Triano Faces The Media After End To Raptors' Season

More From Ulmer: Big Summer For Bosh | Disappointment For Turkoglu | Jack Sees Positives
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Mike Ulmer - raptors.com

April 14, 2010

Plenty of people say they own a share of the blame when things go south.

But few will say how and why.

Raptors coach Jay Triano took his portion of the blame Thursday for an uneven season that ended with the club missing the playoffs.

After moving up from assistant coach early last season with the firing of Sam Mitchell, Trianos first full campaign went the gamut. The Raptors were the fifth-best shooting team in the league, sixth-best from the three point line. They were conscientious with the ball.

But coming out of the All-Star break, Chris Bosh was lost to an ankle injury and the club simply stopped defending.They won 40 of 82 games.

We were not very good at keeping the ball in front of usto a man, Triano said.

When youve had that initial breakdown you need help. As soon as you help you are leaving your guy. That either leads to an offensive rebound or another pass and a short close out.

But Triano said he and his coaches were never able to show the way.

We know and we knew going into the season that defence was going to be a big issue for us. To finish 19th in field goal percentage isnt good enough. The teams that are in the playoffs are one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight in field goal percentage. Its something we have to get better at. Thats the number one goal as we move forward.

In retrospect, Triano would have been more demanding.

Was I tough enough? I probably could have been a little bit tougher. But I also had the task of trying to find ways to get to know nine different players. There are players you can get tough with and they will respond. But there are players who if you get in their face you will get the opposite reaction.

Triano conceded the club erred in letting Turkoglu work himself into shape at his own pace. It would not, he said, happen again.

We need him to understand the new players he is playing with and what his role in the new offence is going to be what style Jose plays or the way that Chris plays. He didnt grasp that but a lot of that was lost because he didnt have a training camp.

Triano conceded that Turkoglu took some maintenance.

Hes got a great basketball mind. He needs to be pushed. From day one excusing him from training camp and pre-season games set the tone and he was sort of behind the team for the rest of the season.

The Raptors coach accepted the notion that the team lacked internal leadership, but said he inadvertently contributed to that deficit.

I think the one thing, the one thing I would like to change would be my personal relationship with the players. This year if I had a fault it was because I spent too much time with my coaches and too much time on Xs and Os trying to figure out strategy instead of spending more time with my players.