Mar 23, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey reacts during the first quarter against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Salvaging something from the wreckage: what can the Raps do in their final 12 games?

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The Toronto Raptors are playing for pride and next year’s jobs. Team management, however, needs to have more expansive goals than those of the players. What steps can be taken by Bryan Colangelo to enhance our team’s chances of getting off to a better start than the miserable one we’re all trying to forget?

One doesn’t have to be Red Auerbach to realize that what the Raps are doin’ ain’t workin’. Let’s open up, and try some unorthodox ideas. At least we won’t be easy to game-plan against; we don’t know what we’re doing, so how can the opponents?

Obviously, stretching out the minutes of Terrence Ross and Jonas Valanciunas is mandatory. Both of the kids need to be allowed to play through their mistakes, and work with all the players on our roster. All means all – does Mickael Pietrus have anything left to offer? Let’s find out, definitively. Is Sebastian Telfair an option for backup point guard, or will John Lucas rediscover his outside shot? We don’t need 2 undersized backups, so have the bake-off and make a decision.

Mar 1, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward Quincy Acy (4) dunks the ball against the Indiana Pacers during the second half at the Air Canada Centre. Indiana defeated Toronto 93-81. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

We fans are expected to offer Landry Fields, Lowry and Gay an amnesty for their losing play this season, on the grounds of lingering injuries. If that is indeed true, and the trio is soldiering on despite assorted aches and pains for which rest is the only cure, then why not give it to them?  While I never thought I would write these words, it’s time for some Development League player auditions. The obvious one to look at is Quincy Acy, who’s averaging 13.4 points and 8 rebounds in 12 games since joining the Bakersfield Jam. Bring him back, and drop him in the starting lineup at power forward. The stalwart Amir Johnson is hobbling, and could use the rest. Justin Dentmon had a cup of coffee with the Raps last year, and is averaging 22+ points in the minors – does he warrant another look? How about Chris Douglas-Roberts, who has NBA experience and is still young? BC is supposed to be well-connected in Europe. Are there players over there who would welcome a chance to strut their stuff in the NBA?

It’s unfortunate that Andrea Bargnani can’t be showcased until next season. The Raps seem to be planning to move on without him – so what does an AB-free team look like?

Mar 23, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Toronto Raptors small forward Landry Fields (2) dryves around New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler (6) during the second quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

How about playing five games with a true centre on the floor all the time? Rotate JV and Aaron Gray, and review the results. It’s not like we’re winning with a smallish lineup.

Over to you, Rapture Nation. Any crazy ideas you’d like to share for shaking up the team? Let us know in the Comments.

Brian Boake is a co-editor for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.

 

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Tags: Dwane Casey Toronto Raptors

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