Oh, MAAAAAN. *angry stomp* (Part Two)

Who should take the bulk of the responsibility for this season’s performance: GM, coach, or players?

The argument for Colangelo

Bryan Colangelo is the architect of this team. He brings players in, ships them out. He pays them normal-to-massive salaries based on prior performance, need and reputation.  He holds press conferences to tell the media and fans how his latest acquisitions will fit in with the club and how he anticipates they will be beneficial. He has had a roughly 50/50 track record as far as I’m concerned. Good: Jarrett Jack, Jorge Garbajosa, Anthony Parker, Amir Johnson, Carlos Delfino. Trading TJ Ford. Bad: Jermaine O’Neal, Fred Jones, Will Solomon. Firing Sam Mitchell. Proclaiming every new addition to be the final piece of the puzzle. Focusing almost solely on offense (notable exceptions being Antoine Wright, Amir Johnson and Reggie Evans). Up for debate? Hedo Turkoglu, Andrea Bargnani, Jay Triano. (Another topic for another post!) He is The Man and has to arrange the puzzle pieces.

Having said all this, while he is the architect, he is not the financier. He can work with what he is given and with a brutal luxury tax (every dollar over the cap must be matched), MLSE is loath to spend more than they think they must. The successful teams (that is, post-second round in the playoffs) are willing to spend more.

The argument for Triano

He accepted the job of coach. As such, he is responsible for motivating, cajoling, pushing and improving the team. The coach must manage personalities and playing time. He must recognize when to whisper, when to speak and when to flip the f*ck out. He is responsible for drawing up plays, for knowing when to let the players run with it, for recognizing the hot or cold hand and making sure that everyone is playing to his potential.

Triano had a tough go of it this year, though not as tough as last year when he became the interim coach 17 games into the season. He made mistakes with playing time management and seemed reluctant to be the bad guy. To be a great coach, you need the respect of your players. Who gives a damn if they like you? If you get results, it won’t matter if you’re not best buds. Here’s hoping next year he will be more forceful with – and demanding of – his team. I don’t think anyone expected him to be an Avery Johnson or Jeff Van Gundy and even those guys started somewhere. Triano has a ton of coaching experience and, in my opinion, everyone should take a deep breath.

The argument for the players

Let’s not forget that the players are key in factoring who is responsible. THEY are the ones who have to hit the floor every night. They hold their fate in their freakishly large hands. The coach and GM can preach selfless behaviour, good work ethic and commitment but it’s ultimately the players that must take up the mantle. The Raptors have had defensive issues for years; but, even offensively-minded players are expected to play defense. You don’t have to be Ben Wallace or Marcus Camby but you don’t have to be if you play smart – and if you care. Move your feet, keep your hands up, communicate. These are the keys to defense and considering the athleticism of basketball players, it shouldn’t be that hard.

So…conclusions? I split it this way: 40% GM, 35% coach, 25% players.  The GM puts the best team together possible, the coach utilizes the players he’s been given, and the players need to…well, play.

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~ by foodNURD on April 29, 2010.

3 Responses to “Oh, MAAAAAN. *angry stomp* (Part Two)”

  1. All players except our beloved Jose, of course. 😉

    Sadly, I did not watch a single game last season. I was just too sad about Sam. (I know, not rational, but hey, it’s ME!)

  2. I think you are right the blame certainly lies on a number of people all of which you have already mentioned, coach, players etc. I believe though that the blame has to squarely fall on the shoulders of our beloved G.M. You can say that the players are not playing up to their potential ( I’m looking at you Turk) but the G.M is the one that assembles the team, the coaching staff and is the one who signs the players and signs them to contracts. Having said all
    that I would say that Colangelo is batting about 500. He has had his share of failures which you have already mentioned, but he has also gotten us into the playoffs in two of the four years that he has been here, and has averaged about 40 wins a year compared to what I believe was 30 prior to his arrival. I’d say that in this, his fifth year he has a lot to prove. I certainly hope that the two time executive of the year can prove his worth, or Raptors fans are going to continue being frustrated and watch other teams succeed while we go nowhere.

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