Going to keep this open all day, so let's meet up in the comments. Meantime, here's some observations, links and suggestions to put in the stew, with the Raptors carrying a 2-5 (going on 2-8 at this rate, with LeBron coming into the ACC after the road swing is over) record:
1. Defensive FG percentage. Where all the problems start. They defend with all the passion and commitment of a frog on the dissection table. A little chart, noting their opponents' overall FG percentage, and what they shot against the Raptors (for the first five games, I've used 05-06 final percentages because of lack of data):
|AP FILE PHOTO|
|Mr. Parker, you got next.|
Game......Opp FG%..Game %
That's but one team they've held significantly under their established norm (that was last night, when the headache du jour showed up at the other end. They were flat outcoached by Warriors' Don Nelson, using a sagging zone to cover up his team's interior problems, and the Raptors took the bait and turned into a bunch of chuckers - not to pick on Fred Jones, because there's plenty of trouble to go around, but isn't this guy's game supposed to be all about slash 'n burn?).
But getting back to the original point, isn't team defence all about coaching?
2. Andrea Bargnani. Surely there's some out-of-work former top-drawer NBA interior defender who wants to coach in this league and has shown a lot of promise (hello, is Mr. Laimbeer in?) they can bring in to school the kid. Bargnani can shoot - we know that - and he's going to be fine, I reckon. But he's clueless defensively and that's one reason why he's not getting more minutes.
3. The 12-man rotation. We've seen this too many times already. Coaching by guesswork.
4. A snapshot. End of first half in Sacramento, inbounds play out of a timeout, shot clock off. Result: No movement, one weak, did-nothing screen (Peterson on Shareef; Garbajosa wasn't on the floor, would've been a perfect time to pick him up by putting him in and do something simple like set a good pick) and after 13 1/2 seconds, a 27-footer from Morris Peterson. No ideas = no execution = toss pen up in the air.
5. Over/under on Kobe. Friday's next, in L.A. First time to see Mamba since 81 last January. Paging Anthony Parker . . .
6. It's not all bad. The numbers guys at 82games.com confirm what the eyeballing suggests: Bosh, Parker and Calderon are playing positively - Bosh, in particular, evolving from best player to heart 'n soul, Parker showing a little more each night out and Calderon making a strong case for more p.t.