Armstrong: Raptors' second unit holding up well early on
Old 11-16-2009, 10:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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RAPTORS SECOND UNIT: SOME THOUGHTS.

With the injury to Reggie Evans in the pre-season there has been some speculation about how the depth and second unit of the Raptors would hold up here early in the season. On the whole, the second unit has been solid so far with the Raptors at 5-5 with two tough games remaining here out West. The team has a ways to go yet -- tightening the defence and locking in on the philosophy but they're improving compared to a few weeks ago. To be a successful team you need your second unit to perform. Here is my take on how they're doing:

1. JARRETT JACK: Can and will play a lot better. Has gotten off to a disappointing start in the first 10 games. Shooting has been off (35 & 29 %) and is forcing things a bit (20 turnovers). His defence has been OK but can be better. I was thrilled when the Raptors signed him. He's a good competitive player. He'll settle down and he's more than capable of being a solution in the future. Hopefully, the near future.

2. MARCO BELINELLI: He struggled in the pre-season but he's been very good once the games have counted. He's a gamer! Gets after it!! Shoots it. Has range, uses his quick's, uses screens, creates his own shot and is fearless at the rim. He is a gritty defender and I like his swagger on the court.

3. AMIR JOHNSON: With Reggie Evans out he's taken advantage of the minutes given to him and he runs like a deer and finishes in transition. Has provided rebounding and solid overall play. Nice addition to the team. Plays hard. He's earned his minutes - that's for sure.

4. ANTOINE WRIGHT: Solid on the ball defender. Very physical and tough. Good quick's. Like the challenge of getting after it. He needs to be a bit more selective with his shot (Shooting around 32 % from field and 3's) and attack basket rather than settle for the jumper. Injured ankle right now. Need his defence and grit.

For the rest of Jack's blog:

LINK - TSN.ca
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Old 11-16-2009, 10:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Jeff, I like the picture.
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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agree with everything Jack says here (i usually do).

While there is certainly room to improve, it's plain to see that our bench is a big reason that we're in pretty much every game now. A much welcome change from last year. And yeah - when, not if, but WHEN Jack starts to come around, we'll be that much more effective.
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Wright has some really good handles, I'd like to see him cross more players over..Is that a possible request someone could make to Jay Triano?
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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What are you talking about?!? I have seen Wright crossover like 4 or 5 times and eachtime he lost the ball straight up to his defender...If there is one thing he shouldn't be doing it's dribbling too much...& he is definitly not someone you want at the top of the free throw line trying to creat his own shot or a play for another person...

I think he should stick to playing defence and shooting set jumpshots when he is open & thats it!
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'd like to think he was being sarcastic. Wright needs to calm down with his shot selection, pick his spots better, and realize that Belinelli does everything on offense better than he does.

I'm also curious to see how the big man bench rotation changes when Reggie comes back. Does more Reggie mean less Amir or does it mean even less Rasho??
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hmm...I don't know.

I'm pretty sure I saw him crossover Lebron and score and I've seen him slither his way dribbling the ball into the lane more than a few times without turning it over.

I'm pretty sure I've also seen him throw a couple of nice passes down low to guys who were wide open (the one that sticks out in my mind is Rasho missing a wide open layup) after getting his defender up in the air with a pump fake.

He may not do everything really well, but he's crafty.
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Old 11-17-2009, 01:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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just because he can do them once in a while, doesn't mean he should ... I had similar reactions in the past when I suggested he should avoid doing crossovers.
I compare this with Bosh shooting 3s - it's a bad habit and even if it works now and then, long term it will have negative effects. Last thing we want is for wright to start believing he's a crafty offensive player
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Old 11-17-2009, 02:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Bosh shooting 3s isn't a "bad habit".

He shoots them pretty well actually. If he's left open and it's a spot up shot I have no problem with him taking them. As long as he's not trying to launch 6/gm. He's keeping the defense honest.
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:07 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acie View Post
Hmm...I don't know.

I'm pretty sure I saw him crossover Lebron and score and I've seen him slither his way dribbling the ball into the lane more than a few times without turning it over.

I'm pretty sure I've also seen him throw a couple of nice passes down low to guys who were wide open (the one that sticks out in my mind is Rasho missing a wide open layup) after getting his defender up in the air with a pump fake.

He may not do everything really well, but he's crafty.
Can't blame him for wanting to take it to the basket...I am just saying his niche is defence & set jumpshot & not driving and creating...I mean a little driving and creating is cool especially when he is playing with the second unit, But he has in my opinion been trying to drive too much...

Well we can't have it all...DeRozan doesn't drive enough, Wright drives it too much & Beli is doing great
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halphbreedballer View Post
Can't blame him for wanting to take it to the basket...I am just saying his niche is defence & set jumpshot & not driving and creating...I mean a little driving and creating is cool especially when he is playing with the second unit, But he has in my opinion been trying to drive too much...

Well we can't have it all...DeRozan doesn't drive enough, Wright drives it too much & Beli is doing great
You are right with Wright!! Wright has no handle, and should stick with the jump shot. Wright should play the role of Raja Bell & Bruce Bowen. We already have Jose, Hedo, Jack and a bit of Marco as designated ball handlers. Wright should spread the floor on offence, and play defence against the opponent's best offensive wing player.
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:28 PM   #13 (permalink)
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