Grange: "Iíve yet to see any cause for serious optimism."
Old 10-19-2009, 03:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Grange: "Iíve yet to see any cause for serious optimism."

Originally Posted by Michael Grange
1. You have to give it to Triano. For a guy coaching his first pre-season and a team that has had some fairly lofty hopes placed on it by his boss – does 50 games and a No.4 or No.5 seed feel about right just now? – Triano has done a good job of not coaching the game and instead coaching his team through seven exhibition starts. It would be easy to panic a little bit and try and get a win to save some face, but Triano has stuck to a plan about using the exhibition season to build minutes and run a continuity-based system that doesn’t necessarily cater to his club’s offensive strengths but provides some structure as his club gets familiar with one another.

2. That said, I’ve watched five of the seven games now and I’ve yet to see any cause for serious optimism. Obviously Bosh and Turkoglu are a bit behind, but early on in training camp it was suggested by Triano and others that having those guys out was a good thing because others would get more reps. It didn’t make sense to me because with so many new pieces you need every possible moment to make things work with the horses they need to take them where they want to go. Outside Bargnani I can’t think of one key rotation player that has looked even quite good so far. Calderon? Shakey. Jack? Still finding his way. Wright? Hurt. Evans? Hurt, but beforehand I think he demonstrated that the range of his contributions is decidedly narrow. Belinelli? Not sure what to expect, but my suspicion is a garbage-time maestro. Weems? Nice camp until Sunday, when he was awful. He needs to bounce back. DeRozan? Some glimpses certainly, but not yesterday when he struggled with his shot, his handle, his hands and trying to keep track of Ray Allen.

3. Pre-season is pre-season, but a glance at the league standings more-or-less corresponds with the general expectations of what the standings will look like when the ball goes up for real: In either conference there are no projected top-four seeds that are simply stinking it up. In the East Cleveland is 3-3, but they have Shaq on their team – just guessing he’s not going to hard just yet – and have had a serious flu bug to deal with. But Orlando and Boston? A combined 10-1. Out West the Lakers, Mavericks, Jazz and Spurs are a combined 15-6. Denver is 2-3 but had a trip to China to cope with. The bottom third of the standings in each conference look about right, with clubs like Minnesota, Sacramento, Memphis, jersey and Toronto all struggling. The Raptors better hope they’re the exception.
Source - Triano sticks to the plan - The Globe and Mail
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Old 10-19-2009, 04:27 PM   #2 (permalink)

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Got to agree with Grange. Until this team proves that it can defend and rebound against legit teams on a consistent basis, I have no reason to believe this team will do anything other than squeak into the playoffs for a 1st round exit.
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