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Old 11-26-2009, 03:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Chisholm: How do you solve a problem like DeRozan?

When the Raptors drafted DeRozan, the expectation was that he would be running the wings with Shawn Marion, proving an offensively talented counterpunch to Marion's defence-first approach. At the time, it seemed like a reasonable expectation would have been that DeRozan would actually come off of the bench and provide an athletic spark in the second unit. However, the summer offered the club a different direction and Hedo Turkoglu was brought in to replace Marion, and along with Jarrett Jack, Antoine Wright and Marco Belinelli, DeRozan's role became a lot hazier by training camp. Hedo was a scorer, so DeRozan wouldn't be asked to be a wing scorer in the starting five. Wright was a better defender and Belinelli a better playmaker, so he wouldn't be put into either one of those reserve roles, either. Plus, with Jack eating up some minutes each night at the two-spot, it became unclear exactly when DeRozan would be able to find meaningful minutes on this team.

Nonetheless, Triano held firm that he was going to start the rookie each night to get him time with a quality starting crew; but to do what, exactly? The only thing that this starting five lacks is a defender, and DeRozan was never advertised as being suitable for that role. He's a scorer first, and he looks positively unsure of how to use his primary skill set to help this team early in the season. He's not terrible at sticking to his man on defence, but as soon as he's screened off of him, or asked to pick up someone else's man in a rotation, he's lost.

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