Originally Posted by TORaptor4Ever
The team needs players that actually CARE about winning.... that take some pride in it and aren't just worried about their stats.
Back in the Oakley/Willis/Childs/Christie/AWill days we had players like that.
These days we don't (with the exception of Lowry I guess... and JV although he's a rook).
The Raps haven't had any strong, veteran leadership in a long, long time.
I agree with this assertion too.
I'm as frustrated with this team as ever; we were expected to be better than this and even possibly challenge for the 8th seed. But there's a few ridiculous gaping holes in our roster that, in hindsight, were massive red flags.
1. We have no star players.
2. We have no "tough" players
3. We have a massive, gaping hole at the 3 position
4. We don't have many "give a shit" / "can't stand to lose" players
5. Two of our rotation players, including our starting center are rookies, and raw ones at that.
plus, we've had a brutal schedule to start the season.
Aside form Valanciunas, who's 20 years old and coming from the different international game, and Lowry, who is coming back from a nagging injury, we don't have guys who really give a shit. We have guys who come in and do their job but don't kill themselves if they don't win.
Unfortunately, we are stocked with guys who are talented but not that versatile and aren't consistent -- DeRozan, Calderon, Johnson, etc. We don't have a single player (aside maybe from a 100% healthy Lowry) who's a talented 2-way player and doesn't have many weaknesses.
DeRozan can't create that much off the dribble, Jose doesn't penetrate except on the odd fast break, Amir Johnson can't score when he's not in the pick and roll, Andrea is good one game then terrible the next, etc.
We also can't underestimate the fact that we have the worst, most pathetic starters at the 3 position in the league. Dominic McGuire, Alan Anderson, and a gimpy Landry Fields do NOT get the job done in a league where most teams got deeper and more talented the last couple of years. We play most of the game 4 on 5, and it shows. Why do I get giddy when McGuire or Anderson score one bucket? What the fuck is wrong with Kleiza by the way?
The past few years we've been one of those shitty, mediocre teams that's all offense so we won games when we shot the lights out, and lost the rest. We made a change to balance the team a bit more with the coach and, in theory, a couple players we picked up and we looked like we'd make teams sweat with our first few games of the season, but it all went downhill from there. We've lost two games in OT and two games by 2 points or less. Clearly we have a number of problems; closing out games is just another one of them.