Not all bad according to Bryan Colangelo

I didn’t post any post season press conference until now, mostly because I don’t think it’s newsworthy.  Everyone is saying the right things (we need to be better, the coaching staff prepare us well, and in Bosh’s case, I haven’t decided I am leaving yet).

The one I have most interest in was Bryan Colangelo: I want to see what he had to say and hopefully see a direction from his words to the media.  Here are some of the things he said during the Press Conference today:

– Frustrating and disappointing season

– Want to win 50 games. but didn’t.

– have tradable and marketable players based on the conversation he had with other GMs in the trade deadline.  Perhaps he should have made a move but the team was playing so well.

– Not all doom and gloom like people are stating.  Not too far away from being a contender

– Got approval for being a tax team if necessary.

– Has been doing assessment of the team, and preparing for the upcoming season.

– The post-allstar struggle shouldn’t be blamed on one thing, it’s many factors.  Not all because of Bosh.

– Defend the Bargnani signing saying that this is a great bargain for Bargnani’s potential and many people around the league agrees.  Bargnani can be better in scoring and rebounding, thinks he is a good post defender but needs work on weak side defense.

– Will work together with Bosh either in having him return to the Raptors or do a sign and trade with other teams.

– Have no intention of firing Jay Triano.  Thought he learn a lot in his first year, and should be a much better coach going forward.

– Jose lost confidence this season and they are looking to see if having the two PG is beneficial to the team.

– Need to find a glue player like Anthony Parker to help bridge the international player with the American players.

– Reggie Evans’ injury never healed completely.  He wasn’t as big a factor as he could have been.

-Will make moves before July 1 not necessary because of Bosh, but because it would make them better as a team.

– Need to improve the personnel on defense.  Internally the players have to be better as well.

– Will try to sell Bosh on what this team can offer, and hope he will come back.

– Hedo has a hard year, and need to be in better shape coming into training camp.  He will be better next season.

– Guard play is critical, but not too many 20 PPG guards are falling from the sky.

– Once again, he keep saying that things aren’t as gloomy as people painted.

Anyway, those are the things which I found most interesting.  He did talk about the problem between Hedo and Jay Triano, among other things.  Needless to say, I disagree with him on a number of issues (Triano coming back, Bargnani’s contract), but based on what he said, I am pretty sure about a couple of things:

1) One of Jack and Calderon will be gone.

2) If the Raptors isn’t making a huge splash before July 1, Bosh is gone.  Team building will depend on sign-and-trade.

3) There will be a lot of moves coming regardless.

4) Looking to find good defenders for this team.  Wright isn’t coming back.

5) Bargnani, Triano are not going anywhere.

6) Rebuilding isn’t going to happen, at least not with Colangelo at the helm.  Not even if Bosh leaves.

I am glad that he did acknowledge that defense is a major issue for this team and will address this before the season starts.  I have said it before, if the Raptors can just be an average defensive team, they will win 50 games.  It’s really that simple.  Jack Armstrong wrote an excellent article at TSN.  Jack has always been my favorite Raptor commentator, he understands the game very well, and can articulate his points without seemingly belittling his audience.  His article about the Raptors is a must read for Raptor fans:

And I want to quote one thing he said about this team, that is pretty much dead on.  This is what he said about what Colangelo needs to look for in the offseason:

c. Two Way Players – Colangelo has to be greater emphasis with each & every player retained and/or acquired that they make the necessary effort/commitment to guard their position and play good team defense as well.

When you look at the Raptor roster, we don’t have a lot of two way players. Calderon, Bargnani, and Turkolgu don’t play any defense, but get a lot of playing time.   Wright is a guy who only hurts your offense, same with Evans.  Amir Johnson can’t be trusted on getting points because he fouled way too often to be a regular.  Only Jack, Weems and Bosh could be consider effective two way players with significant playing time.  For this team to succeed, there have to be a better balance.

If Bosh is coming back, Colangelo would be smart to find a center who actually can help Bosh on the defensive end.  Dwight Howard scored only 5 points against the Bobcats last night, but he dominated the game on the defensive end.  Bargnani will never ever be that player, and he is a really bad fit with Bosh.  Now if Bosh leaves, then the Raptors still need to find a center who can rebound and play defense to play along with Bargnani.  So I would start from there first before worrying about getting a wing player.

Also, there have to be accountability, if a player isn’t playing working hard on defense then he is to be benched.  A tone has to be set by the coaching staff from the first practice to the first exhibition game.  If you don’t hustle or work hard, you are not playing.  Too often, the coaching staff is allowing players to play through shoddy defensive efforts and in the end it came back and hurt the team.

I am not sure what will happen in the offseason, speculating now seems pointless, so I will leave it at that.  There are plenty of good basketball games to watch right now, and too bad the Raptors aren’t in any of them.



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