Saturday, January 3, 2009

Understanding what causes a team to lose

Ask Jermaine O'Neal, a veteran of a dozen NBA seasons, why TOR has struggled at times this season and he doesn't hesitate:

"It boils down to experience. How much experience do we actually have? I'm interested to see how many double-digit leads we've given up this year. I would have to say 16 or 17," said O'Neal.

According to this story, "the Raptors are second in the NBA in losing games in which they've held double-digit leads this season."

"I don't know if we understand what causes a team to lose. It's pretty basic," said O'Neal. "We're just not getting that effort. Sometimes when the games get tight we get a little tentative about what we want to do and don't play the same way. It's almost a tale of two teams in two halves ... (It) has been our Achilles heel."

TOR coach Jay Triano says his team has a "habit of incessantly looking over at the bench for guidance at the expense of pushing the pace. Again, perhaps the constant seeking of a coach's input is a function of relative inexperience."

"We've lost games pretty much the same identical way. And we've got to figure out a way to get out of it," said O'Neal. "You can't draw it up any better. You can't practice it any better. The players have got to do the job."