The thing is though; despite near nightly locker pleas for increased effort and intensity by some, the most egregious offenders feel no need to pick up the slack because the coach feels no need to discipline them for their self-made limitations. Heck, Calderon was PROMOTED last week instead of being reprimanded for his complete lack of defensive execution. Coach says he likes the way the offense runs when Calderon has the ball, but has offense really been the issue these last few weeks? Has anyone really watched this listless team since the All-Star break as they rack up losses and say to themselves ''if only this team could fix its offensive attack?'' I didn't think so.
The message that promoting Calderon sends to the troops, then, is that one is rewarded for positive offensive performances and not for positive defensive effort. In fact, one can be a wretched defender but they'll be gifted with a starting spot so long as they are perceived to be a better option on offense. No wonder Reggie Evans is always looking to post-up instead of boxing-out, or that Sonny Weems would rather jack a transition jumper than stop an odd-numbered fast break score. The message being sent in Raptor-land is that if you impact the team on offense, you get promoted.
Now, obviously this is a bit of an over-simplification of the matter, but remember this all comes back to accountability. How can Triano preach defense in practice or in the huddle when he has said loud and clear with his actions that defense is a secondary priority for him. Look at the Raptors starting five right now; is there a worse five-man defensive unit that the team could assemble with its 12-man rotation? Statistically, the book on this team is that they are not only the season's worst defensive outfit but they are competing for historically bad status, yet defense is still not prioritized with accountability.