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Triano: Bosh Was Not a Leader in the Locker Room

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The HQ gives some thoughts on Jay Triano's talk yesterday with Eric Smith on the Fan 590...

For those who missed it, Toronto Raptors' Head Coach Jay Triano appeared on the Fan590 Sports Radio yesterday to talk all things ball; from the Raps to his performance as an assistant coach with Team USA.

It's an interesting listen from various perspectives and I urge everyone to check it out.

I won't go into a full breakdown but I wanted to highlight a few points for discussion.

The biggest piece that stuck out to me, and probably to many others, was Triano admission that Bosh was never a real leader for the club.  From the interview:

"When you talk about Chris being the leader in the lockeroom, I think it's the one thing that he wasn't for us. He did a great job of getting 24 points and 10, 11 rebounds on a regular basis, but Chris did not really take the leadership role into the locker room. He's not a vocal person, he's not a guy who really did that. I think in the years that he's been here, he's almost deferred to different people: Jermaine O'Neal, Jalen Rose, and Vince Carter in his earlier years, didn't really defer to anyone last year and everybody kind of waited for him to take the reigns last year and it could've been been part of the issues we had."    

I think there's a couple ways you can look at this.

First, at face value it echoes something that many of us had been concerned with for a long time; the team lacked an identity and Chris Bosh on his own wasn't the type to lead in forming one.

Second though, I think this is almost a good news story for the upcoming season in that it's not like the Raptors lost a KG-type from a leadership perspective.  Sure Bosh's stats will be missed, but it sounds like off the court and in the locker room, his presence was a bit of a non-factor and so the team can carry on with a Jack or Kleiza (both players Triano alludes to as potential leaders this coming season) without missing a beat leadership-wise.  For a young team like this I'd argue that's extremely important.

And I also think Triano's comments makes sense.

For years we've argued that regardless of Bosh's on-court talent, he wasn't the Kobe or Lebron type off the court and in the locker room either, and so no matter how many points he scored or rebounds he hauled in, he was always going to need some "help" in taking his team to the next level.

That doesn't mean suddenly that this team isn't going to miss him at all now that Jay's said these things, but in some ways it lessens the blow as he was never helping to mould the young guns the way others like Jack, who are still with the team, were.

The next most interesting piece of the Triano talk for me was his take on the team this year, particularly in regards to how they'll play.  Jay noted that the club is more athletic (slightly?) and instead of "always protecting the paint," the club is going to try and force turnovers and score in transition, and thus like Team USA, get a good chunk of their offence from defensive pressure.

Makes sense.

Only...I wish someone had called in to ask Jay why the team didn't do this LAST YEAR considering the "athletic players" are pretty much the same this year as last.

In that conversation came my favourite quotes from the interview too actually.

Triano noted that "in Chris we lose a good defender" and in losing Hedo we lose a guy "who didn't pay a whole lot of attention at the defensive end".

That killed me.

Again, why did the Raptors ever think that Hedo signing was going to work?  It must have been pretty obvious from Day 1 that getting Turk to buy into the team concept, especially on D, was going to be rough.

Other than that, the interview was filled with a lot of PR-ish type responses (Jay avoided getting into the whole "Bosh shutting it down near the end of the season" thing) although he did make one completely idiotic comment regarding Team USA beating Russia and Israel on certain anniversaries.  I won't go into it but when you hear the part you'll know and probably wonder if he's been spending too much time south of the border.

One other note on everyone's favourite subject of discussion on the site, Andrea Bargnani.

Triano noted Bargs is a "five defensively and a four offensively," which I'd agree with, and that he played a lot more of back-to-the-basket style with Italy this summer.  I think from footage I've seen that's probably the case, and it sounds like Andrea is bigger and stronger based on the Raptors' assistant coaches' reports.

The one thing I wish Triano got into more is how he foresees Toronto's offence and player rotation working out.

I know some of this won't be answered until after training camp, or later into the season, but some idea of what types of sets he wants the Raptors to run and how he envisions offensive roles for the likes of Kleiza and DeRozan would have been interesting.

Then again, considering I'll get to see him on Monday afternoon, maybe those are questions I'll have to ask myself.