Sunday, March 23, 2008


Staying sanguine over the Raptors after their latest fourth-quarter Smeltdown — that's a combo of Smitch and meltdown — is a bit of test.

For the most part, it has seemed best to zip it about coach Sam Mitchell this season. It's not like no one saw this coming; one fantasy mag had the Raps pegged for a 43-39 record and first-round playoff exit and that sounded about right. They're 35-35 after today's 109-100 loss at home to Denver, who made 6-of-8 threes in the fourth quarter. Plus, looking over what was said about the coaching during the playoffs, it seemed so obvious  the coach was an issue that to point it out over and over across 82 games would have got really old really fast. 

Andrea Bargnani continues to have days that will drive you nuts (16 points in the first quarter, zero in the last three). He wasn't on the floor in the fourth quarter when the Raptors needed someone to help space the floor so Chris Bosh could go to work. Jamario Moon does some good things, but he ends up taking a must-have three-point shot inside of 30 seconds when there's about four other guys on the team who you'd prefer to be taking it.

It's all a test. It's always darkest before the dawn and Bosh isn't back to full strength yet. 

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