post-Seasons Reasons

Courtesy of ClingRap.

So. Is there any reason to believe in this team (outside of the local impulse to scream about how awesome it is that the Raps are in the playoffs again) will make a mark beyond a trace come this weekend? It seems sour. Bittersweet I guess, but outside of the so-so play in November and December, we haven’t been able to put together a run at all this season, so for many reasons it would appear that this team is locked in for a first round exit. With more downs than ups, and last night’s first half of ugliness against the tepid, it smells like Toronto’s fate is out of their hands. After all, to win against these guys is usually determined by the quality of their opponent. Jack made the point last night that winning teams make winning a part of their everyday habit. From the way they compose themselves on the court, to the post-game wrap-ups, they’re habit is walking and talking like a winner. For this to be a habit, obviously, you gotta start chalking up more W's than L's, but is there some kind of initial impulse that precedes the actual way a winning team wins? A culture of success?

Some have argued that Colangelo has come in and done that. He has comparatively when stacked against the likes of Babcock, Grunwald, and Zeke. But last year is looking more and more like an aberration. A year where they caught some people by surprise and guys had career years. Things have leveled off in some areas, while others have declined. This team still can’t manufacture stops on the defensive end on a consistent basis (The Tepid shot over 50% in the first half last night). This isn’t news. Though statistically they’re better defensively this year, the past two months have seen some pretty awful efforts to stop the opposition. What’s news is the steady decline of the Raptors ability to “make shats.” There’s theories abounding as to how and why the best three point shooting team in the league percentage wise has been taking less of them. The fact that the deadliest three point shooter in league history (percentage wise) not only made one, but also took one for the first time in a month yesterday is troublesome. There are guys in shooting slumps to be sure. Bargs is one for his last 17 behind the ark, and Delfino, well he’s a walking/talking heat check. But the guy you want taking maybe 5-7 threes a game in Kapono, not being able to get one off can’t simply be because he isn’t looking for his shot. Colangelo made the point that in Kapono’s case, his decline in play this season has been because of coaching. To elaborate, its this team’s lack of offensive cohesiveness and execution to be able to consistently get Kapono that kind of looks he’ll bury 60% of the time.

Whether this is due to personnel or coaching at this point is less significant than the timing of this executional conundrum. Finding answers this late in the season gives reason to think that this post-season is going to be as short-lived as last years. Pistons rookie Rodney Stuckey hit it on the head when he said during the playoffs, “You're locking in on one team and everybody knows what each other's going to do.” The problem here in the context of the Raps is that they’re entirely unsure of what “each other’s going to do.” Their more down than up play doesn’t leave them with a lot of room to establish Jack’s winning habit. Bosh et al are trying to sell this to the fans as a long season of ups and downs that every team goes through, which is light years away from what winning teams actually do. That said, maybe they get lucky, get hot, and snap out of whatever funk they’re in and take it to the Magic. There’s a ton of reasons to suggest otherwise, but in the end all you need is one for the contrary.
lang is offline   Boss Key Wife Key