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Old 12-04-2009, 09:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Post Daily Raptor Dish - 04.12.09

A whole new life out there for Sam

Grouchy Sam is nowhere to be found these days.
Stepping away from the NBA for the first time in 19 years, Sam Mitchell, the ex-Raptors bench boss, has a much broader outlook on life and it has made him happier.
There has been more time for volleyball trips with his daughters, more time for golf and time to expand his knowledge of the world around him.
"I didn't realize how little I knew about what really was going on in life because my focus was basketball," Mitchell said during half-time of the Raptors-Hawks game on Wednesday night in Atlanta. "When you're a professional athlete or a coach, you're in such a bubble. You don't really understand what is going on around you. You hear it and you see it, but you don't see it."

When it comes to defence, Raptors are shockingly rank


Few expected the Raptors to be cruising along at this early point of the season. Fewer still expected them to be this dismal.
With an almost completely revamped roster and a difficult, road-heavy early schedule, the Raptors were supposed to be scuffling a bit 20 games in, but the wretched defence displayed by the 7-13 team is downright shocking.
Just how terrible has the defence been? Well, for starters, the club is on pace to be the worst defensive team since 1977-78.
A little-known but telling statistic called defensive rating has been kept since that season. The rating measures how many points-per-100 possessions a team gives up and the lowest in history, shared by three teams, is 114.7.
The Raptors, losers of five in a row and 11 of 15 following Wednesday night's 146-115 slaughter at the hands of the Atlanta Hawks, have a defensive rating of 118.3.
Granted, the team has brought that mark of shame down from the 120-plus it sat at early last month and it likely will fall further into the simply horrific column, rather than historically horrific, but something fundamentally is wrong with this team.

Raps nearing breaking point

Exactly one year after the most recent coaching change in Raptors history, the man who got the pink slip has to be feeling a whole lot better about his lot in life than the guy who replaced him.
Sam Mitchell still is being paid by the Raptors, is branching out in the business world and enjoying life outside the confines of basketball. What's not to like?
Jay Triano, meanwhile, is living his dream of guiding an NBA team. Unfortunately for Triano right now, the dream in the dumper.
His team reached the quarter pole Wednesday in Atlanta and with Mitchell, an Atlanta native, in the stands taking it all in, put up one of the true stinkers of the season as the host Hawks rolled up 146 points, scoring at will all night. It was the worst of five successive losses for the Raps.
Still worse, the players themselves publicly -- some more directly than others, are questioning everything about the team -- from its makeup to its schemes to who is playing and whether they deserve to be and whether everyone is being held accountable.

Bosh lashes out over Raptors defensive collapse

Two former Raptors met in a corridor in Philips Arena after Wednesday night's Raptors-Hawks game. Their greeting was fitting.
Antonio Davis, the one-time Toronto power forward who lives in the Atlanta area, held his nose as he approached Alvin Williams, a former teammate who is now a Toronto assistant coach. Williams held his nose in agreement. Perhaps gas masks wouldn't have been enough to block out the stench of Toronto's 146-115 defeat. The question is, how long will the club – with its 7-13 record and its five-game losing streak – keep stinking?

Raptors Blog by Doug Smith

Best Washington story?
It’s Dec. 31, 1997, Raptors at Wizards, Toronto’s 4-25 and no one cares about ‘em at all. There’s no blogs, no chats, no nothing. No one gets up early and reads New Year’s Day papers so all we’re hoping for is a quick, uneventful game, a chance to escape the arena before the Gladys Knight concert (no Pips, just Gladys) and grab a cocktail or six.
Well, we’re talking to then-coach Darrell Walker before the game and Darrell’s a wee miffed at rookie Tracy McGrady. About an hour to game time, Darrell tells us that if Tracy doesn’t smarten up, he’ll be out of the NBA in three years when his rookie contract is up. Seeing how Toronto and Isiah had put a lot of stock in young Tracy and here’s the coach all but saying he’s a bust, it becomes, you know, a rather significant story.
So we write it, write the gamer, the night drags on forever (Toronto gets edged 118-91 in a thriller, as I recall and it was a 9 p.m. start to give Gladys a chance at attracting a crowd) and we’re sitting in the press room listening to her muffled singing of Auld Lang Syne at midnight.
Trundled back to the hotel we used to stay on the edge of Georgetown, it’s freaking LOBBY BAR IS CLOSED so it’s two Miller Lites out of the minibar to usher in 1998.
And that beats Mo Pete’s circus shot as the best Washington story in franchise history.

Colangelo doesn't pass the buck

One-fourth of the way into their season and the Toronto Raptors are sliding out of the Eastern Conference playoff picture fast.
Is it coaching? Players? A tough schedule?
Club president Bryan Colangelo says the buck stops with him as the team tries to end a five-game losing streak in which they've dipped to 11th in the standings.
“At the end of the day, there's a lot of talk about this being about coaching and systems and things like that,” said Colangelo, who was en route yesterday to meet his team in Washington for tonight's game against the Wizards. “But at the end of the day if you're looking for someone to blame, you can point to me because I'm ultimately the one responsible for putting this group together.”
So far, the pieces don't seem to fit, though the good news is with only five teams with winning records in the East, they haven't backed themselves into a corner yet.
Where they seem so out of place is on the defensive end. By some measures the Raptors are on pace to be one of the worst defensive teams in NBA history, at least based on how poor their defence is compared to the league averaged

Sunshine Girl - 04.12.09

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