Taking on the next year with a full head of steam is going to be Triano's main issue. As we turn the page on the previous season and begin looking at the next, Vicious D looks at Jay Triano and wonders if he has what it takes to put the hammer down for the next year.
Every single article we write is going to be prefaced with the scenario of "Bosh Stays" and "Bosh Leaves". There's no denying his impact on this team as it is currently constructed. In Bryan Colangelo's End of Year Review (or as I'd like to call it, The Day Franchise Gave Him the Third Degree), the Raptors' real GM was fairly non committal about many points and seldom talked in absolutes. However, there's no denying that he wanted to hammer home a couple points as far as coaching was concerned.
Jay Triano will be back without question.
There will be a change in defensive coaching philosophy moving forward.
Neither, was particularly surprising if you've followed the Raptors for the past while. With Sam Mitchell still on the books and Jay Triano having been more-or-less groomed for his position over the past 10 years, another year of Triano should shock no one.
I know that I have not been Triano's staunchest supporter, but I certainly do not believe he's been the Raptors' worst coach. We've well documented Triano's faults in the past months, and his strengths may be the perfect fit for a Raptors team looking to develop young talent should Chris Bosh leave. His ability to work with individuals as an assistant coach, his ability to manage minutes throughout the course of the season, and his ability to keep most discussions and disputes internal will help the development of a youth movement should Chris Bosh depart.
There's also no doubt that I believe Triano will continue to infuriate us over the course of the next season. There will be times when we just don't understand his lineup moves or his reasoning. The hope is, however, that a change in his assistant staff will not be far behind.
It's here where I believe that Jay Triano will make one of the most important decisions in dictating the course of next year. Ideally, Triano has to find coaches who will compliment his inexperience with their own abilities. With the Raptors needing to instill toughness on the defensive end, Triano should not hesitate in letting Marc Iavaroni go so he can head out and find a more North American-centric coach to take over the defensive schemes. As many of us remember in the beginning of the year, the staff was intent on talking about implementing a system that would mirror much of Kevin O'Neill's 2003-2004 team.
Their plan was flawed from the start thanks first to the starting lineup of players who were being used at the beginning of the season and then again when Iavaroni and the staff readjusted their ideas and could no longer deliver a clear idea across to the players. A tough-as-nails assistant has to be brought in to make sure that this team doesn't take possessions off. A clear philosophy has to come from this individual who will need to demand personal accountability from each and every player.
Young coaches like Tyrone Corbin who have trained under the watchful eye of a master like Jerry Sloan should be the amongst the first on the Raptors list. An assistant who has had seven years under Coach Sloan and has learned the trade from one of the best, Tyrone Corbin would be a young up-and-comer who I think the Raptors could desperately use. To sell a guy like Tyrone Corbin on Toronto, the Raptors would have to give him a larger role and he would have an opportunity to bring his own mark to the team.
Heck, I think that the Raptors should even consider a coach like Bill Laimbeer. Although he'd be a handful for Bryan Colangelo and Jay Triano, he would instantly bring some accountability to the roster and would help Triano in creating a tougher atmosphere. And while Laimbeer has been working as an assistant for the Minnesota Timberwolves after leaving the Detroit Shock of the WNBA, there's no reason that the Raptors should ignore his pedigree and the way he motivates his players to bring grit onto the floor. Oh, and he also brings a culture of winning into the team.
Remember that philosophy from back in 2006-2007?
We could use more of that.
So for now, while everyone is watching the playoffs, the Raptors management staff should be looking to set the tone with a move that shows Chris Bosh that they're serious. This move would send a clear message that things will not remain status quo next year and that this team is intent on being a top contender year after year. It's this small move that can dictate the philosophy for the next couple of months as the Raptors do whatever they can to show Chris Bosh that he should stay.
It's a move like this that will signify to the NBA that the Raptors mean business and will not allow a repeat of the last two years' events.
It's time to put the pedal to the metal.