I was going to wait till tomorrow to write on this debacle in Atlanta. I actually liveblogged this mess for the The Score. Check it out and see some of the comments that were rolling in. I can not recall a time in the 15 years this team has been around that I have felt so embarrassed to be a Raptor fan. I did not give up a single point in the ATL last night. However just to say this is my team made it feel humiliating. Jarrett Jack summed it up best in his post game comments.
Jarrett Jack-“Anytime a team scores 140 points on you, you can’t say we did anything right on defence. We should be embarrassed. Everybody should be embarrassed."
He went on to say more and if you have not heard what he said in total you really need to go check it out. It was a refreshing honest and uncensored take on this Raptors team. I give Jack credit for being man enough to admit that this team sucked. There are some guys on this team that are always talking about things and that is about all. Chris Bosh has said that he is sick of talking about it. He in less stronger terms said many of the things Jack said. He even went as far as to say that people got to care suggesting that some do not? You wouldn't blame him for feeling that way after all where was anyone to have his back vs the Celtics. Bosh himself had his worst night of the season recording 3 fouls and no points in the first half.
This really has got to a point that if something doesn't happen soon the Raptors are going to lose far more than a season. It seems clear that Chris Bosh may be on is way out if things do not change. I honestly can't say that I would blame him. For those who see a brighter post Bosh future for the Raps I really have no clue to what you are thinking. Bargnani is inconsistent on offense and non-existent on defense. I also am unconvinced that he would be able to handle the pressure that would shift to him should Bosh be gone. Hedo is to this point a 53 million dollar mistake. Otis Smith his Ex-GM said that Portland would be thankful they did not end up signing him. Boy has Otis looked like a genius with that comment. Jose Calderon along with proving he is one of the worst defenders at point guard in the entire league has also never show any kind of qualities of a leader. Jose always says all the right things but in the end it is more talk than it is action. The closest thing this team may have to a leader in the post Bosh era might be Jarrett Jack. But he is far from a franchise player. Demar DeRozan may one day be that next one but he has a long way to go.
Honestly to talk about the game itself would be pointless. The Coles Notes version is the Raptors defense was a joke and the effort they put in as a unit was just as bad. As Jarrett Jack also said in his post game comments you give up 75 points in the first half you are not going to win games in this league. When you get toasted for 75 and have Mike Bibby shot back to back 3's to start the second half doesn't that say it all?
You have to wonder when this starts to fall on Jay Triano. I have always been not convinced that he could lead this team. Not because he is not a smart basketball mind and is in fact a good coach. I have always been concerned that the core of this team all have seen Jay as an assistant and not has the head coach. It would only be human nature to still not think of him in the same way as you would a head coach who came from somewhere else. Bryan Colangelo fatal line last year was saying this was the best team ever on paper. In the case of Jay Triano that house line and the constant talk of getting better on defense will be his. It is always tricky for folks because with Jay being Canadian, I think all of us really want him to succeed. However Sam Mitchell was fired for a start that was I would venture to say not as bad as the one this season. How different was this loss from last night to the one that Sam lost in Denver? Will Jay get fired tomorrow? It would be highly unlikely. However has it reached the point where you can make a case he does not belong in the position? Sad to say his win/loss record screams yes.
Even I feel like I have let readers down in some way. I mean this team I really thought would be greatly improved. It is not like I was alone in that. However I feel bad in a sense for building up people's hopes. If this team some how digs out of this and turns it around I will be thrilled. However as loss after loss add up and that range from disappointing to humiliating it is hard to imagine this team being able to turn this around.
I think what I find the most disheartening at end of all of this, is the end of road for CB4 that will follow if this team does not turn it around. I have truly loved watching this guy grow to what he has become. I grow tired of reading on a daily basis what he isn't. What he is and has been is a lot better than people are willing to admit. I have said it all along that people will see when he is gone. If he is gone that will mean this team starting off from square one with no true superstar and as I said earlier no one even close to one.
I think a lot of Raptor fans are beyond frustrated and really have reached a point of enough is enough. I am not sure what the answers are to fix this thing. There is clearly an appetite for change in the fan base. Honestly there has to be some if this team has any hope of saving this season from falling into the abyss. You know things are bad when Raps fans openly half joking, half seriously say they can see the Raptors losing to the now record setting 0-18 New Jersey Nets. The Raps play them on the 18th and if they were to lose much like the loss to OKC last year that would be the white flag for many for this season.
This is a low point for me as a Raptor fan for 15 years, It is a low point in writing this blog everyday. It is just painful and disappointing on so many levels I can not even explain it fully. I truly love the sport of basketball and have grown to love this franchise over the past 15 years. However this is just getting to be painful. I mean it reminds me of the famous Charlie Brown bit in the Peanuts Cartoon. Every time Charlie would go to kick the football and each time Lucy would pull it away. Eventually you would think Charlie would have just stopped trying to kick that ball but he never did. I feel like him every time thinking this will be the year the Raptors get it right and every year getting total frustrated that they do not.
This is a terrible night to have a career high but Demar DeRozan did and I still am hopefully he will be good as time goes on. The fact people are already saying we could have drafted Brandon Jennings and already starting to hang that on Demar is frustrating.
Some how and some way I must shake off this feeling. Some how the Raptors must do the same. I think while the sky is falling so to speak it is important to remember that everyone is in the same boat. No one is happy about what is going on...Not you...not me and not anyone associated with this team. But the frustrating thing of being a fan or just covering the team is you ultimately are just an observer to it all. Last night was hard to watch and endure.
I had just a numb feeling for a few hours after this game and now sit banging on keys at an hour so late it is not worth mentioning. If you care about this team you are truly hurting right now and who could blame you? Not me because I share in that pain. I am begging anyone to step up and make it go away.