Two solitudes in Raptorland

When a local beat writer the quality of Dave Feschuk includes this type of straight-forward ‘observation’ in his article about the current state of this year’s Raptors’ team … with 1 game left in the 2007-2008 regular season and a looming 1st Round playoff series vs the Orlando Magic … it does not come out of nowhere:

If you’re just tuning the Raptors in . . .
Sam Mitchell, the Toronto coach, calls the 41-win regular season “unbelievable,” in a good way. Bryan Colangelo, the GM, calls it disappointing, in the six-wins-fewer-than-last-year way. The coach implies he has maximized a flawed roster. The GM, seeming convinced the Raptors haven’t made the most of the assembled talent, presumably calculates the buyout on the coach’s contract, currently $9.5 million (U.S.) and perhaps thinks, “Wait ’til next year.”

Should Sam Mitchell want to keep his job as Raptors’ head coach his team best do two things between now and Advent (which begins annually the first week of December):

1) Get past the Magic in the 1st Round of the 2007-2008 Playoffs;

2) Be above the .500 mark in the first 20 games of the 2008-2009 regular season schedule;

… as ‘the writing’ is already beginning to appear on the wall that his tenure with the Raptors might not extend beyond that point … which, interestingly, coincides with the approximate date by which the rookie contract of the team’s No. 1 Overall Selection from the 2006 NBA Draft will need to be extended, in all likelihood, should he remain ‘the Apple of the GM’s eye’ in Toronto, as a long term project for the Raptors and a Center-piece for their team’s future development.


Q1. How important is the series between Toronto & Orlando?

A1. Plenty.

(at least, if you’re Sam Mitchell, and you understand Bryan Colangelo’s M.O., i.e. Tic toc, tic toc, tic toc …

Since the start of the 2006-2007 season, in Toronto, there has been a stark contrast between how the GM and the Head Coach ‘see the NBA game’, in terms of Offense, Defense & Rebounding, and how the Raptors use their player personnel – e.g. the abandonment of the ‘100 Shots Per Game‘ philosophy; the flip-flop between (i) Nesterovic & Bargnani (C), and (ii) Calderon & Ford (PG), as Starters; the sporadic use of Jason Kapono (last summer’s primary Free Agent signee) & Kris Humphries (who was also given a contract extension last summer). 

If the Raptors are going to continue to improve they will need to be on the same page moving forward.

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2 Responses to “Two solitudes in Raptorland”

  1. Two solitudes in Raptorland | General | Sports Blogging-Wordpress and our take on the G’s-gambling, gaming, girls, guys, governments, golf and more Says:

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  2. Of scorpions, frogs, GMs & coaches « Khandor’s Sports Blog Says:

    […] Two solitudes in Raptorland Should Sam Mitchell want to keep his job as Raptors’ head coach his team best do two things between now and Advent (which begins annually the first week of December): […]

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