Saturday, March 2, 2024

‘It is not like we’ve got Steph Curry sitting on the bench:’

It is time to make some strikes

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Raptors head coach Darko Rajakovic hears the pleas to do one thing — something — to shake up his struggling crew, now losers of 10 of the final 13 video games after back-to-back losses on Friday and Saturday.

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Regardless of going up by 17 factors, the Raptors someway discovered themselves down by 10 factors for the tenth straight contest and extra importantly, misplaced 126-119 to a middling Utah Jazz crew. Often the Raptors begin video games slowly, however this time they have been nice at first, earlier than issues went awry late.

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Rajakovic has been requested by the media repeatedly the previous couple of weeks about altering his beginning lineup and has resisted for numerous causes, together with believing Scottie Barnes isn’t able to be a lead ball-handler but, a stance he appeared to melt a bit pre-game Sunday. However afterward he nonetheless appeared like somebody that doesn’t consider an answer will merely be discovered by tinkering with what he’s been given to work with.

“We’re taking a look at (choices) like all the time, (w) actually discuss it, like, what? How? Why? Who? These are the questions, however how does that affectt everybody else,” Rajakovic stated. “Certain, we will combine up rotations right here and there throughout the recreation. It’s not like we’ve got Steph Curry sitting on the bench and I’m not placing him in on the court docket. It’s one thing we’re taking a look at. We try to get some chemistry. We’re seeing some enhancements like we did within the first half. Nice first half. Why we didn’t do it within the second half? That we query,” he stated.

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“It’s not even actually about lineups. The identical folks have been on the court docket within the second half as effectively, however we have been fully completely different in the best way we performed within the second half. That’s the mentality that we’re going to have a look at and handle … Everyone that touches the court docket, you will have a accountability as a crew what must be finished. The best factor is to alter lineups. However are these simply cosmetics, or are we addressing actual issues? We had (a) 16-point lead within the first half.”

Rajakovic is each proper that his crew at instances will get the job finished and that it’s puzzling why issues typically additionally fall fully aside, however he’s additionally appropriate that there isn’t a straightforward repair from inside. He would by no means come out and say it, however Raptors administration has saddled him with one of many worst collections of shooters and NBA high quality guards in your entire NBA. It traded away an excessive amount of draft capital and has not come near changing the expertise from the championship crew that has walked out the door. Even the helpful Otto Porter Jr. doesn’t appear wholesome sufficient to play greater than a couple of times per week, even after lacking virtually all of his preliminary season as a Raptor. The crew doesn’t seem assured that rookie Gradey Dick, billed as an ideal shooter whereas at Kansasa and after being drafted thirteenth general, is able to contribute but, having only in the near past turned 20 years previous.

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Rajakovic labelled the Utah loss “demoralizing,” although his gamers pledged to remain upbeat throughout the vacation season earlier than they arrive again contemporary subsequent week.

Rajakovic stated the back-to-back video games couldn’t be used as an excuse for operating out of steam. He additionally took some accountability. The eteam has misplaced 10 of 13. “I advised guys that, initially, ‘me as a frontrunner of the crew, I acquired to look within the mirror and see what I can do higher or completely different and the way I may help the crew higher,’” he stated.

“And I anticipate the identical factor from the teaching employees and all of the gamers to look within the mirror and consider themselves (with) what may be finished, what every particular person can do higher to assist the crew. We now have two days off. It’s Christmas. Individuals ought to spend time with household, but additionally it’s going to be very wholesome for us to consider what we will do otherwise and higher after we come again.”

What the entrance workplace can do otherwise is one thing to assist the rookie coach have a workable roster to handle.

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