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Mike Ulmer: Belinelli bringing it
RAPTORS: Mike Ulmers Blog
“Some of us have talked that he’s a better shooter leaning than he is going straight up and down,” said Raptors head coach Jay Triano.
There are advantages in this. First, leaning into the defender dramatically increases the possibility of drawing a foul. He went to the line five times in Sunday’s win over the Lakers and nine times in a grind-it out victory over Milwaukee.
Second, nailing ridiculously unlikely shots electrifies both the bench and the home crowd.
“Marco,” said Raptors point guard Jarrett Jack “is a gunslinger.”
Then there is the passing. At shooting guard, Belinelli is a wonderful passer, easily the Raptors' best and like his shot, his passes are loaded with flair. Belinelli is an excellent ballhandler blessed with a wonderful creativity. He can cut into the key and pass to spaces just as teammates reach them. Like his shooting, his passing is instinctive and eye-catching.
Put it all together and you have a wonderful showman who doesn’t showboat. When the ball falls through the hoop, Belinelli turns around and goes home.
Belinelli played 24 minutes against the Lakers and 25 against the Bucks and finished with 15 and 16 points. He has boosted his scoring to an average of 8.3 points per game and is 39 per cent from the three point line.
That doesn’t mean you can pencil that in.
At 23, his game can come and go. He had five free throw tries against the Lakers, nine against the Bucks but just two in the four previous games.
That lack of consistency has prompted Triano to make Belinelli to fight for his minutes, but there is no doubt that when Belinelli is rolling, the crowd and his teammates aren’t far behind.