Why Was Sam Mitchell Fired by the Toronto Raptors?

TOsports.caCorrespondent IMarch 8, 2009

It goes without saying that the 2008-'09 NBA season has been a big disappointment for the Toronto Raptors. With a 23-40 record the Raptors have struggled to stay out of the basement of the Eastern Conference.

The Raptors have looked like an expansion team at times this season, often getting blown out in the first half. Yes, the Raptors have lost a few close games but they have lost so many games end of story.

Ex-Coach Sam Mitchell brought toughness and grit to his Raptor teams. Chris Bosh held his head high and respected Mitchell as a person and a coach. After leading the Raptors to an Atlantic Division title and two playoff appearances, the one time NBA Coach of the year was unceremoniously let go after a sub .500 start to this season.

In his place, Raptors assistant Jay Triano. It makes for a good story, Canadian Jay Triano coaching the Canadian Toronto Raptors, however the results have been much worse.

The Raptors have played with no heart, no consistency and have forgot what Defence means at many points this season.

Chris Bosh has had another All-star season but as the leader of this team, he has been a big disappointment.

Whether or not the rumours of his impending trade are true, one thing is for certain, if Sam Mitchell was still coaching the Raptors, Chris Bosh would not be in the trade headline and the Raptors would be battling with Chicago for the eighth seed in the East.

Jermaine O’neal lived up to much of the hype, when he was healthy that is. Unfortunately that wasn’t often enough. However, his size and strength was the only line of defence the Raptors have had this season. Offensively, Jermaine and Bosh clashed.

His trade for Shawn Marion, will only exemplify the fact that Shawn Marion is an overated basketball player. The Raptors are notoriously bad at making trades.

It began with the Damon Stoudamire for Kenny Anderson trade (where Anderson didnt even suit up for the Raps), then the Vince Carter-for-nothing trade with the Nets, and now Jermaine O’neal for Shawn Marion can be added to that list. 

Perhaps the only positive aspect of the '08-'09 season is the emergence of Andrei Bargnani as a legitimate NBA player. The mark of an emerging star is consistency and Bargnani has consistently put up 20 plus points and 10 plus rebounds.

With just under twenty games to go the Raptors are six games behind the Chicago Bulls for the last seed. The future looks bleak for the Raptors, Bosh is not happy in Toronto, Triano is a temporary coach, the Raptors lack size and the list continues.

Even if the Raptors sneak into the playoffs, they will get blasted by the Cavs or Celtics. So what is the point of the next 20 games? A higher draft pick perhaps?

GM Bryan Colangelo was a God not too long ago, now some question his decision making skills.