Saturday, November 10, 2007

More on last night

Funny how quickly things change. Bargnani is back to the bench while Rasho starts, and A.P. has his best game of the season. Make no mistake that this move was not made as a reflection of the play of Bargnani so far, although to be honest he has not been consistent, but more a move to open up room on the court. That is the problem with 4 shooters on the floor at once...not enough room to operate. Parkers 20 plus points last night shows that the change did help someone out.

That being said, the Raps still did not get off to a hot start last night, but that is ok. Unlike the Bucks/Magic game when the shots early in the game looked forced and missed, the shots last night early were solid shots that just didn't fall. Obviously the Raps winning the game help's but everything back into rosey colors. Last night was a step back in the right direction, and made the previous three games just look like a bad stretch instead of a season long problem.

Jamerio Moon last night by the way...WOW. He got the minutes as a coaching decision to match up with Phillys athletism and he made the most of his chance. I wonder if we are going to see him dressed in street clothes again anytime soon after last night. If he does get another chance in the rotation, it's Hump and Garbo that will be effected. Mitchell and his staff has starting the season strong, making a lot of the right decisions. The only thing I take issue with is the handling of Garbo. Last night they might have wanted more athletic guys, but I think Garbo needs to bigger spot in the rotation. The reality though is that at the end of the day, the Raptors are so deep that not everyone is going to get the type of spot they might be qualified for, and Moon brings something different to the table (athletism) which could give him more minutes and someone else less time.

In a world of short attention spans and spoiled attitude, it's easy to jump on the Raptors for this slow start. But one thing that must be remembered is that this is a long season. We have 76 more games to go. Remember last year when the Suns and the Mavs got off to a 0-4 start? Remember how everyone thought that Amare coming back had ruin the chemistry and how the Mavs lost all it's confidence losing to the Heat in the finals. Well both teams ended up doing pretty good by the end of the season. And that's why Sam Mitchell is the man. He understands it's a long process. If a player is struggling, you just don't yank the guy and put him at the end of the bench. Not only does that ruin his confidence, but also gives his teammates something to worry about if they make one mistake on the court. Mtchell knew that the Boston game was not the best the Raps can play, but he was patient. He knew that the Raps were horrible against the Bucks, but he was patient. The Raps again did not perform against the Magic, and now with 3 games to base his decisions on, he made a move. That is smart coaching. You don't make long term decisions based on one or two possessions.

Unfortunetly for the Raps, the rest of the league has gotten better. If they had this schedule last year, this would have been the easy stretch with Boston/Milwaukee/Orlando/Philly. But now they went 1-3 and they have a tough one tonight against the Bulls and then a tough one against the Jazz on Wednesday. It's not going to be easy this season.

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