Giving coaches a bad Rap

Pape Sow takes on teammate Milt Palacio during Raptors practice yesterday at the Air Canada Centre....

Pape Sow takes on teammate Milt Palacio during Raptors practice yesterday at the Air Canada Centre. (Toronto Sun/Alex Urosevic)

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:18 AM ET

Chicago Bulls coach Scott Skiles might want to place the must-win tag on tomorrow's game against the Raptors.

Apparently, losing to the Raptors is a firing offence.

Not only are the Raptors specialists at canning their own coaches -- Sam Mitchell is the team's sixth coach in its 10-year history -- they recently have become pretty good opposing coach killers.

Two of the past three coaches to lose against the mediocre Raptors (28-38) have been fired. The latest is Cleveland Cavaliers coach Paul Silas, who was shown the door yesterday after his team lost 105-98 against the Raptors at the Air Canada Centre Sunday. During that game, sophomore star LeBron James scored 56 points for the Cavs.

Last week, Johnny Davis was sent packing by the Orlando Magic, with one of his final losses being a 106-96 loss against the Raptors. The Magic and the Cavs both were in playoff spots when the firings occurred. The Raptors, of course, will need to go on a huge winning streak to make the playoffs.

"I really respect (Silas) as a coach," Raptors swingman Jalen Rose said. "He's been around a long time. It's kind of unfortunate what's happening to the game right now. I really don't understand. Stability is one thing. Being in professional sports, obviously there is no such thing."

Mitchell, who seemed outraged after Davis was fired, was a bit more reserved yesterday following Silas' dismissal. Cavs assistant Brendan Malone, the coach of the Raptors in their expansion season, has been named Cleveland's interim coach.

UNFORTUNATE

"It's unfortunate," Mitchell said. "Paul's a good guy, a good coach. I don't know the reasons why (the decision was made) and I'm not there so I can't comment on it."

But Mitchell said a bit more when talking about coaching in more general terms.

"Teams that are going to win are teams that have stability and understand you've got to give coaches the power and the latitude to do your job," he said. "If you don't do that, you're not going to win ... The teams that have figured that out, they continue to win year in and year out."

Rose, meanwhile, was surprised when he heard about the Cavs' move.

"I was one of the guys that always said the best thing that happened for LeBron was Paul Silas," Rose said. "I knew regardless of what situation happened, he was going to protect LeBron."


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