- PG: Jarrett Jack
- SG: Demar DeRozan
- SF: Sonny Weems
- PF: Amir Johnson
- C: Andrea Bargnani
Many may not agree with this. I also doubt this is what we see on opening night. However, this is what the starting line-up should be. In part, because with the exception of Sonny, the Raptors have long team commitments to all of these players. I would expect after this season the same will be true for Mr. Weems. This is an athletic line-up as well. In addition, to me, playing the Young Guns as a unit makes a lot of sense. Jose Calderon in a second unit with Barbosa also makes sense. We all know by now that Jose can not defend his position right? So Barbosa can guard the quick guards that Jose can not stay in front of. Kleiza can be a bigger scoring option in a second unit as well. Ultimately Andrea Bargnani should be playing at the 4. But unless Erick Dampier or some journey man center comes along that is not happening. You could also shift Kleiza to the 4 and give Wright some minutes at the 3 spot if he deems worthy of them. Also he can play at the 3 once Ed Davis is healthy and worthy of minutes. Which being a first round pick he will get unless he is a complete bust. All this talk of what Kleiza did at the World Championships is nice, but this is not that and he is not an NBA starter to me. Besides if you watched Summer League at all, it was really amazing to see what Demar and Sonny were doing on the floor together as a duo. It would be foolish to break that up.
CB4 Is Dead Let Him Rest In Peace
I am very tired of the Raptors constant attempts to spin the whole Bosh leaving thing in their favour. This talk of what kind of a leader Chris Bosh was or wasn't from Jay Triano serves no purpose. I say this with all due respect, Jay has enough to worry about without fighting a losing PR battle. This is also a double edged sword if you think about. So if everyone knew this about Chris, then why was a true leader not brought into this team? J.O is not one if they are going to try to sell that. The fact they traded him in less than a season says all you need to know about that. Jarrett Jack can be a leader but with his best friend? No not so much. In addition the fact as much of a leader as he can be, Jack has less playoff experience then Bosh. He has never made the playoffs. Where was Chris Bosh's Charles Oakley? A guy that had the respect to lead without being the man.
Also this talk about the offence is now some how better without Bosh in it makes me laugh. At least that is what is being implied. The point was made (by Triano) about when Bosh took jumpers that was one of the weakest plays for the Raptors. Which is factual, but what is also fact is the reason for that is because your # 1 pick out of position center can't rebound. The Raptors can choose to downplay their former star all they like. However the proof is in the Raptor record book. Bosh owns a lot of the records in that book.
Are the Raptors happy about how he left them and bolted for Miami? Obviously not. I am not happy about it and the way he left did not reflect the guy that was here for 7 years. All of that being said if fans want to hate on the guy that is their deal and they are entitled to do so. In doing these things to devalue Bosh's Legacy in Toronto the Raptors are making a mistake. How on earth will you ever get a star player to stay when the last 2 star players you have had, you threw garbage on as soon as they were out the door. Is there a lot of stuff on both sides of this we don't know. Sure there is. Chris Bosh could be a class A jerk in how he treated the organization when he left. It doesn't matter you don't say anything. Bryan Colangelo knows how to do that. He did it with Hedo Turkoglu who didn't deserve it. Colangelo has had less toxic things to say about him than Bosh.
I will make one last point about this. Both Vince Carter and Chris Bosh ultimately left for the same reason. No it isn't that they hate Toronto or Canada. It is the failure of this organization to produce on the management side of things. As the franchise players do Carter and Bosh own some of the blame for why their teams failed. Yes they do, but ultimately when you look at it from their prospective it is hard to blame them. Vince Carter had seen a number of coaches and G.M's come and go in his time here. He grew frustrated and said enough is enough. He literally quit on the Raptors. However his ultimate point that pushed him over the edge was the hiring of Rob Babcock. Guess what V.C wasn't wrong about him. Babcock was awful and the fact Vince Carter was able to force him into a trade ironically proved his point.
Bosh has also seen his share of coaches and management changes. He endured Colangelo makeovers year after year. Was he suppose to stay and wait for re-build number 4? Bosh also made a very valid point that you as Raptor fans should all embrace. The fact that in his time here the Raptors never were a tax team. Bosh feels that you must be that to be a championship team. I agree with him. It is not like MLSE can not afford the tax right? If the NHL was run under the NBA system does anyone doubt that the Maple Leafs would be a tax team? Factor all of this with a once in a lifetime chance to play with 2 top 5 players in the league on you team. Hell in some senses he would have been insane not to go. I think I would seriously question his desire to win championships if he stayed.
Speaking of championships what ever happened to that? Now this is a franchise that would be thrilled to be 7th or 8th in the East? That sounds like the hockey team not the basketball team. I understand that the Raptors got to go out there and say they can make the playoffs. However the chances of that happening are pretty bleak. Colangelo was brought here to make Toronto a contender not the warm-up match for the Magic, Celtics or Heat. Not to mention what exactly is his future? If he is not staying for the long term, is this who we want running the show heading into an uncertain future for the Raptors, and the NBA for that matter with a new CBA on the way. I think Colangelo is a professional and will do right by the franchise. That being said he felt he was doing right by the franchise drafting Bargnani, Signing Jermaine O'Neal and Hedo Turkoglu. Not to mention re-signing Jose Calderon to his awful contract.
Bottom line is that CB4 is dead and everyone in the Raptors Organization should leave it that way. It serves no purpose to slag this guy for the franchise and does nothing good for it's reputation. Sure people in the media are going to ask the questions. That being said there is no law that I am aware of that they have to answer them. If they are asked something about Chris say something like, I really enjoyed his performance on Entourage.
So It WAS LEO!!!
A little note that Canada Basketball likely didn't want you to know. Seems Leandro Barbosa confirmed something that many speculated to be true in fact is true. He said, that if not for the firing of Jay Triano from Canada Basketball, that Nash would still be playing for Canada. Would he lie about this? What possible reason would Barbosa have to do so. Jay Triano can say to Canada Basketball how you like my gold medal from the World Championships. Well he could if coaches got medals which I am pretty sure they don't. After an 0-5 performance at the Worlds for Canada this latest revelation is likely not what they needed. But as much as I support the program and the players that make up the program, this is something the people in upper management of the program that fired Jay brought on itself. Note to Canada Basketball, if the Raptors season goes as bad as some are predicting it to be....Jay Triano might be available.
Trying this Chat thing again tomorrow at 4pm (Eastern). I will be there for sure this week. We can talk all the Raptors and NBA you like and we will try to build a tradition with this Thursday Chat.