Knicks Are On Right Path
No more Thomas and a clear direction, and play in New York, has lead to a thing that had been long lost for Knick fans.... HOPE and it has nothing to do with Obama. I questioned if Mike D'Antoni could bring his system to New York and make it work. Well so far so good and the Knicks are doing a solid job leaving the Thomas Era in the rear view mirror. Donnie Walsh was able to unload more of the bad of Thomas yesterday and brings back a solid guy in Chris Wilcox. He was going to be a Hornet but winds up a Knick. Even if they do not get that Lebron James guy in 2010 the Knicks are heading in right direction regardless of that. The days of Knicks getting attention because of Spike Lee and short guy stealing dunk contests are coming to an end. Nate can take his little green ball and dribble it on the bench or elsewhere cause change is coming to the Knicks and his little side show is no longer required. Spike Lee can stay because for a fan to have stayed loyal through all of this he deserves too.
In fact Knick fans are almost like Leaf fans in thinking the team has done to well this season. In that race for 8th of teams that are clearly flawed why not the New York Knicks? It sure seems a lot more realistic to me than the Raptors. If the Raptors want to change my mind, if that is possible at this point, it would take a convincing sweep of the Knicks to even make me consider. Chris Bosh is coming back for this series and even he understands that the slim hope the Raptors still hold for playoffs requires him to be out there. That is why I stick behind Chris Bosh while everyone is trying to run the guy out of town. I have had many conversations about Bosh with folks. Some think he can't be a player that can be a franchise guy. They are convinced he is leaving in 2010. I have been of the opinion that he has been loyal to this franchise he has busted his butt and given a lot to this team through tough times. I respect that. So if that means I have to be the last one on this train so be it. I was last one off the T.J Ford train and many out there said Jose would replace T.J it would be easy for him and he was going to be an all star. How is that working out for you? Not so hot right? I find it funny that so many folks have shifted over to my side of things. I was the guy saying all this last year. So forgive me if I don't welcome you all with open arms. But the addition of Shawn Marion will force Jose to become more aggressive on offense. If it doesn't really what is the point of all this talk of running. He even said he needed to improve his defense. The newsflash will be if he actually can.
Bosh meet the NYC Media
It will be interesting to see how Bosh handles the 2010 question that you know will come from the New York media win or lose. I would be shocked if Bosh did anything but what he has done all along which is take the high road on the issue. I know this Raptors media relations Guy Jim LaBumbard won't have him sitting behind a Knick back drop like Lebron did earlier in the year. Leave that for someone to photo shop it. The reality of an image like that is not a good thing. This will be the first meeting between the Knicks and Raptors as crazy as that seems at this point in the season.
Bosh and Marion Combo
It will be interesting to see if Bosh and Marion can have a better on court relationship than that of Bosh and O'Neal. The bar is pretty low in that regard. It just never seemed to gel with O'Neal and Bosh. It felt like an arranged marriage that both parties tried to make work but just could not. Marion may offer a better option for Bosh. However it is likely all for not. The chances this is anything but a spring fling are great indeed. I am not convinced that Marion will remain in Toronto beyond April 15th. However if some kind of amazing duo were to emerge from all of this it would be something that Raptors would have to consider. The question really is ultimately is would Marion? Seems highly doubtful and I don't think the Raptors can afford to over pay for Shawn Marion.
But let's not put the cart before the horse and see what we have with this combination. I did like that Marion was talking about the lack of communication on defense. That is something that the Raptors need to improve on. Talking on defense and making that talk result in action. Marcus Banks wants to be useful on this team and get minutes all he needs to do is play defense. That would be something this Raptor team could use badly. It is no secret that Jose Calderon is not getting it done. Roko Ukic could turn into a decent to good defender. In between that time there is a role that Will Solomon was suppose to fill that is open for Banks. Solomon was suppose to be a guy that could play some defense and score the basketball. He did little of that here. Good luck to the Kings with him doing it for them. Patrick O'Bryant comes to the Raptors and he is another 7 footer. He feel out of favour in Golden State and spent time in Bakersfield with the Jam of the D-League. He signed with Boston and has had little time on the floor with them. He will be another option the Raptors can try to use in the front court. Play defense, rebound and know your role and it might work out for O'Bryant. But let's be clear I am not holding my breath.
Jay Triano Is Doing A Good Job?
I have heard this said by a number of folks that I respect and I am confused. What has Jay done that has been so great? I mean no offense by that truly. I wanted Jay to be successful just as much as anyone. Bryan Colangelo has been full of praise for his choice to take over for Sam Mitchell. So what has he done other than shown us that Joey Graham is a capable player when nothing is on the line. He is given credit for Bargnani and his improvement. However is that not more a product of the work he put in during the off-season? He has been better but has shown slippage of late. Maybe I am just not as advanced as these people to see it. However to me it just seem that it is more of the same and refs not making calls is not the problem with all due respect. The problem is that Jay Triano is not a new voice. There is nothing he can do about that. However I think this team needs a new voice in the room. I think they need it in a coach and on the roster as well. The Raptors need someone to shake this whole thing up. Mitchell pushed this team and demanded more. Not saying that firing Sam was wrong. I think that he was still pushing but no one was listening anymore and that is a death sentence for a coach. However it was the right message. This Raptor team needs some tough love. It is clear they have been to willing to accept defeat and make excuses as a group. I am not pointing the finger at any individual for that but it seems clear to me. Give me an Eddie Jordan that did the impossible with a team that suffered injuries and battled through and until this season Jordan was able to make it work some how.
Sam Mitchell never let this team use injuries as an excuse and I think Eddie Jordan is of that same school. He may not be the favourite pick for many for this job. In fact he may not be on many lists out there. However he is at the top of mine. I would have Jeff Van Gundy in the mix as well but for now I think he enjoys his role on T.V. Jay Triano may in fact have the skill and ability to be an NBA head coach. I just have a hard time thinking it can be here with the Raptors unless you do a total house cleaning. I guess that is possible. But if the core remains Jay has to go in my opinion.