Toronto is a bad team. Have been for more than a month. The Raptors would have fallen out of the playoffs by now if the Bulls were worse.
Since the All-Star Game, Toronto is 6-12. General Manager Brian Colangelo told Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star that individual agendas have gotten in the way of a team game.
“I’ve got a lot of suspicions, I guess, of what’s gone wrong. It hasn’t been the same since the all-star break,” Colangelo said. “Too many guys came back from the break with a different approach. And that’s the part that’s troubling. … It’s not a talent issue. And it’s clear that the right message is being delivered (by the coaching staff). But the students have to carry out the agenda. And it’s got to be a team agenda. It can’t be an individual agenda.”
Everyone’s first thought is Colangelo took veiled shot at Chris Bosh, the all-everything big man in Toronto who is a free agent this summer and could end up in New York, Miami, just about anywhere, really. Even Toronto.
In his last 10 games, Bosh is putting up a solid 21 points and 9 rebounds a game, but that is off his 24 and 11. In his last 10 Bosh is shooting 46.5 percent from the floor, well off his season long 51.5 percent pace.
But he’s not the real problem — Toronto’s horrific defense is. As we have detailed before, Toronto is close to being one of the worst defensive teams ever to make the playoffs. This is a roster with Bosh and then the talent level drops off a lot — that is on Colangelo — and is filled with players who are just not good defenders. The personal agendas and bad defense do go hand-in-hand. But teams that play bad defense just lose a lot.
And the bottom line is, bad defensive teams lose. A lot. Especially in the first round of the playoffs.
As they do every Monday during the season, the PBT Power Rankings came out and while the top three remained the same there were some climbers.
Specifically, the Thunder at No. 4 and the Pacers at No. 5.
Why they are there is the latest PBT Extra topic with Jenna Corrado. The simple answer is they are both excellent teams. Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Paul George are all playing like Top 10 players.
The ProBasketballTalk NBA podcast is back.
Sure we’re a month into the season, but we’re going to get this podcast rolling again and you can expect us on each Monday and Thursday, with a variety of guests talking everything around the NBA.
Today NBC’s own Dan Feldman joins Kurt Helin to talk Kobe Bryant‘s retirement announcement, and what that means both for the Lakers going forward this season and beyond, but also what that could mean for Byron Scott’s future as the Lakers’ coach.
We also delve into the “showdown” between the Lakers and Sixers on Thursday, talk about the job Brett Brown is doing there as coach (a good one), we talk some Warriors, some Draymond Green, Pistons, Spurs and Pacers to round it all out.
Listen to the podcast below or you can listen and subscribe via iTunes.
It’s this simple: The Sacramento Kings are 5-5 when DeMarcus Cousins plays this season, 1-7 when he sits. (And that win number is a big misleading, they looked like they would have beaten Charlotte with him, but when he left with back pain they lost, they could easily be 6-4 with him.)
So it’s good news that Cousins is expected to return to the Sacramento lineup Monday night. Well not good for Rick Carlisle and the Mavericks, but good for the Kings, as reported by James Ham at CSNBayArea,com.
This season Cousins is averaging 27.9 points and 11.2 rebounds a game, he has a true shooting percentage above the league average (56.3 percent for Cousins) and he has a PER of 27.1 which is sixth best in the league.
Combine him with the numbers Rajon Rondo has put up lately the Kings become much more dangerous. They’d be even scarier if everyone stayed healthy and George Karl would settle on a lineup.
It was expected Kobe Bryant would retire at the end of this season.
It was not expected Kobe would make that official on Nov. 29 — it’s caught the media at Staples Center Sunday (of which I was one) and the fans by surprise.
In this PBT Extra, I talk with Jenna Corrado about the mood inside Staples Center Sunday.
More importantly, I discuss the sense I got that Kobe understands it’s time to walk away, and he is at peace with that.