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Old 04-06-2011, 05:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Arrow Koreen: Will Triano be back?

"I think the one thing about the NBA is that with draft picks and free agency, the face of a team can change drastically," Triano said. "This year, we developed players so that when the face of the franchise changes drastically, the role players will be significantly better. There are going to be exciting times around here."

Triano is selling hope, but that does not mean he is lying. DeMar DeRozan has improved dramatically this year, with his jumpshot no longer denting rims. Ed Davis has shown that spending the 13th pick on a lithe power forward, despite already having Amir Johnson, was wise. When young players develop, coaching has to get some of the credit.

Almost as importantly, the team has gotten along. Aside from a few minor issues -Julian Wright refusing to go into a game in Golden State last month stands out -the Raptors have been a cohesive unit. Given the mounting losses, that is an accomplishment.

"For the one-off incident that did happen, it is so minor to the other s---that goes on around this league," Triano said, answering in the affirmative when asked if there were at least five incidents on last year's team that would have been worse than Wright's refusal to play. There were likely more involving Hedo Turkoglu alone.

"I think that [Triano's] work ethic, his professionalism and his positive demeanour, which is the hardest thing to maintain, is what has kept us going more than anything else," assistant coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "And the players understand that. They know that every day he's prepared.

"It's no different now than it was in game five. And [the players] see that. And that's not the way it is everywhere, to be honest with you. Some coaches aren't that way. They don't mail it in, but they don't bring that same energy."

There can be little dispute that the Raptors played for Triano this year, even though their playoff hopes were squashed early. There were wins over Boston, Oklahoma City (twice), Orlando (twice) Chicago and Dallas. Beyond that, there were few no-shows, with the game against the Warriors that Wright tarnished standing out as one of the few exceptions. Most of the losses were of the simple we-areovermatched variety. And as everybody on the club is fond of pointing out, there were lingering injuries to nearly every member of the rotation, with a serious foot injury keeping Reggie Evans in a suit for more than three months.
In terms of in-game adjustments, Triano showed his chops in a March win in Oklahoma City, drawing up intricate plays -executed well -that led to the tying and winning baskets. Overall, he has thrown everything, including a healthy helping of zone defence, at the wall. Triano declined to get into specifics but said one area he did want to improve at was related to x's and o's.

"The number one thing is the players like him and respect him," Carlesimo said. "That's absolutely number one. When you have that -the confidence of your players -and they like [you] and want to play well for you, then you can push through situations like this, when there's not the carrot there."

Without the necessary talent, you cannot judge Triano on much else.
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