It's been a disappointing year for Raptors fans. Sam Mitchell was fired mid-season (one of many coaching casualties), the Jermaine O'Neal experiment failed miserably, Jose Calderon couldn't stay healthy, and rumors kept swirling that Chris Bosh wanted out. If there has been a silver lining, it is the way they have finished out the season. You never know what will happen, but I read on Yahoo!Sports that the recent revival is primarily the reason why Colangelo will stay with Jay Triano for next year (and not move on Ettore Messina like everyone originally thought).

Though still inconsistent, from what I've watched in the past couple of games, the Raptors have tried to play better defense. Their deficiencies still remain with the inability for the guards to stop penetration 1v1. But I liked what they did here tonight against the Wizards, Chris Bosh with the hard-hedge and the other 3 help defenders essentially zoned up to stop the roll or penetration,

I like the hard-hedge in most PNR situations because it does a good job defending against all the options especially when executed properly. The problem of course, is that it is not always executed properly, because it requires great team communication, and relies on a dynamic forward who can hedge and recover in time. Bosh is that kind of forward, and his teammates step up and come up with a couple of steals.


With all the turmoil of this season behind them, a fresh summer and training camp, hopefully the Raptors can pick up from where they left off in October. I think depth, especially at the point guard position is a major deficiency Colangelo has to address, either through the draft, free-agents, or trades. And then there is the big issue of CB4, I'm not 100% convinced that CB4 wants to stay, so that will obviously also need to be addressed.

To learn more about different defensive schemes against the PNR, check out Kermit Davis's DVD on Defending Ball-screens, PNR, and Half Court Trapping. Coach Davis is currently the head coach at Middle Tennessee State University. To discuss this and many more of your favorite basketball topics, head over to the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to talk with other coaches from around the world.