No, they weren't tough questions, but what do you expect from me? Good answers, though. Although I still disagree with his take on The Drain. But what do I know? Link to my answers to his questions here; much tougher questions, worse answers.
Why did you guys trade for the Drain? He didn't seem to fit the style and he is one of the most over-paid under-achievers in the league.
A lot of people see the missed games and his low stats and they chalk this deal up to being a bust. However, this couldn't be further from the truth.
We had to deal T.J. Ford because of his issues in the locker room. Despite this being common knowledge we were still able to secure a former six-time All-Star. Granted, O'Neal isn't playing anywhere near that level this season, but he's given us a toughness we desperately needed. When he came into town one of the first things is the current Raptors roster was too nice and that we would need to get a mean streak this season.
Another added bonus of having O'Neal is that he allows Bosh to not have to guard opponents top big men. This has been huge and when O'Neal was in the line-up Bosh was posting MVP caliber numbers because he didn't have to work on the defensive end.
I think the biggest aspect of this deal is that JO's $24 million contract comes off the books just in time for the free agengcy bonanza of 2010. With that kind of money the team can sign another All-Star caliber wing or guard (aka Joe Johnson) to play alongside Chris Bosh.
Or, another deal could be in the works which would see Shawn Marion get swapped for JO. If this were to happen then Toronto would have one of the more formiddable frontlines in the NBA in Andrea Bargnani, Chris Bosh and Shawn Marion.
Did Mitchell really deserve to get fired? What's he been given to work with? He went from one of the most celebrated coaches in the league to Pariah in near-record time (the record being Mike D'Antoni's fall from grace).
Yes, he lost the locker room and he was constantly butting heads with the general manager. Either of these issues is usually enough to get you canned, the fact both were happening sealed the deal.
The problem with Mitchell is he's a defensive minded coach while Colangelo wants to run-and-gun. During Mitchell's first training camp he told the media he wanted jack up 100 shots per game in an attempt to appease BC but he only appeared like a clown in doing so. Sure, he won Coach of the Year, but anyone who followed the team closely knows Mitchell was constantly bumping heads with his GM and wasn't getting the kind of players he wanted to coach the way he wanted.
It was a telling sign that the teams main issues - rebounding and defense - hadn't changed in over two seasons.
How's the point guard situation? Is Calderon filling the role well? Is it easier knowing that the oft-injured Ford is gone?
It would be nice if T.J. Ford didn't curse the team with the injury bug when he left town...
Beides that, Jose Calderon has looked great when healthy, the problem is he's been injured for the majority of the year. He's been out for two stretches and when he came back the last time he was noticabely slowed down. While he's one of the top assist men in the NBA he's been slowed on the defensive end due to injuries. So even though he's a great floor general what he's given up on the defensive end far outweighs his contributions on the offensive end of the court so far this season.
That being said, there's still plenty of reason for optimism for Raptors fans over the point guard position. Calderon is young and hasn't peaked, Roko Ukic is a rookie that's really impressed fans and the coaching staff and Will Solomon has filled in admireably for Calderon over the past month.
Are there real concerns about Chris Bosh bolting in 2010? Would you miss him that much?
Would I miss having sex? Come on now, of course Toronto would miss their franchise player. Chris Bosh is the face of the franchise, an Olympic gold medalist and one of the top players in the NBA. If we were to lose the team it would cripple this franchise and talk of it moving out of Toronto would once again start.
However, that would just be talk and needless fear from Raptors fans.
With nearly $45 million to spend on free agents that summer there isn't a lot of concern about Bosh bolting since we can offer him the most money while signing another prominent free agent to play alongside him. I wouldn't be surprised if Toronto was able to re-sign Bosh while signing someone like Joe Johnson, Ray Allen or Rudy Gay.
I'm going to sound like a complete homer, but why doesn't anyone talk about Toronto as being the big players in summer of 2010? People are talking about LeBron James being joined in New York by Bosh, but it's conceivable that Bosh could get James, Dwyane Wade or Carmelo Anthony to sign with Toronto. We have the cap room ($24 million from JO's deal coming off the books) and Toronto is one of players favourite cities to visit.
Being closer to the Knicks, what do you make of them? I bet my brother they'd make the playoffs – loser has to wear a Marbury jersey to the game next year when the Knicks come to play the Suns. Should I be searching for deals on Craig's List?
They are easily one of the most frustrating teams to watch this season. For awhile there on NBA LEague Pass I would watch all of their games but it seems as though they have fallen into a funk over the past month. After the first month of the season it seemed Mike D'Antoni's magic would translate to even the inept Knicks, but the teams inability to defend have caught up with them
As a quick side note, why do casual fans claim the Suns never played defense? Watching them over the past few seasons it became clear they only gave up a ton of points because they played at such a frenctic pace. If you look at points per possession they were one of the better defensive teams during D'Antoni's tenure in Phoenix. It's just a a shame Coach D'Antoni can't replicate that success in New York.
And, for what it's worth, I thought the Knicks would make the playoffs as well this season, but it appears you'll need to be searching for deals on Craig's List.