An Open Letter To Raptor Fans

Posted on February 18, 2010 | 8 Comments

Just a short post this time. For once.

anti-depressant-neurotransmittersDear Raptor Fans,

Get some fucking medication!

It’s not the end of the world!

Sincerely,

Me

Yes, the Raptors lost a game they should have won. In fact, I, as well as I can only assume most others, thought that the Raptors had the game wrapped up. I had almost turned off the television when O.J. Mayo hit the three to bring Memphis within two. Maybe if I hadn’t, he wouldn’t have hit it. Who knows?

Anyway, the loss. After the game, I went to Raptors Republic to read their Roll Call, and couldn’t believe the vitriol from fans. Suddenly, Jose needed to be traded with Hedo, and Triano was the worst coach in the league. Sorry, but had Bosh hit that last second jumper in regulation, would these people still feel the same way? Probably not. Calderon played a fantastic game, almost single handedly brought the Raptors back in the second and was the only PG the Raptors had who could play a damn tonight, but all theses fans just point to how exposed he was on defense tonight. Sorry? I actually thought Calderon played one of his better defensive games of the season and was actually above average. But what these people are whining about is that he couldn’t guard and athletic freak six inches taller than him. No matter who the defender is, that’s called a mismatch for a reason. Rajon frickin’ Rondo would have a tough time stopping Gay, especially the way he was shooting.

Raptor fans, though, are always looking for someone to blame.

Triano, of course, didn’t escape their vitriol. One of the main complaints was that he subbed Turkoglu back in despite him playing poorly. Yes, he subbed a relative rookie out for the ten year veteran with the history of coming up big in the clutch and lots of big game experience. If Phil Jackson had done it, it would have been called an intelligent gamble. Triano does it and he’s an awful coach. And you know what? I’ve seen Phil Jackson, Gregg Popovich, Pat Riley, Chuck Daly and Jerry Sloan do the EXACT same thing. And I’ve seen it backfire. Sometimes that happens.

The other complaint against Triano was that he allowed Calderon to switch off to Gay, which obviously caused a mismatch Memphis exploited. The last time I saw this short a memory, I was swimming around my fishbowl in a former life! Apparently none of these complainers remember that the switching on defense strategy was one of the reasons the Raptors started turning things around in December. It’s worked well enough for them to go 22-11 since then, but an overtime loss against an offensively talented team, and suddenly it’s the worst strategy in the world.

The Raptors lost in overtime tonight, despite another great game by Bosh who is becoming above reproach, he’s playing so well. I find it funny that this happened on the trade deadline. I’m shocked there weren’t any calls to trade Bosh since he obviously won’t re-sign after tonight’s game.

PARTING THOUGHTS

Again, one last second shot goes down, and everything would be okay. And remember, this is the same Memphis team that beat the Lakers by two points a couple of weeks ago and amazingly, they decided not to dismantle the team before the deadline.

My next post is going to be about all the trades, as soon as I figure out where everyone landed.

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Comments

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  • Tom Liston

    Tim, I normally agree with you but the
    “One of the main complaints was that he subbed Turkoglu back in despite him playing poorly.”
    argument is quite valid.
    Watch the tape or the game log:
    http://www.nba.com/games/20100217/MEMTOR/gameinfo.html?ls=gt2hp0020900793#Q4
    See all the poor decisions Hedo made? There was also a skip pass (ill-advised) that was tipped and we were very lucky it wasn’t a turnover.

    Triano didn’t get his best defenders when it mattered.
    We needed to have Calderon (or Jack), Weems, Wright, Johnson and Bosh on the floor.

    As for “history of coming up big in the clutch”
    ? Hedo is not a proven clutch performer. He HAS hit a COUPLE of very “clutch” shots. But that’s because he takes a ton with the game on the line. And reality is he misses a lot. Much much more than others:
    http://www.82games.com/0809/CSORT6.HTM
    He shoots 35.7% in crunch time. Let’s see all the youtube videos where he missed – happens almost 2/3 of the time!
    Fans watch SportsCentre and see him hit a couple shots – when in reality game in and game out he misses a LOT.
    As per the improved D? The main reason is they have played weaker Offensive teams. Second reason is more PT for Weems.

  • sleepz

    ‘Apparently none of these complainers remember that the switching on defense strategy was one of the reasons the Raptors started turning things around in December.’

    Agreed that it was a tough loss but they happen so no need to think the sky is falling.

    That being said I completely disagree with your assesment of the switching strategy. Go look at the first 20 games of the year and you will clearly see that the issue with their defence was constant switching even with big’s vs. smalls(part of the protect the house philosophy). It created mismatches every where on the court and after a while you didn’t know as a player if you should switch or actually try and stay on your man after being screened.

    Once they had their ‘meeting’ and after Calderon got hurt they did less of this cause Jack was doing a better job of fighting through those screens and trying to stay in front of his man. The strategy wasn’t abandoned but their use of it changed. Their defence hasn’t been better because they have started switching more often, their defence has gotten better because they have been way more selective on when to use it.

    Unfortunately it still seems that most of the switching is done when Jose is on the court, not all mind you, but most.

  • http://www.wearingfilm.com Tim W.

    Hey, I’m not denying that Hedo played badly and if I was coaching, I probably wouldn’t have made that decision, but Triano went to the more veteran player during crunch time. Can’t argue with that. And while I’m well aware he does not shoot as well in crunch time as his reputation suggests, he does do other things that help the team win, most of the team.

    Hell, if Hedo had made a last second shot to win it, everyone would be talking about what a great coaching move it would have been.

    Just because it’s not a move you would make and just because it failed, doesn’t make it a bad move. It ended up being the wrong one, but as I’ve said, I’ve seen the exact same move by Hall of Fame coaches before and watched them backfire (and not).

    I just think that a lot of fans are overreacting WAY too much. Now on RR, they’re trying to lynch Calderon. The guy had a great game, but was caught in a mismatch at the end, and suddenly he needs to be dealt. When the Raptors were winning, everyone wanted to keep him to run the second unit. And keep in mind that Jack had an awful game last night so without Calderon, it doesn’t come down to overtime.

  • http://www.wearingfilm.com Tim W.

    Sleepz,

    The first 20 games there was switching going on, but it was a reaction, rather than a strategy, which is why it didn’t work. Triano and company realized this and decided to make it a strategy to switch, which would cause fewer late switches since the defenders would know beforehand what they were supposed to do. If you know you automatically switch, you can anticipate it.

    It’s one reason why I don’t put much blame on Triano, since he’s trying to come up with a strategy to deal with players who are not strong defenders. Most of the time it works. Last night it didn’t. If other teams start exploiting it, Triano will have to adjust it.

  • J

    You’re totally right in your assessment of Raptors fans. In fact, that’s why I’ve pretty much stopped going to RR. When even a 50-win team loses 32 times a year, that’s just way too much time to spend being miserable, and the Raptors aren’t a 50-win team.

  • http://www.wearingfilm.com Tim W.

    Ya, I’m starting to get fed up with some of the people there, as well. Either people seem WAY too connected with every little high and low, or they don’t seem to have any hope what-so-ever. I’m a big Raptor fan, but I don’t live and die with them. I’ve got a life and far too many other things to worry about to get worked up about every loss. It occurred to me that a lot of them are like Larry Brown. He was famous for going into the GM’s office one day and demanding to trade for a player one day and then demanding he be traded away the next. He’d be the perfect coach for Raptor fans, because they could relate to him.

  • Al

    Hi Tim, nice article, as usual.

    Think that people usually forget that teams play too many games in 5 months, they overreact a little too much.

    Or maybe is a new journalim style, dunno.

    I wonder what’d happen if some of them instead of Raptors fans they were Knicks fans … don’t know it their hearts could survive.

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