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News » Raps misfire against Suns

Raps misfire against Suns

Raps misfire against SunsHe is steadfast in his resolve that things will turn around, that the lessons being taught eventually will be learned even as his team limps to the quarter mark of a long NBA regular season, dragging three straight defeats and six losses out of nine with it.

Jay Triano is nothing if not resolute, even in the face of increasingly tough results.

"I'm not sure if we want to panic yet on anything," Triano said after the Raptors were spanked 113-94 by Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns before a non-sellout crowd of 17,721 at the Air Canada Centre on Sunday.

Triano was reacting to a question about his level of satisfaction with his starting unit and his playing rotation as a whole in light of another mid-game collapse.

His immediate assessment of his 7-11 team, coming right after a one-sided loss and without a lot of time for contemplation, is that change is not afoot.

"Offensively, obviously we're one of the best teams in the NBA shooting the Basketball," he said. "Defensively, we're learning new systems and guys and trying to support and help each other and we've struggled with those adjustments.

"But I don't know if I can point a finger at anybody and say we'd be better (by making a starting lineup change)."

The coach also insists that the defence can improve, at least a little bit, which might be enough to let them stay close in games they're now being routed in.

He repeats it's a matter of familiarity and trust.

"Knowing where your teammates are going to be and that they're going to be there to help you, the trust factor defensively," he said. "It can be built, yes."

Making matters exponentially worse for Toronto this past week has been the mercurial nature of that offence, which is among the most potent in the NBA.

The defensive issues - Toronto gives up an average of 109 points per game and allows opponents to shoot 47.3 per cent from the field on average - are never going to be fixed entirely because of the personnel the team has.

But Toronto went through long periods of slack offence in Charlotte on Wednesday, in Boston on Friday and then laid a 1-for-20 stink bomb from beyond the three-point line in losing to the Suns.

And if they aren't making shots, they aren't winning.

"I wouldn't take away one shot from any of our guys," Triano said of Sunday's three-point abomination. "I thought every shot was an open look, there was no forced three and we'll do the same thing the next time we play. We have to make them."

Even if Toronto had being making its shots at a normal clip against the Suns, Nash's presence probably would have won the day for Phoenix.

The 35-year-old veteran - who is playing at such a high level his coach Alvin Gentry said, "I wouldn't trade him for any guard in the league, I really wouldn't" - had 20 points and 16 assists and shredded whatever defence the Raptors threw at him.

"(We) switched, (went) under, trapped, we tried everything we could," Triano said of his team's attempt to defend Phoenix's vaunted pick-and-roll offence. "I think for the most part we maybe surprised him on the first possession of each change defensively and they either missed or we got the ball.

"Then the second time, he recognizes what you're doing and when you have a veteran who's been around and seen every coverage, not only in regular season but in playoff games throughout his career, he's going to make adjustments."

The loss wasted another dominant effort by Chris Bosh, who had 30 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Raptors . Andrea Bargnani had 24 points and DeMar DeRozan chipped in 14 but the other two starters, Hedo Turkoglu and Jose Calderon, were a combined 5-for-21 from the floor and totalled just 12 points.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 30, 2009


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