Hard Work Beats Talent, When Talent Fails To Work Hard

Eleven games into the season and it seems the extinction of dinosaurs in the NBA is inevitable. The Toronto Raptors are twenty-ninth in the league with a 2-9 record and only one game up on the miserable Los Angeles Clippers. That doesn’t say much for the 2010-11 season for Toronto fans, players, staff, and front office. Despite the feelings of Jay Triano and Bryan Colangelo this year was deemed a “rebuild” by critics, analysts, and possibly anyone with a knowledgeable aspect for the game of basketball. The departure of former franchise player Chris Bosh kickstarted the teams collapse within the standing’s, and no one was or is there to pick up the pieces. After watching last night’s nonchalant effort against the Washington Wizards (without rookie John Wall) myself and probably many others realized it’s not Chris Bosh’s exit that has caused this disaster. The problem lies with head coach Jay Triano.

May 11,2009 marked the beginning of the Jay Triano experiment for the Toronto Raptors. Triano’s promotion as head coach seemed perfect. He spent eight years with the team and to top it off he’s Canadian. A coach with a Canadian background coaching a Canadian franchise, that’s something you rarely see outside of the NHL. The unsuccessful tenure as head coach is something Colangelo and the Raptor’s front office didn’t foresee. Currently Triano is in his third season as head coach (second full-time) and not once has he led the team to a winning record. In any sport whether it be professional, semi professional or amateur, a coach with a 67-91 record usually doesn’t have much time before someone starts watching his every move. Triano has shown glimpses of coaching brilliance, but nothing consistent or significant towards turning his teams previous or current struggles around. Posting a winning percentage of .424 over 158 games, Triano has similar numbers with coaches considered to be the “worst” in NBA history such as; Bob Weiss, Don Chaney, Lon Kruger, and P.J. Carlesimo (current assistant coach with Toronto). Toronto seems to be out of sync, lackluster, and out matched in the majority of games. The only bright spot(s) of the current season and Triano’s coaching tenure in Toronto is the Raptors lead the league with 21.4 fast break points per game, and top five in second chance points with 14.5 per game. A new spark, motivating factor, fresh start has to be infused in this young “retooled” Raptors squad for improvement to happen this season.

Being seven games below .500, seeing the team struggle in almost every category throughout each game, and watching the teams sub par effort demonstrates that players as a unit and individually are not responding to Triano’s system. It’s been a long three years under Triano and he’s been given more than enough time to adjust and learn the ins and out’s of being a head coach in the NBA. Not only Colangelo, but the MLSE staff has been patient with the Raptors coaching situation but now is the time to implement change. Although Triano has had tremendous success coaching at every level outside of the NBA, it seems he’s more suitable and effective as an assistant coach. Toronto needs a coach who has experience with a “retooled” or “rebuilding” roster and that can instill a strong, never back down, play to the whistle type of swagger in this young team. Jay Triano might not have the most talented roster in the league, but success is achievable through hard work. Vince Lombardi one of the greatest coaches in the history of sports said it perfectly “coaches who can outline plays on a black board are a dime a dozen. The ones who win, get inside their players and motivate.”



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