Triano makes changes as Raptors in free-fall

Doug Smith

Patience is wearing thin, changes are being made and as the Raptors
free fall through the Eastern Conference standings, coach Jay Triano is
taking a hard-line approach.

A disastrous four-game, four-loss road trip ended with a 109-98 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers here on Sunday night and Triano has already begun the tweaks necessary to salvage this season.

Jose Calderon replaced Jarrett Jack to start the third quarter and Triano hooked Andrea Bargnani more quickly than usual after Bargnani avoided boxing out any Blazer at all costs, and that could just be the start of something bigger.

"We’ve got to have a shorter leash with some of our guys," Triano said after Toronto fell to 32-33 on the season, the first time the Raptors have been below .500 since late January.

"We’ve got guys who want to come and play and do the right thing, and if guys aren’t doing the right thing I told them before the game: `I’m going to pull you. I’ll put you back in but you’re going to come out and you’re going come out and you’re going to think about it for a bit and you’re going to give somebody else a chance to go in and do the right thing.’ And that’s why we were a bit quicker with some of our substitutions."

The move to Calderon over Jack did staunch the third-quarter wounds that have been inflicted the past two games against Sacramento and Golden State.

"I thought Jose was playing pretty darn well," said Triano. "I thought we had a good rhythm with that group so I just rolled with it. When he was on the floor, I thought we were playing pretty darn good."

However, the coach stopped short of confirming a permanent shift for Wednesday’s game at home against Atlanta.–triano-clamps-down-amid-turmoil

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