Hello!!!!! Happy Holidays!! The Big Man in the Red Suit is on his way and I’m hopeful he makes a stop on Bay Street in Toronto in his travels.
Here’s what I’d like for him to bring to our beloved Raps. Hoping you and your families have a wonderful and peaceful Holiday season. All the BEST in 2012!!
BRYAN COLANGELO & STAFF: Patience. Plan your work and work your plan. Stick to your guns and see the process through. Might be some bumps along the way this season but keep your eye on the target.
DWANE CASEY & STAFF: Passion. This group has it in abundance already. But for those difficult/challenging days an even greater dose to instill in this team along the path of a season with 66 games in 120 days. Stay after them and demand the best every day and the improvement will come.
ANDREA BARGNANI: The Light. See it and achieve it. Become a well-rounded player who defends and rebounds and brings a thoughtful team focused approach to the offensive side. He’s a wonderful talent and a good guy–it’s time to take that next step. He’s got it in him.
DEMAR DEROZAN: Awareness. Teams know who he is now and have watched lots of video on him in this extended off-season. Understand that things will be a bit tougher because folks will game plan based upon you. Figure out what they’re doing and adapt/adjust and grow as a player. It will be fascinating to watch him reach that next gear.
JOSE CALDERON: Good Health. Bottom line — he’s a very good player who plays the game in a team-first selfless fashion. When he’s on the court and he’s close to 100 per cent, he’s a positive influence for a team. He stays healthy and the team functions a whole lot better.
AMIR JOHNSON: Great defence without fouling. Love the improvements he’s made in his game and his frame. Find a way to stay on the court and get extra minutes and productivity. No Silly fouls.
LINAS KLEIZA: Get Well. He was the Raptors best player last training camp and pre-season and then it came apart for him with injuries. Steady progress towards good health and find a way to make a difference when you get back.
ED DAVIS: Consistency. Every day and every play. No let downs and moments of passive play. Bring it. Beat them to the punch.
LEANDRO BARBOSA: Productivity. This team needs it from you each game at a good percentage offensively and with great awareness/intensity defensively. Be that vet that gives the team the big lift each time out.
JAMES JOHNSON: Focus. No floating in and out of stretches of games. High standard of performance and productivity each and every day in every aspect of play.
JERRYD BAYLESS: Polish. See the game and make high percentage decisions. Don’t force things and pick your spots to make the aggressive plays. Don’t allow opponents talking smack to get you off your game. Deal with the ups and downs and stay steady. Ready for the next level as a player.
ANTHONY CARTER: Do what you do. There is a reason you’ve played a long time and coaches/teammates respect/trust you. Keep doing it. The formula has worked.
JAMAAL MAGLIORE: Bring it. All Business. No Nonsense. Defence and rebounding. Physical play and leadership. Be one of those trusted/reliable veterans that teams need.
RASUL BUTLER: Open Shots. You get them and you’ll make a bunch. Stay patient and the minutes and shots will come. Compete like crazy and the opportunities will be there.
AARON GRAY: Bring the Beef. Play Physical and aggressive. Give the team some toughness and strength inside.
GARY FORBES: Find your way. Figure out what this team needs and bring it. Show up each day with your hard hat on and be ready to compete and produce and the internal competition will figure out the role.
SOLOMON ALABI: Learn/Improve. Figure it out every day and stay with it even when the minutes aren’t there. Great opportunity to play in the NBA. Take advantage of the coaching/teaching and the wisdom of veteran teammates and grow every practice.