Another day, another loss for a struggling Toronto Raptors squad that simply cannot stop the bleeding. Coming into the season, the Raps had sky high expectations, and have not only failed to live up to them, but have pulled together one of the worst starts in Raptors franchise history. After getting blown out 117-101 to the Houston Rockets, the Raps sit at 3-12.
While a few tough luck losses could have put this team closer to .500, there’s no going back and changing that now. So what’s next? The real question is, how much longer can this last until it’s time to write off this season? Realistically, the season is still young and the season can still be revived if the Raps stop the bleeding within the next three games and go on a run. However, if this continues, and the season is written off, there are certainly some big changes that will be needed.
For starters, Dwane Casey has to go. The man cannot find a balance between defense and offence, and is better suited as an assistant coach. His substitutions and late game calls are awful, as well as his offensive schemes. If Casey can fix these things, and the Raps hire an offensive assistant coach, things may be able to work out but at the moment Casey is reason number one for the Raptors record.
Considering the Raptors draft pick is gone this year unless they have a top 3 pick or make the playoffs, ‘tanking’ wouldn’t make much sense. Bryan Colangelo is the type of manager who panics and makes moves when his job is on the line, and considering his contract is expiring this season, if this keeps up, we could see some significant trades. Jose Calderon and Andrea Bargnani are popular names being thrown around, and could be thrown on the block sooner rather than later.
Realistically, the Raptors still have some time to pull it together- Dwane Casey has to figure out his rotations and find a winning formula. Once things start to click, things will look up, but if they go the wrong way, Casey should go. After this, Colangelo should go, and the Raptors need to dig deep once more and build their foundation. Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Terrence Ross, Ed Davis, and Jonas Valanciunas are all players I would consider foundation setters, with others being expendable at this point, and if things don’t work out, the Raps may have to cut their losses and try to build around their core, finding a team that will work.
The ‘re-tooling, accelerated rebuild’ Colangelo has set up has failed miserably thus far, and he has to be feeling the pressure, and we could see a move very soon if things don’t pan out.
Maybe this is a slight overreaction- however the Raptors’ window to salvage this season is quickly shutting and it would appear that Casey and Colangelo are on a short leash as well at this point. Bottom line is, the bleeding has to stop.
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