I have always been honest in this blog. The chances for the Raptors extending their season took a major blow last night with the Bulls win over the Celtics. I will give you an advance look at the DNB's Playoff preview, don't think I am picking Boston to get out of round 1. No it is not out of bitter feelings for them losing last night. They just have been awful down the stretch of this season. The Bulls were able to out play them and beat them. The Celtics were trying hard and playing to win. They badly wanted to move up to 3rd if possible. That loss officially locks them into 4th spot in the East.
I feel that the Raptors will win tonight vs the Knicks. The problem is I don't feel the Bobcats will win over the Bulls. The simple fact of it all is, it should never have come down to this. However you care to paint it, the way this team has played post All-Star Break has been brutal. It has been so awful and a bunch of other adjectives. It should cause two things to happen. Chris Bosh to leave town and Jay Triano to be fired. The scary thing is the one that seems more likely is Bosh leaving town. We won't get an answer on that one officially till July 1st, unless someone breaks their silence on the issue. The other one should not take as long to know the answer. If injuries are used as an excuse to save Triano's job that is just not right. Injuries down the stretch of this season cost the Raptors 8th place, but does not explain away why we were battling for 8th in the first place. Sam Mitchell will no longer be on the books after this season and there is no excuse to keep Triano that for me that would be acceptable. At the end of the day when you are a coach your record should define you. The win/loss record of Jay Triano is not good enough. This team's lack of effort and lack of defense is concerning and disturbing. It is nothing personal at all. I like Jay and feel he has done a lot for basketball in this country as a player, broadcaster and coach. That being said, I never felt this job was a good fit for Jay and it has never worked out from day 1.
In terms of Bosh I hope that he is in house tonight to take a final bow if that is where we are going. He was not there on Sunday and given his injury I don't blame him at all. However if it is possible for him to be there tonight he should be. If he isn't that I will find personally disappointing. Chris has been a stand up guy in his 7 years here and I don't wish my last memory of him to be in a pool of blood in Cleveland. I also hope fans acknowledge him and cheer him too. He has earned it. There are a lot of debates about him and where he fits in the landscape of the NBA. However I think we can all agree on a couple things. The first that he is clearly the best player this Raptor team has and has had for a longtime. Also that he is a very good to great NBA Talent. Stay or go he will be a part of Raptors history for years to come with all the records he has accomplished. I still believe that when all is said and done #4 will hang in the rafters at the ACC someday, and it will be earned despite the fact this team has not been able to enjoy any great success in his era.
If the Raptors were to some how come out and lay an egg tonight vs the Knicks it could get very ugly very fast at the ACC. No amount of prizes they give away for Fanapolooza will stop the fans from booing. Raptor fans have been frustrated and humbled to the point of cheering for the Celtics last night. It has not been a pretty season for the fans. They have had to hear the endless speculation about Bosh leaving. Dealt with embarrassing efforts on defense far below what they deserve. Then to have Jose Calderon complain as to why they boo? I mean seriously what doesn't he get. Fans boo because they have seen what your doing and are not happy with it. If you bust your hump and play hard on both ends, I promise you they will cheer. Sonny Weems might be one of the most popular guys on this team right now. That is a big part of why he is. He brings effort on both ends, and people feel they are getting 100% from him. It also doesn't help when your back up clearly looks like he would do anything humanly possible to will his team to the post season. If one of the changes in this off-season is moving Calderon I would endorse it without even looking at the trade. I have grown tired of his song and dance. It has got old for me. He is no doubt a good guy. But he also is no doubt a horrible defender and he is not a leader in any sense of the word.
If this is the end for this season I want to thank all of you that have supported the Dino Nation Blog over this season. We keep things rolling 12 months of the year. So just because the games stop tonight, perhaps, does not mean we do. I am going to work on things to do over the summer to keep you entertained and informed so keep coming back during the off-season. It promises to be an important one for the future of this franchise. That may not be in a good way ether. I will get more into this when the Raptors fate is clearly defined. But make no mistake the work still marches on here at the Dino Nation Blog. I didn't even take a vacation last summer. If the Raptors had the work, hustle and effort of the people that cover them and the fans that cheer them they might be better for it.