Toronto Raptors Still Waiting For Santa Claus

Melissa HanschellCorrespondent IDecember 20, 2008

By Melissa Hashemian

With Christmas right around the corner, there seems to be less gift giving than one would expect in the Raptors dressing room; Santa is checking his list on who's naughty or nice as we speak.

To their detriment however, the Raptors fail to be recognized on that list at all, and in fact, have one entirely dedicated to them alone.

The blacklist.

Normally, the blacklist is used for degrading purposes, yet the recent plays of the Raptors are nothing short of this allegation.

They are 10-16 so far, as half of the season has already gone by. They have been playing extremely sloppy with constant turnovers, and simply aren't passing the ball enough. The teamwork effort that was once there no longer lingers as players begin to play for themselves rather than with each other.

The Raptors currently stand last in the Atlantic Division and 12th in the Eastern Conference. Not the best stats for a team full of rising potential. They are suffering defensively and have no one to put the rebounds in (28th in the league).

Chris Bosh, who leads the Raps in points this season with 613, has lost his scoring illness considerably since the loss of former head coach Sam Mitchell.
After leading the Raps to an excruciating 8-9 start to the season, Mitchell, who had spent four seasons with the Raptors, was fired on December 3rd.

Assistant Coach Jay Triano took over the berth following Mitchell's departure.

The coach change might not have been the most advantageous move for the bench, especially Bosh, who got along well with Mitchell. However, it clearly took place, as the fate of the Raptors didn't look too promising.

Bosh, who averages 23.6 points per game, has had trouble focusing lately, which in turn has hindered his offensive talent. The Raps lost by 10 points or less in the last three games.

In those games, Bosh posted a mere 51 points, which is less than the 60-70 points he would normally acquire in a three-game span.

Now this is not to criticize Bosh in any way. He's a prominent individual who plays with a lot of grit and determination, yet his consistency lately has been lacking on the court.

With all this going on, it's safe, and not surprising to say that Raptors GM Brian Colangelo with make a deal very soon. Steve Nash, who is known for his dribbling and passing abilities is a player I could see coming to Toronto.

He's a huge fan of Triano, and Colangelo happened to manage the Suns before, so the idea wouldn't be too far-fetched.

Whatever happens, these Raps need to get their act together and start producing quality results. Triano will probably continue coaching for the rest of the season for now unless they turn things around. If not, these Raps will begin a new trend for the NBA: quickly firing and hiring new head coaches.

Hopefully they don’t have to wait for Santa Clause to bring them cheer and good luck this year.

Raptors visit San Antonio tonight to take on the Spurs as they try and regain the momentum they have recently lost over the past few weeks. Game time is 8:30 p.m (EST).

Did you know?

One of the reasons Steve Nash decided not to continue playing for Team Canada was because the Canadian Basketball Association fired Triano from the head coach position. Leo Rautins ended up replacing him.