Sports Outside the Beltway

Toronto Raptors fire coach Sam Mitchell

Can’t get a banged up team to play .500 ball, you get a pink slip in the NBA. From AP-

The Toronto Raptors fired coach Sam Mitchell on Wednesday and replaced him with assistant Jay Triano, one day after an embarrassing loss at Denver.

Mitchell led the Raptors to the playoffs in each of the last two seasons and was honored as the NBA’s coach of the year for 2006-07. Toronto was off to a sluggish 8-9 start, due in part to injuries.

General manager Bryan Colangelo said Tuesday night’s 132-93 loss to the Nuggets was the final straw. Toronto allowed Denver to shoot 60 percent from the field and the Nuggets’ 37 assists were the most by an NBA team in regulation this season. The 39-point difference marked the fifth-worst loss in franchise history.


Mitchell is the third NBA coach to be replaced this season. Oklahoma City fired P.J. Carlesimo and Washington dismissed Eddie Jordan last month.

Colangelo said Triano, the first Canadian head coach in NBA history, likely would be in charge for the rest of the season. Triano is in his seventh season on the Raptors’ coaching staff and served as interim coach for one game in February, leading Toronto to a 109-91 victory over the New Jersey Nets.

The GM said the big loss was a kick to the gut. That makes me think Mitchell’s firing is more about one game than the mediocre record of this season. Colangelo has let his emotions make a personnel decision. IMHO.

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