Some quick fixes and some TV scheduling news
So I think that chat thing went pretty well yesterday afternoon, no?
|STEVE RUSSELL/TORONTO STAR|
|What killed the Raptors this year? Part of it was Jose doing this too much in a suit. How do they fix it? Read on.|
Sorry we couldn’t get to every question – my guy did an excellent job going through them though. Was a bit weird for me since I didn’t have my usual access to the comments – I was a “panelist” – but almost every topic got covered.
Figure we should do another one? Maybe before the lottery? Or after?
Send along notes – you have a lot of different ways to reach me – and we’ll get it all worked out.
Far be it from me to give Bryan Colangelo any advice (oh, wait, that’s exactly what this space is for, no?) but here’s my Fave Five Ways To Fix It:
Upgrade The Wings
Okay, so there are two ways to go here.
The first is to re-sign Marion at a good number (I’d say between $5-$7 million a season on a three, maybe four-year deal), use as much of the mid-level exception as he can to acquire a two-guard.
The second is to sign-and-trade Marion for a two-guard or small forward and use some mid-level money to fill the other role.
Get Jose Some Help
I swear I said this out loud on the train coming back from Ottawa last October: They better get some trainer to go live with Jose because if he gets hurt, they’re dead.
Seems I was right and even though I expect Roko Ukic to come back better, I still think up-grading the backup point guard spot is huge.
How? Easy. Re-sign Anthony Parker to fill that role.
Depth On The Wings
Now, I love Jason Kapono as a guy. Funny, irreverent, can hit a gentle draw with a 4-iron like few Raptors ever could (actually, that’s just what I’m told, maybe he hits it off the hozzle every time). But I’m not sure this is the right, um, fit for him.
So if I’m Bryan, I find a taker out there on the market; it might mean taking back an extra year of salary but it’s probably best for everyone.
And the sooner the better so Jason doesn’t have to carry his cellphone on the course all summer.
Bring Back Delfino
I know his stature has grown disproportionately since he’s been in Russia – I swear people have such short memories, it’s hilarious – but he’s versatile, can hit a three and he can take Joey’s place because, as much as it pains me to say, I think Mr. Graham has to move on.
Cull The Bigs
There’s no way, on a 13- or 14-man roster (and finances will likely dictate that again), that the Raptors can have Kris Humphries, Nate Jawai, Patrick O’Bryant and Pops Mensah-Bonsu all on the bench. It’s simply too many bodies for too few roles. It really doesn’t matter to me who they keep but they cannot keep them all.
Now, you’ll notice I haven’t once mentioned that Bosh fellow.
It’s easy. He’s not going anywhere, he shouldn’t be going anywhere and he should remain the foundation. You can’t convince me that trading away by far the best player on the team makes any sense whatsoever.
Ask yourself this:
What’s the absolute best case scenario?
He comes back, has a monster year (and he’s been 20 and almost 10, if not 10, every season for four seasons now and he decides to stay for another long-term deal. And remember this: The last time he could have found a way to leave, his team came off a 27-win season and he signed a new contract.
Now, as yourself this:
What’s the absolute worst case scenario?
They blow again next year and he opts and leaves as a free agent.
Where’s that leave Toronto? Well, it leaves them with his entire salary to spend on what is generally considered the greatest free agent class in the history of free agent classes and if they can’t get two or three players of their own choosing with that money, I’d be shocked.
This might be the biggest piece of non-news in the history of non-news.
Chris Bosh won’t demand trade!
Seriously, of all the gobbledy-gook that came out of Thursday’s let’s-get-the-seaosn-officially-over-with media session, the fact Bosh said he’s not going to force any issue with the Raptors might have been the most yawn-inducing.
It would be so out of character for him to even contemplate something like that to think otherwise is almost delusional.
Bosh is a rather, um, laid-back guy – too laid back for some – who doesn’t ever want to rock the boat. He takes what comes, deals with it and never looks too far into the future or the past. That’s his DNA and it’s not going to change.
It’ll cause some angst around here, it already has, because he’s not going to play along with anyone wanting to discuss his future. But, as the noted philosopher Shawn Marion put it yesterday discussing another matter, “it is what it is.”
Do you think a weekend in Montreal with Shawn Marion would be any good?
“I heard Montreal is crazy up there so I’m going up there, too. You can follow me on tour.”
Boss? I’ll be back in a wee bit.
A little post-season mail thingy:
Q: Can you give us any good reasons why the NBA doesn't rearrange match ups after every round so that the best remaining team is playing the worst remaining team (in their conference), the second best playing the second worst and so on. The ways things are seems to leave a lot to chance, for example the 6th seed might be better off than the 5th seed as they won't have to play the 1st seed in the second round. Even though they have a tougher first round opponent than the 5th seed you could argue that it is worth it to not have to play the 1st seed in the second round. And so on.
David S, Toronto
A: Yes, I can. Two actually.
One has to do with television; the networks that do games during the week want to have a game a night, which is much better for us viewers and much better than having two or three dark nights to stop playoff broadcast momentum.
And the other one has to do with competition, and I’m okay with it.
If the eighth seed upsets a No. 1, shouldn’t they get what’s perceived as a “reward” of playing 4-5 rather than have to play, say, the second seed?
Hey, know what I’ve got?
The Canadian TV schedule for the first week of the playoffs.
Hey, know what I know?
All 22 games are going to be available and only two are on TSN2.
I really don’t want to list ‘em all here so we’ll just go through the weekend.
Saturday, The Score’s got a triple-header – Chicago-Boston at 12:30 p.m. and an 8 p.m. twinbill of Dallas-San Antonio and Houston-Portland with Detroit-Cleveland at 3 on ABC.
Sunday, after the 3 p.m. Jazz-Lakers game on ABC, RaptorsTV has Orlando-Philly at 5:30 and New Orleans-Denver at 10:30 with The Score doing Miami at Atlanta at 8 p.m.
Tell you what I’ll do, just for you. If you’d like an in-game blog for one of the Sunday evening affairs, I’ll be around. I’m thinking Miami-Atlanta so we can check out Jermaine and Jamario but if enough of you feel strongly about one of the others, I can be persuaded to change.
An offer of compensation would help, too.