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News » Raptors ruled by flaws


Raptors ruled by flaws


Raptors ruled by flaws
During the fourth quarter of Saturday's sobering setback in Portland, an observer asked why the Toronto Raptors weren't double-teaming Brandon Roy.

Roy was torching the Raptors' porous perimeter, scoring 18 of his game-high 32 points in the fateful fourth, a 12-minute span that vaulted the Blazers to a 102-89 win.

The best way to get the ball out of a player's hands is to bring over an extra defender. In theory, it makes sense but this season, little has made sense for the Raptors.

Jay Triano wants his team to crowd the key and force a foe to heave outside jumpers.

However, Toronto is defensively challenged and its wing players aren't the most athletic. When you're limited in what you can do, a player of Roy's ability will make shots and take control.

A night earlier in Sacramento, John Salmons was able to get off any shot he wanted, only this time he produced few baskets.

Tonight's challenge against the Golden State Warriors will be equally tough, given the presence of Jamal Crawford and Stephen Jackson, two wings who will put plenty of pressure on Toronto's defenders.

Triano must make the most of a situation. He can't change his philosophy, even if others might think he should. The Raptors have too many shortcomings.

Triano has adjusted on the fly, drawing up plays during timeouts that have led to baskets or at least given shooters a good look at the hoop.

There are moments when the Raptors play defence the way Triano wants, when players are communicating, forcing guys baseline and coming with help.

But there are nights such as Saturday when good players on good teams dominate.

Toronto's need is obvious.

More than athletic players who attack the basket and don't get torched on the perimeter, the Raptors need players with a higher Basketball IQ and who possess more mental and physical toughness.

Triano isn't the problem, but he is only part of the solution.

When Sam Mitchell was dismissed, the Raptors were one game under .500. They enter tonight's late-night tip against the Warriors at six games under .500.

Given what he has, Triano has to adhere to his philosophy and deal with the consequences and the criticism.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 30, 2008

 

 
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