Raps have Triano's back

MIKE GANTER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:45 AM ET

Jay Triano couldn't have asked for a better addition to his resume.

It began with Jose Calderon and ended with Shawn Marion. In between, Anthony Parker, Andrea Bargnani and Chris Bosh took their turns. Each, to a man, sung the praises of Triano and his coaching abilities and indirectly gave Bryan Colangelo their collective blessing to bring the lone Canadian coach in the NBA back to the Raptors without the interim tag next season.

Calderon was the first Raptor to speak and set the tone for the day lauding Triano's efforts, excusing the early stumbles, blaming them on a lack of practice time.

Chris Bosh, probably the Raptor who was closest to Sam Mitchell, the man Triano replaced last November, echoed Calderon's thoughts.

"Jay did a good job," Bosh said. "He always has positive vibes. He loves the game of basketball, and I think he knows what he's doing ... I think everybody else is comfortable with him."

Triano, who will meet with Colangelo next week but is unsure when any decision about his future with the team would be announced, did have some very definite ideas about what this Raptors team needs to do to get better.

"There has to be a certain toughness," Triano said. "That can be addressed in two ways: Either with tough players coming in here or us coaching them to be tougher ... Toughness isn't being 6-foot-8 and 250 lbs. Toughness is doing the right thing the right way, all the time and setting good screens. I think that that is something you can ingrain in teams when you have it over-and-over-again, practice, practice after practice. It's tough to do it on the fly in the middle of the season."

Triano then put his finger on the other hole in the Raptors roster -- players that can create their own shots.

"I think we all need to be better at finding a way to break guys down. I think the teams that we struggled with were teams that had players that could break a guy down in a one-on-one situation. Number one, we have to get better at defending that, but we don't get a chance to get better at that in practice because we don't have a guy who can do it in practice. I think that's one of the things that we would hopefully look to address, make our guys better or hopefully bring in people that can break somebody down."

Time will tell whether Triano gets a chance to put those theories to the test.


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