Colangelo: Individual agendas hurt Raptors

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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. 

Shabazz Muhammad awkwardly mentions Collective Bargaining Agreement during halftime interview (video)

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The Timberwolves surprisingly led the Spurs by nine at halftime last night, which takes us to Shabazz Muhammad‘s mid-game interview.

Muhammad:

We’re doing a great job on defense, Wiggs, myself, everybody. It’s a tough team, especially Kawhi and the guys. So, we’re doing a really good job and everybody’s collective – Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Um. What?

To be fair, I can’t even imagine what type of nonsense I’d spew in the midst of a taxing workout or a high-pressure situation – let alone something that qualifies as both.

Unfortunately for Muhammad, Minnesota eventually fell to San Antonio, 100-93. But hopefully, he can laugh at this moment. He should, at least.

hat tip: reddit user cjsplash

Duke’s Jayson Tatum, California’s Ivan Rabb declare for NBA draft

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Wednesday a couple of forwards expected to go in the first round of June’s NBA draft said they plan on making the jump to the NBA.

As expected, Duke’s Jayson Tatum and Cal’s Ivan Rabb made their decisions official.

Duke announced Tatum’s decision.

Tatum is expected to be a top-five pick, DraftExpress.com currently has him as the No. 4 pick. The 6’8″ wing can flat-out score the rock, which is why teams are intrigued, as Rob Dauster of NBC’s College Basketball Talk told us in a recent podcast. However, teams wonder if he can create shots for others and not just himself, and if he’s going to be a good defender at the NBA level. He has the physical tools to do be a good defender, but will he put in the work game in, game out?

Rabb is a 6’10” sophomore who has a great NBA build and athleticism to spare, but at the NBA level everyone is a great athlete. Rabb doesn’t have a great perimeter game and needs to develop one and be a consistent defensive force to be a difference maker (or have a lengthy career) at the NBA level. DraftExpress.com has him going 22nd in this draft, and his stock seems to have fallen over the course of the season.

PBT Extra: What coaches are on hot seat? Alvin Gentry at front of list.

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This season, for the first time in 46 years, no NBA coach will be fired during the season (nobody is getting canned at this point).

However, once the off-season starts, there will be a few changes.

Alvin Gentry in New Orleans and Fred Hoiberg in Chicago are the names most mentioned, but there will be an unexpected firing somewhere around the league. Some GMs are on the hot seat also (Rob Hennigan in Orlando leads that parade).

I get into all of it in this latest PBT Extra.

Raptors’ Serge Ibaka, Bulls’ Robin Lopez each suspended one game for thrown punches

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It was obvious this was coming. Get in a shoving match “fight” in the NBA and you get a fine. However, actually throw punches and…

Toronto’s Serge Ibaka and Chicago’s Robin Lopez each have been suspended for one game by the NBA “for throwing punches at one another during an altercation,” the league announced. What that works out to is a $120,715 hit for Lopez and a $111,364 ding for Ibaka.

Also, Raptors assistant coach Jamaal Magloire earned a $15,000 fine shoving the Bulls Nikola Mirotic and “acting as other than a peacemaker as part of the same altercation.”

This all came out of what seemed a rather innocuous play. Ibaka and Lopez were battling for rebounding positioning, it went on for a second after the ball went through the hoop, Ibaka caught Lopez with a little chicken wing elbow in the back, Lopez spun, and, boy, that escalated quickly. Lopez’s punch missed, while Ibaka’s caught Lopez in the hair more than the body.

Both men got technicals and were ejected.