Posts Tagged ‘Sam Mitchell’

Bryan Colangelo, unplugged [Dec 08]

December 9, 2008

“The answer to the riddle is found in the original source material.”
khandor

As a Raptors fan, you need to Listen to the whole thing.

Of Scorpions, frogs, GM’s and coaches [April 30, 2008]

Nothing more and nothing less than THAT.

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GAME REVIEW: Raptors vs Blazers [Dec 07]

December 8, 2008

The Raptors main problem this season is not going to be solved by the unjustifiable firing of Sam Mitchell.

FINAL SCORE: Raptors 97, Balzers 98
Game Info

48 Rebounds for the Blazers … with 18 of those coming at the Offensive end.

31 Rebounds for the Raptors …  with only 4 Offensive Recaptures.

That is everything you really truly need to know about the way in which this game was lost, from the home team’s perspective.

Adding Jermaine O’Neal [and Nathan Jawai, C, out indefinitely with a heart condition] this summer, at a salary of $21 Million/per, was the wrong move for this team to make. Period.

Until the Raptors address the glaring deficiencies they have in their current roster, which include …

* No credible back-up PG [outside of Anthony Parker, who they refuse to play at this spot]

* No credible back-up C [outside of Jermaine O’Neal, of course, who they refuse to play at that spot … because of the $$$ they are paying him; and, possibly, Andrea Bargnani, who they also refuse to play at that spot … because he is the former No. 1 Selection from the 2006 NBA Draft]

* No credible back-up OG [outside of Jamario Moon, who they refuse to play at that spot … despite the fact he has improved his shooting noticably this season: [i] FGM-A/% = 42-90/46.7%; [ii] 3FGM-A/% = 12-33/36.4; [iii] LS-FGM-A/% 14-21/66.7% [LS = from outside the lane on the Left-hand side of the floor]; and, [iv] LS-3FGM-A/% = 6-9/66.7%]

related to the domino effect of that transaction, they are going to lose a slew of games like this, this season.

===============================

re: the Raptors’ Defense and Rebounding on the Blazers’ final two possessions

2nd Last Possession

* Parker did a solid job on Brandon Roy
* Chris Bosh did a solid job coming to help, providing a shot-blocking presence [he may have actually blocked the shot] in arears of AP [which was a necessary rotation given the move which Roy attempted to make]
* O’Neal did a solid job “Middling” LaMarcus Aldridge and Greg Oden, i.e. the two players he was responsible for defending in that specific situation
* Unfortunately the ball was tipped and ended up deflecting to Oden
* O’Neal recovered well and challenged the shot by Oden, forcing a miss
* Because of their initial defense on the drive by Roy, neither Parker nor Bosh were able to establish solid inside position, vs Roy & Aldridge, respectively, and the ball was tipped out to Fernadez on the perimeter [Joey Graham was in the key attempting to rebound as well]

Last Possession

* The error Jose Calderon made was not forcing Blake to penetrate inside the arc for the pull-up J … but, given the time & score and the way he contested that Final shot, the inidividual D he played was acceptable.

Steve Blake hit a tough shot, off the bounce [with the benefit of an offensive foul that wasn’t called, to give the Blazers the lead; but, the Raptors still had more than enough time left to win the game.

————

Unfortunately, the Raptors then ran an in-bounds play poorly and lost the game instead; something which happens every day/night, in the NBA.

Time to move on … because they are going to have their hands full in Cleveland. 😦

What is really going on here: Part II

December 5, 2008

Mandatory viewing for each and every Raptors fan …

[Dec 4 2008/post-practice]

Be sure to “listen” to the entire thing.

——————————————

According to this corner of the blogosphere …

Sam Mitchell hadn’t lost Chris Bosh …

[Dec 2 2008/post-game]

nor, Jose Calderon …

[Dec 2 2008/post-game]

nor, Jermaine O’Neal …

[Dec 2 2008/post-game]

… when he was fired by the Toronto Raptors [Wed Dec 3 2008].

This locker room was embarassed … by the lack of effort put forth against the Denver Nuggets … but, these three players had no desire whatsoever to see their head coach fired, 17 games into the 2008-2009 regular season, with a 8-9 W-L record … and the current roster of players. 

——————————————-

If anyone would care to explain the integrated Plan of Action they see in place with the Toronto Raptors, since Feb/2006, when the current President/GM was hired by MLSE, yours truly would be overjoyed to read about it in the comments section below … as, to these eyes, it does not seem as though there’s been one, when reviewing the following list of transactions:

2006
* Kris Humphries acquired in exchange for Hoffa Araujo
* Rasho Nesterovic acquired in exchange for Matt Bonner + Eric Williams
* Maurizio Gherardini [Assistant GM] is added 
* Marc Eversley [Manager of Basketball Operations] is added

2006-2007
* Mike James [UFA] is not re-signed
* TJ Ford acquired for Charlie Villanueva
* Andrea Bargnani drafted [1st Round/No. 1 Overall]
* PJ Tucker drafted [2nd Round]
* Anthony Parker signed [UFA]
* Jorge Garbajosa signed [UFA]
* Fred Jones signed [UFA]
* Darrick Martin signed [UFA]
* Dave Hopla [Shooting Coach] is added
* Juan Dixon is acquired in exchange for Fred Jones [Portland]
* Luke Jackson is signed [UFA]
* Luke Jackson is released
* Sam Mitchell receives a 4 year contract extension
* Dave Hopla leaves
* Jim Todd [Assistant Coach] leaves
* Masai Ujuri [Director of International Scouting] is added

2007-2008
* Morris Peterson [UFA] is not re-signed
* Jason Kapono is signed [UFA]
* Carlos Delfino is acquired in exchange for two future 2nd Round Draft Picks
* Maceo Baston is signed [UFA]
* Mike Evans [Assistant Coach] is added
* Mark Hughes [Assistant/Development Coach] is added
* Jamario Moon is signed [UFA]
* John Lucas [Assistant coach] is added
* Primoz Brezec [Detroit] is acquired in exchange for Juan Dixon
* Linton Johnson is signed [UFA]
* Linton Johnson is released

2008
* Darrick Martin is not re-signed
* Jermaine O’Neal is acquired in exchange for TJ Ford + Rasho Nesterovic + Maceo Baston + flip-flop of 2008 Draft Picks [i.e. Pacers get No. 17/Roy Hibbert;  Raptors get No. 41/Nathan Jawai]
* Carlos Delfino [UFA] is not re-signed
* Hassan Adams is signed [UFA]
* Will Solomon is signed [UFA]
* Roko Ukic is signed [former draft pick]
* Jorge Garbajosa is bought out [contract off the books for the 2009-2010 season]
* John Lucas leaves
* Gord Herbert [Assistant Coach] is added
* Sam Mitchell, head coach, is fired [Dec 3 2008]
* Jay Triano [former Assistant Coach] appointed interim Head Coach [Dec 3 2008]

Wait a second … what’s really going on here

December 4, 2008

What to make of the Raptors’ decision yesterday to relieve Sam Mitchell of his coaching duties?

———-

Well …

First.

This whole business that …

Sam Mitchell was somehow never Bryan Colangelo’s CHOICE to run the Raptors’ team …

* Smitch is Out, Bring Back the Cursing

… is completely false.

The simple FACTS are these:

1. Sam Mitchell was the Raptors’ head coach when Bryan Colangelo was hired as the Team’s GM [Feb 2006].
2. At the conclusion of the 2006-2007 season Sam Mitchell was voted the NBA COTY Award.
3. During the summer of 2007, Bryan Colangelo CHOSE to re-sign Sam Mitchell [to a multi-year contract worth millions of dollars] as HIS coach for the Toronto Raptors.
4. Approximately 18 months later, on Wednesday, Dec 03 2008, Bryan Colangelo relieved Sam Mitchell of his coaching duties with the Raptors.

———-

Second.

A list of sights and sounds observed, thus far, by yours truly, regarding the explanation of events provided by Bryan Colangelo:

Part A – From the individual Conference Calls of Bryan Colangelo and Jay Triano with the Toronto media on Wednesday afternoon

* Sam Mitchell was a good coach for the Raptors during his 5 seasons with the Raptors.
* Sam Mitchell is a highly intelligent basketball person, who understands the ins and the outs of the NBA game and was well-paid to coach the Toronto Raptors.
* There comes a time when a change is needed in the lead voice within a NBA team’s locker room.
* Sam Mitchell has always had a good relationship with the players he’s coached, who have always seemed to play hard for him, save for specific periods, so far, this season.
* The feeling still exists within the Raptors’ basketball brain-trust that this collection of 13 players is the “most talented” team put together yet by Bryan Colangelo.
* There’s an expectation that this team, as is, is under-performing.
* There’s an awareness that this team, as is, has a flawed roster.
* There’s a belief that this team, as is, has not been playing its best players enough.
* There’s a belief that certain players were not being put in specific situations offensively to maximize their abilities to help this team perform at a level which is consistent with its perceived talent-base.
* There’s a strong belief in the ability of Jose Calderon, as the PG for this team.
* There’s a belief that Jermaine O’Neal has shown, in a period of 5 or 6 games, so far this season, that he has what the Raptors’ basketball brain-trust was looking for when they traded for him this summer, i.e. 16 pts, 9-10 rebounds and 1-2 blocked shots per game.
* There’s a belief that this team should be “running” in offensive transition [and scoring] more consistently than it has been, to this point, this season.
* There’s a belief that the players on this team have a strong belief in one another.
* Jay Triano is the new coach for the Raptors, at least, until the end of the current season, at which time he will have an opportunity to be named the permanent head coach, along with any other candidates who might be available at that time.

Part B – From the Raptors’ Official Website

* The events of Wednesday do not coincide yet with the specifics of what this observer saw and listened to in the post-game interviews from Tuesday’s debacle vs the Nuggets:

I. re: Sam Mitchell II. re: Jermaine O’Neal III. re: Jose Calderon and IV. re: Bosh

“Cause, as you know, I played in the League. Mike Evans played in the League. Alex English played in the League. You know, at the end of the day, coach’s coach, but the players go play. You’ve got to out and compete every second you’re on the court.”
Sam Mitchell [former Head Coach, Toronto Raptors]

… which is most intriguing.

————

Third.

John Hollinger’s take on the situation … which has considerable merit.

———-

Fourth.

The exact timing of this decision yesterday [early Wednesday afternoon] … of all days, when there was a “players only” meeting scheduled for the morning, in place of a regular practice session between games, that followed the post-game “players only” meeting  … is a key to understanding, in part, some of what is still insidiously wrong/corrupt with MLSE, and the way in which this organization chooses to conduct its pro sports related business.

Trust that this corner will be seeing and listening intently over the next little while to the words and the quotes which come directly from the different parties involved in this decision, made abruptly yesterday … to decipher accurately what it means for this franchise, short and long term, going forward from here.

—–

To wit:

Analysis: Mitchell firing not a surprise
This team’s a lot better than an 8-9 record,” Colangelo said during a late afternoon teleconference. “Despite the criticism of this roster, this is a roster that was put together on a consensus basis…you might look back at last season, and the games, a series of games, where we underachieved. Expectations were high.”

—–

* Did that 2nd “players only” meeting happen Wednesday morning?
* Did it happen prior to this decision being made?
* Or, did that 2nd meeting not take place at all?
* If it did … Who exactly was running this team, at that moment, when Sam Mitchell was relieved of his coaching duties with the Raptors, from amongst this specific group of players?
* And, if it did … To whom is that person[s] reporting?
* What was really accomplished by making this move yesterday?

——————————–

When dealing with an entity like MLSE, and a most intelligent person, like Bryan Colangelo, know that it’s an elaborate Game of Chess … and, Every Move Must Have A Purpose.

Part of the fun, therein, lies … with trying to figure out what that purpose actually is.

Deciphering the correct code for the Raptors

December 3, 2008

FINAL SCORE: Raptors 93, Nuggets 132
Game Info

Jeez-louise … that one was ugly.

Three points to make.

1. The person responsible for the Raptors’ current situation is not Sam Mitchell, the team’s head coach … it is Bryan Colangelo, the team’s President/GM, who has made the decisions which have led this franchise dangerously close to “Treadmill Status” [right now], something that was relatively easy to see as a likely predicament for this group of players since this past summer, at least, for those who have not been drinking of the Kool-Aid from MLSE.

It’s not necessary to re-hash that long list again, is it?

[Let’s hope not. 🙂 ]

The 2nd-3rd week of December is approaching quickly, and the FACT IS … the man has a history of changing head coaches during this first part of the regular season, if/when there’s a need for a scapegoat to be found to explain the sorry plight of a team which he has been responsible for constructing in the first place.

Will he do it again this year?

Hmmm …

For the sake of the Raptors’ long term goal, which should be trying to eventually bring a NBA Championship to the City of Toronto, let’s hope not.

2. That said …

There are some individuals in this world who are positive thinkers … despite what certain others might have to say about them and their ideas, which can sometimes be complex and difficult to understand, especially at first glance … and incapable of ever accepting a No-win Situation, for what it appears to be, on the surface. These individuals, IN FACT, are properly characterized as out-of-the-box-thinkers who have learned the lessons well of Sun Tzu, and knowing both themselves and their opponent, at all times, are able to “Make chicken out of chicken salad”, on a regular basis, because it’s who they happen to be and what they happen to do in this world. Different strokes for different folks.

Finding THE WAY OUT for this year’s team is akin to the classic “trap scenario” involved with the single room, two doors [one which leads to eventual escape and salvation; the other which leads to death and damnation], two gate-keepers, one who always tells the truth and the other who always tells a lie; and, the single question which you, as the solo game player, must be able to ask correctly, of either gate-keeper, in order to choose the one RIGHT door, without knowing in advance which keeper is the truth-teller and which is the falsemaster.

i.e. All the pieces to the puzzle have been laid out in front of you already; what you have to do is decipher them correctly. Once the answer to the riddle has been told to you, it makes perfect sense. It is not earth-shaking, in any sense. It is simple “common” sense; which really isn’t common at all, at least, not until everyone IN FACT has it “in common” with each other, which unfortunately not all do in this topsy turvy world. Still, if you think it through carefully, there is nothing preventing you, or anyone else for that matter, from arriving at THE correct answer for yourself. One of the keys? “See” and “listen” very carefully, as “Looking” and “Hearing” alone, won’t get you very far. The answer to the riddle is always to be found in the original source material. Sorta like THE pudding and THE eating. 😉

When a team’s roster of players looks like this:

Calderon, Parker, Bargnani, Bosh, O’Neal
Ukic, Kapono, Moon, Graham, Humphries
Solomon, Adams, Jawai

a coach who is incapable of negotiating his way through the labyrinth correctly SHOULD NOT be held accountable for failing to be an out-of-the-box-thinker, in the first place …

as the simple FACT IS … relatively speaking, few men/women are, including the President/GM responsible for the operation of the Toronto Raptors.

3. There are some NBA observers who actually do know what they’re talking about when it comes to understanding, both, the League, in general, and the Raptors, specifically. If you wish to disregard what they have to say, on a regular basis, that’s your decision to make.

Complex, out-of-the-box-thinking is not everyone’s preferred method of operation.

Tough ‘talk’ … from a NBA coach’s perspective

November 14, 2008

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”Anonymous

————————————–

With the ‘taunting‘ that took place in the Raptors vs Celtics game, earlier this week, and the ‘skirmish‘ which then developed in the Rockets vs Suns ‘tussle’ … What qualifies as authentic Toughness, in the NBA today? … is a pertinent subject.

——————————————-

Mitchell’s tough talk
“We want to be tougher from the standpoint of playing tougher defence, but I don’t get into that toughness thing,” Mitchell said. “The NBA has rules and no one is going to let you physically beat anyone up, and you can’t get into a guys face and trash talk or wave your finger in a guy’s face,” he added, clearly taking a shot at the crew that officiated the game in Boston on Monday and let Kevin Garnett do just that without being penalized.

“For me that stuff doesn’t mean anything,” Mitchell said. “For me toughness is executing. Going to set picks when you are supposed to set picks. Make hard cuts. Run the floor. Those types of things. Being mentally tough for me is when the game comes to a grind, being able to execute. That other stuff is more for the cameras. You really want to find out who is tough? Meet me behind the arena or in a back alley where it’s just you and I. Then you find out who is tough and who is fake tough because the camera is on.”

——————————————-

Know that this space agrees 100% with the perspective of the Raptors’ head coach.

————-

Of particular interest, though, is the extent to which, the sentiments expressed by yours truly, sometimes, elsewhere in the blogosphere [in this case, yesterday] …

Sixers exact revenge as Wings waste Big 3 effort, Comment #119

… have a n almost magical way of preceding [by a day or two] echoing that which a real life NBA coach has to say on a specific matter.

==========================

The good people at RaptorsRepublic.com are off to a fine start with their new venture.

This corner of the net would simply encourage all Raptors fans, everywhere around the globe and beyond, to drop by and participate freely in the lively exchange of thoughts and ideas which happens there daily, concerning the fortunes of this franchise.

GAME REVIEW: Raptors vs Pistons [Nov 5]

November 6, 2008

In general, there are three strata of teams in the NBA each year:

High End – with a plus .549 [+] Win %
Middle – with a .450-.550 [0] Win %
Low End – with a minus .450 [-] Win %

When your team plays a game against a High End team, if all other numbers are relatively equal, your squad is going to come up short on the scoreboard, more often than not, if you lose the Battle of the Boards [i.e. the Rebounding Differential].

Asserting the Collective Will of your team over an opponent, in a specific game, is done most effectively by physically dominating them on the boards, i.e. when possession of the ball is actually up for grabs … as it is on ALL missed shot attempts … saying, in effect, to your individual & collective check,

“Uhn, ahh … that Rebound, right there, is mine, NOT yours; regardless what you might ‘think’; because I am stronger, better, tougher, smarter, etc., than you are … and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

At some point in the development of your team, if you are ever going to become a Legitimate Contender [i.e. a special sub-group within the High End category] for the NBA championship, you will NEED to consistently outperform THE OTHER HIGH END TEAMS IN THE NBA … not just the Middle-of-the-Pack and/or the Low End ones … in this decisive area of the game.

If not, your team is simply a Pretender, with no authentic chance of ever capturing the Larry O’Brien Trophy, regardless of what your GM, head coach, players, certain other NBA observers, and fans might think or say.

It’s a cold, harsh world, in the NBA.

“No Rebounds; No Rings.”Pat Riley

——————————————————–

FINAL SCORE: TORONTO 93, Detroit 100
Game Info

POSITIVES

 

Pos

mp

fgm-a

3fgm-a

ftm-a

+/-

OR

dr

tot

ast

pf

st

to

bs

ba

pts

ker

C.Bosh

F

44:34

11-24

0-2

4-5

-6

4

9

13

1

2

1

2

0

1

26

+23

J.Calderon

G

35:40

7-12

1-3

9-9

-3

0

4

4

8

1

0

1

0

1

24

+29

* 3FGM-A [%] vs Opp: TOR 6-15 [40.0], Det 3-12 [25.0]; TOR +9 Pts 

NEEDED AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT

 

Pos

mp

fgm-a

3fgm-a

ftm-a

+/-

OR

dr

tot

ast

pf

st

to

bs

ba

pts

ker

J.O’Neal

C

28:59

3-10

0-0

2-3

+3

0

3

3

0

3

0

3

1

0

8

-2

* Rebounding Differential: TOR 38, Det 43; TOR -5
* Assist:Turnover Differential vs Opponent: TOR +4 [15:11], Det +16 [21:5]; TOR -12  

KEY POSSESSION OUTCOME[S]

* Throughout the 2nd Q … when the Pistons turned a 3 point deficit [TOR 23, Det] into an 8 point lead, largely by abusing Andrea Bargnani [15 pts relinquished, in total, 9 of which were to Tayshaun Prince] and Jason Kapono [5 pts relinquished] defensively, both, in the half-court and in transition situations. 

* Throughout the 4th Q … when the Raptors gave up 3 crucial Offensive Rebounds which the Pistons cashed in for 7 points.

———————————–

Sam Mitchell Post-game Interview

[Hint – When you look at the videotape, Sam, you should be able to see for yourself that: I. Removing Joey Graham from the rotation last night, early in the 2nd quarter, and matching-up exclusively with Anthony Parker, Jason Kapono and Jamario Moon against the Pistons superior Wings [i.e. Prince, Rip, Afflalo & Herrmann] cost your team dearly (i) on the boards, (ii) in defensive transition, and (iii) in 1-on-1 defensive assignments, including isolations; and, that II. The major Defensive & Rebounding liabilities last night were (a) Il Mago, (b) J-Killa and, then, (c) Jamario Moon, at the #3-spot.]

———————————–

As has been suggested in this space before …

1. Acquiring Jermaine O’Neal at the expense of losing Rasho Nesterovic [their 2nd best rebounder last year] … plus, the No. 17 [overall] Draft Pick [2008], plus Carlos Delfino, plus Jorge Garbajosa … is NOT going to effectively address the Raptors’ on-going deficiency in Rebounding Differential; and,

2. Unless this organization takes the steps of (i) using Kris Humphries for more minutes per game, and (ii) re-configuring the primary roles of Jamario Moon [to the #2-spot, from #3 or #4] & Joey Graham [who should be getting more burn at the #3-spot … because a player like Tayshaun Prince is NOT physically capable of isolating against him by using multiple dribbles],

the Raptors are going to struggle mightily in their games this year against the High End teams in the NBA.

———————————–

As currently constituted, the Detroit Pistons are a Legitimate Contender to win the NBA title this season; the Toronto Raptors are not.

What a measuring stick measures

November 5, 2008

This corner of the blogosphere simply cannot say frequently enough just how much Sam Mitchell is liked and appreciated by yours truly.

Despite what he articulates in his public interviews … there should be no doubt whatsoever that HE knows full well the extent to which each and every game or practice for an NBA team is, in fact, a measuring stick of one sort or another … with the only distinction being what is being ‘measured’ that day, specifically, and by whom.

It is going to be most intriguing tonight to see exactly where the Raptors [3-0] stand, playing their 4th game of the regular season versus a Pistons team [3-0], now, permanently without Chauncey Billups [starting PG for the last 6 years] in their line-up and, either, with or without ‘The Answer’, in the mix for Detroit, a squad that has advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals for 6 consecutive years.

It should be another barn-burner at the ACC this evening!

—————————

FREE ADVICE: 
In-game, keep your eyes firmly fixed on (i) the ‘Rebounding Differential’, (ii) the Assist:Turnover Differentials, (iii) the FGM-A’s and %, (iv) the 3FGM-A’s and %, plus the FTM-A and %, as important measurements of team performance vs a Quality Opponent, in the NBA. 😉

Fore-warned is fore-armed

October 29, 2008

When a situation develops that sees two individuals, intimately connected through their work, with different perceptions about the circumstances they each find themselves in … then, that situation is best described as one without a solid long term prognosis for success, in a major way. 

===================================

This quote was ascribed to the Raptors’ Head Coach, Sam Mitchell, yesterday:

——————————————-

Raptors coach preaches “principles”
I’m pleased with the team that we have. Bryan has done a great job of giving me a good team. We have a great group of guys that work hard. What we may lack athletically, I think we have a chance to make it up basketball-wise. We have got some pretty good basketball players.

——————————————-

Which elicited the following response, from yours truly, on the new web site devoted exclusively to coverage of all-things-Raptors, RaptorsRepublic.com:

Free Advice
If you’re a bright and enterprising young sort, this ↑↑↑ is the type of delicious quotation that would make a terrific ’sig’ for your on-line activity this season, related to the goings-on in Raptorville.

What does the content of that specific quote mean?

Well …

If you know how to read between the lines, in this world, and can see what’s really there, beyond the mere letters on a page … then, you KNOW for a fact that Sam Mitchell played 13 years in the NBA – the best basketball League in the world – on the strength of marginal talent, which indicates, if nothing else, that the Man is a Survivor of the Highest Order, Charles Darwin style … and, reveals a level of intelligence & guile which puts to shame the vast majority of those who dare to criticize him, on a regular basis.

Re-read each of those individual sentences a second time.

* I’m pleased with the team that we have.
* Bryan has done a great job of giving me a good team.
* We have a great group of guys that work hard.
* What we may lack athletically, I think we have a chance to make it up basketball-wise.
* We have got some pretty good basketball players.

————————————–
Bryan’s done a “great” job?
This organization now has a “good” team.
These players are a “great group of guys”.
These players “work hard”.
These players “may” lack athleticism?
These players have a “chance” to make it up basketball-wise, Sam “thinks”.
These players are “pretty good”.
————————————–

Hmmmmmmm …

There’s an old saying which goes like this,

“Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face.”

IF you’re someone like the Raptors’ Head Coach, you don’t MAKE it THIS far, in Life, and in Hoops, without being a highly intelligent man … who knows the Right words to say, and the Right time to say them.

Wily … yessirree, like a Fox.

That’s Sam.

==================================

Then, today, the following column was authored by a different local scribe …

——————————————-

Be blissfully optimistic but beware
In the leadup to the NBA’s 14th season with a Toronto outpost, Bryan Colangelo, the Raptors president and GM, has repeatedly called his hoopsters “the best team we’ve had.”

That noise in the background as he spoke was the high-pitched screech of Sam Mitchell’s padded courtside lounger being replaced with a stiff-backed hotseat. Colangelo will tell you the outlook is brilliant, that the Raptors shored up their weaknesses in defence and rebounding with their off-season acquisition of Jermaine O’Neal; that along with Chris Bosh and Jose Calderon, an all-star forward and an all-star-calibre point guard, the Raptors will possess one of the best core trios in the East.

But as Mitchell was saying the other day: “I keep telling the guys, `Don’t come to the arena thinking Jose, C.B. and Jermaine are going to carry us. The other guys have got to step up. … We’re going to need that fourth and fifth guy. Who are those guys going to be on a nightly basis? I can’t tell you.”

In other words, Colangelo’s saying he’s put together a winner here. Mitchell’s saying, not in so many words: Hang on a minute, boss … I’ve got three reliable players, one of whom, O’Neal, is coming off four seasons of surgery-plagued misery and still wearing a knee brace. And those three guys are surrounded by an assortment of enigmas who may or may not come to play in tonight’s season opener in Philadelphia and beyond.

There are two ways to look at this team, indeed. We’ll excuse you for squinting to see the optimistic angle.

——————————————-

Hmmmmmmm …

Inevitably, what happens next, when a ‘glass half-full’ perspective meets head-on with a ‘glass half-empty’ one … is deleterious towards the health & long term stability of the subordinate, in that specific situation, usually, on account of a well-marked, “Failure to Communicate.”

——————————————-

——————————————-

It says in this corner that …

If things do go awry this season and this team does indeed go backwards … it will be because the GM, Bryan Colangelo, has assembled a group which is, both, short on High End players and on QUALITY DEPTH.

————————————–

Free Advice to Sam Mitchell …

Keep your wits about you, Sir, and heed the following words:

Kay: “Michael, why are the drapes open?”

The Godfather, Part II [1974]

which precede the scene shown here ↓ … at the 1:43 mark of this clip …

Now is not the time for you to fall asleep at the switch.

You don’t ask me why somebody play … I don’t ask you what you write … you don’t ask me why somebody play … understand that?

October 23, 2008

Courtesy of cuzoogle.comMatthew Stasyna and Sam Mitchell …

Pure Youtube Gold. 🙂

[PLEASE NOTE: For those who might be somewhat confused by the take from this corner … know that this little space in the blogosphere truly likes and respects the Toronto Raptors Head Coach. The only wish from here is that more NBA head coaches would be as straight-forward and direct, as Sam Mitchell is, when dealing with the media.]