BrotherSteve's Blog: The Case for Antoine Wright
Old 09-21-2009, 11:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Antoine Wright was acquired in the complex sign and trade deal that brought Hedo Turkoglu to Toronto on July 9, 2009. Touted as a defensive specialist, he seemed to be the type of player that the Raptors needed to add to their roster.

At 6′ 6.25” and 215 lbs, Antoine’s measurements put him in between the typical shooting guard and small forward. But his standing reach of 8’ 8.5” suggests he can play taller than his height. And this is something that Raptor coaches must have noticed as there appears to be a gaping hole at the backup small forward spot in the Raptors’ rotation.

Drafted 15th overall by the New jersey Nets, just one spot ahead of Toronto’s Joey Graham, Antoine Wright came to the NBA from college considered a productive offensive player with a polished jump shot and as an aggressive defender, very good ball-thief and good shot blocker.

Wright’s scoring and shooting percentages had improved over his 3 year college career at Texas A&M and in his junior season he averaged 17.8 points on 50.1% shooting, 6 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.2 steals, and 0.7 blocks. Wright finished fourth in Big 12 scoring and was a consensus top 12 mock draft pick.

Things did not start out well for Wright in New Jersey. Wright played in only 39 games for the Nets, averaging just 9.5 minutes per game. Worse though were his 35.8% shooting and 1.8 points per game.

Wright did work himself out of the Nets doghouse and by his 3rd season was averaging 7.3 points on 40% shooting in 25.8 minutes per game. He was also developing a bit of a reputation for being able to guard wing players as his steals increased to 0.6 spg and his blocks to 0.4 bpg. Unfortunately, Wright was also proving to be turnover prone, with an ugly 0.6 assist to turnover ratio and he was showing a propensity for stepping out-of-bounds at inopportune moments.

A 2008 mid-season trade that send Jason Kidd to Dallas found Antoine Wright tagging along. Once in Dallas, Wright didn’t play much until next season. In the 2008-09 season, Dallas found themselves in desperate need of a wing player and Antoine Wright played in 65 regular season games averaging 23.9 minutes and starting 53 times.

Last season, Wright did average 7.3 points on 41.5% shooting, 0.7 steals and 0.4 blocks. But he managed an even uglier 0.46 assist to turnover ratio than in New Jersey.

Being in the East, the Raptors do not have the opportunity to see players from the Western Conference very often. At least the Dallas coaching staff was reported as saying that Toronto would be very happy with Antoine Wright. And when pressed in their 2009 playoff run, it was Wright who started in 5 of Dallas’ 10 games.

And it was Antoine Wright who was guarding Carmelo Anthony in game 3 against Denver with seconds left in the game when the “refs just wanting this thing over” didn’t call the call the foul and Carmelo hit the winning shot. The Dallas coaching staff showed a lot of faith in Wright’s defense at that moment.

Surprisingly with the playoff pressure on, Antoine Wright keep his turnovers under control for those 10 games when it mattered most. Maybe it’s just a question of concentration?

Wright should be the projected backup small forward in Toronto this season. The alternatives in the current line-up are somewhat limited. And while, it was encouraging to see the faith the Dallas coaching staff placed in Wright, when it mattered most last year. There still appears to be room for concern.

Dallas used Wright in limited minutes last season, even when he started. The Raptors best case scenario is likely to do the same. Until Wright can demonstrate that he has improved both his shooting stroke and his turnovers, it will be a challenge for coaches to keep him on the floor for extended periods.

Antoine Wright at only 25 years old still has the ability to further develop his game. Very soon, we will get to see for ourselves.
Source - Toronto Raptors: The Case for Antoine Wright Brothersteve's Green & Red Raptor Blog
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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He's always basically been a 20-23MPG player. He's gonna be asked to play around 15MPG behind Turkoglu @SF so why in the hell would he start at SG?
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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He's always basically been a 20-23MPG player. He's gonna be asked to play around 15MPG behind Turkoglu @SF so why in the hell would he start at SG?
Because he's likely our best defender and we haven't been able to stop even mediocre SG's for the past 5 years.

That said, as was discussed in the article, we are awfully weak at SF after Hedo so he'll likely have to come off the bench to play that role. If his defense pans out the way we hope it will then I think it is possible that we'll see him closing games at SG unless Belli, or Derozan can show that they can force some stops.
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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i can think of more reasons why wright should start over both demar and beli. i don't think anyone is expecting any one of our wingers to play 30+ minutes a night aside from turk, so why is it so hard to fathom wright starting and only playing his 20-25 minutes a night? you seem so caught up on wright being turks back-up, but really, it's meaningless. depth charts are pieces of paper, how the players are rotated is what really counts.
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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i can think of more reasons why wright should start over both demar and beli. i don't think anyone is expecting any one of our wingers to play 30+ minutes a night aside from turk, so why is it so hard to fathom wright starting and only playing his 20-25 minutes a night? you seem so caught up on wright being turks back-up, but really, it's meaningless. depth charts are pieces of paper, how the players are rotated is what really counts.
Who gives a fuck who starts? Ulimately i've heard for the longest time around here that it doesn't matter who starts, it's who finishes... no? What good would it do to start Wright for 5 minutes and then have him play most of the rest of the game off the Bench at the SF position.It's pointless anyway because he isn't starting @ SG. This guy is more discussed here then anyone on the team, it's mind blowing. You'd swear he was an All-star instead of a 20MPG player who can't score.
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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it's mind blowing how you know everything!
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I think that everyone is just so fed up with watching our wings get abused on D for the past few seasons that we got excited, albeit likely over-excited, about the prospect of solid wing defender with good size.
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think that everyone is just so fed up with watching our wings get abused on D for the past few seasons that we got excited, albeit likely over-excited, about the prospect of solid wing defender with good size.
i don't think we're over excited. the people who want demar and beli to start are blowing these discussions out of the water. i haven't really seen anyone promoted wright on anything other than being just a defender. why shouldn't we? he played that role as a starter on a team a lot more successful than us. all we're really asking is for him to provide our team with that exact same role.

some people see demar and beli and think youth and excitement

we see wright and think our bigs could possibly avoid early foul troubles...
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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it's mind blowing how you know everything!
Not one person in the oranization has once said that Wright is gonna play SG let alone start. It's not rocket science to figure he isn't gonna start. At least not right away unless there are some major injury issues.

More food for thought.

Jack 4yrs left on his contract.
Belinelli 3yrs left on his contract
Derozan 4yrs left on his contract (i believe)
Wright in his final year


Those first three guys have to get there minutes and develope because Wright may very well be gone next season.

Last edited by jeffb; 09-21-2009 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Not one person in the oranization has once said that Wright is gonna play SG let alone start. It's not rocket science to figure he isn't gonna start. At least not right away unless there are some major injury issues.
jeff, please try being less hostile. It's getting pretty fuckin' ridiculous lately with you.
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:29 PM   #11 (permalink)
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jeff, please try being less hostile. It's getting pretty fuckin' ridiculous lately with you.
Hostile......that?

OK?
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:33 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Look at how we need to see better rebounding and defense in the frontcourt, let alone keeping those guys out of foul trouble. I think that all starts with the perimeter defense. If DeRozan can handle the defensive task then great, but it really worries me that there is so much talk about him starting without qualifying the statement with regards to what he needs to get done in a defensive role.

If the focus on defense is not there from the very start from this team, then I'm personally ready to bail on them to an extent. We've heard the talk - so now let's see the walk. And please don't let a guy like Wright get lost in the shuffle.
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:35 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Not one person in the oranization has once said that Wright is gonna play SG let alone start. It's not rocket science to figure he isn't gonna start. At least not right away unless there are some major injury issues.

More food for thought.

Jack 4yrs left on his contract.
Belinelli 3yrs left on his contract
Derozan 4yrs left on his contract (i believe)
Wright in his final year


Those first three guys have to get there minutes and develope because Wright may very well be gone next season.
food for thought

bosh 1yr left on his contract.

this season isn't about developing talent, it's about producing wins.

as for no one talking about wright playing sg - who cares. as was stated in the 'demar starting' thread, training camp hasn't even started yet.
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:39 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Ya Jeff.

You're quite hostile!
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:39 PM   #15 (permalink)
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food for thought

bosh 1yr left on his contract.

this season isn't about developing talent, it's about producing wins.

as for no one talking about wright playing sg - who cares. as was stated in the 'demar starting' thread, training camp hasn't even started yet.
We have 10 players that are 25 and younger, with 6 of them being 23 and younger. And most of them are rotation players that are gonna have to develope if we have any shot at winning this season.
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:44 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Hostile......that?

OK?
Everywhere. You've been a class "A" dickwad lately. Cool it.
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:48 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Wright isnt being forgotten on this team, he is going to play a large roll.

Just off the bench.

Wright is the biggest winger on the team after Turk, Belli is a sg/pg combo, Douby is the same, Jack is a pg/sg combo. Derozan is the most athletic guy on the roster and a rookie whose development is going to play a huge part in the success of this team.

It is only logical that Derozan start, get his 15-20 minutes with our top talent on the floor(his skill set fit perfectly with the starting 5 as a guy who knows his place, hustles, defends and hits the midrange pullup very well) and Wright fits in much better with the second unit who needs his perimeter defense.

And in regards to closing oout close games, I can see Jack being on the floor at sg before I can see Wright. Jack is a very solid defender, a very solid ball handler, and a very solid shooter-all things that are needed in close game situations-which would give the team another playmaker(3 on the floor with Jose and Turk) and no offensive liabilities
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:48 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Wright should be starting for two reasons:

1. He is the only one who's done it consistently for a good team, playing the role exactly like the one Raps would want him to play (primary perimeter defender on a team full of scorers).

2. Beli is a scorer who will absolutely be better suited to coming off the bench. Demar is a rookie who needs to get eased into his NBA career and who also needs to earn his minutes.

I'd start Wright and let Demar come off the bench at 3 behind Turk to start the season. Remember - Turkoglu is going to be a bit tired after a busy summer...
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:50 PM   #19 (permalink)
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we need some of our young players to step-up (demar, beli and johnson), but the success of our season relies on the play of our vets (bosh, bargs, jose, turk, jack, evans, rasho and wright).
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:51 PM   #20 (permalink)
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There is developing talent and then there is developing talent within expanded roles that they may or may not be ready for. This team can afford to keep some reigns on their young guys while they develop within a winning system. Hopefully.
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