Raptors Republic: Does Antoine Have the Wright Stuff?
Old 07-29-2009, 09:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Raptors Republic: Does Antoine Have the Wright Stuff?



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Originally Posted by Raps Fan via Raptors Republic
Pardon the lame title, but I couldn’t help myself. Reading through Blake’s latest and greatest, he hit the nail on the head: we don’t need DeRozan to be a superstar this coming season. Don’t get me wrong, that would be nice if he came through like VC did in his rookie year and drop 20 a night, but we have enough scorers on this team that D-Squared doesn’t have to kill it from game 1. Enter Antoine Wright, one of the pieces we got in the Hedo trade.

He instantly steps into the starting shooting guard role for the Raptors. He may not log 30+ minutes a night (never played more then 24 a night), but he is one of two players we have at the shooting guard who will be expected to pick up where Anthony Parker left off (I have zero expectations of Douby…big donut). What do we really know about the kid though? I turned to a couple TrueHoop brothers in hopes of getting a bloggers opinion of Antoine…

Sebastian Pruiti (@NetsRScorching) of Nets are Scorching:

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Antoine Wright came into New jersey with some big expectations. As the #15 pick overall, he was a billed as a “do it all player” but he never really performed up to expectations as a Net. A great swingman over at Texas A&M, Wright had (and still has) the size and the athleticism to play either the two or the three spot. He makes enough threes that it is a threat, but he can put the ball on the floor as well.

In my opinion, Antoine’s biggest problem in New jersey was the fact that he was playing behind two great players in Richard Jefferson and Vince Carter. The fact that he came in with real high expectations didn’t help the situation. Wright was only on the court 9.5 MPG his rookie season, and when he was out there he didn’t play well at all. Personally, I think this hurt him a lot mentally, and it seemed like he checked out from that season forward. Even as he saw his minutes rise each year as a Net, he never really had a breakout game/season during his time here. With that brought a lot of boos and a lot of animosity. So when the Nets traded him, I wasn’t completely surprised. I didn’t really follow him during his time in Dallas, but looking at his numbers, it seems that his play was similar to how he was playing when he left NJ. Meaning he is improving slightly, but not enough to warrant a significant rise in minutes.

Sorry to paint such a bleak picture, but it would be foolish not to describe his time in NJ as a failure. It isn’t all bad though, he is still very young (turning 25 some time next year), and I think going to a team where he wasn’t the 15th pick or a part of the Devin Harris trade will really help. Plus, the skills are all there, he just has to put it all together, and it isn’t like he is getting worse, he is in fact improving (His FT%, 3PT%, and Scoring has gone up every year in the league except one). It is just not at the rate you would expect a lottery pick to. I thought it would take a year or two for him to develop into a serviceable 6th man, but it just didn’t happen. Realistically that is the best that Raptor fans can hope for out of him next year. Unless he starts the year playing out of his mind, he will be a guy you can put in to create a size mismatch or to hit a three or two. That is about it.
Err…ok, he had high expectations getting drafted by jersey and didn’t get comfortable playing behind VC and RJ. Maybe his time in Dallas will be more positive….

Rob Mahoney (@RobMahoney) of The Two Man Game:

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Mark my words: Antoine Wright will be relatively unloved and under-appreciated. Some will be eager to criticize his merely average shooting stroke, but Wright works hard on both ends and is improving as a scorer. That’s not necessarily ideal for a starting shooting guard (he was the de jure starter for the Mavs last season, although Jason Terry logged a majority of the minutes), but it can make Wright enticing as a rotation player.

I think the key with Wright is understanding his limits. Don’t expect a high-volume scorer, don’t expect an impressive arsenal, and don’t expect Bruce Bowen. Wright will be an interesting contrast with an athletic, instinctive scorer like DeMar DeRozan, but it’s important that Wright be viewed with that lens; Wright’s not a replacement or substitute for DeRozan, but a different look with less of an innate feel for the game. Antoine’s athleticism is decidedly average by NBA standards, but rather than fall by the wayside as so many similar players have, Wright may have carved out a niche for himself with his work on the defensive end. He is by no means an elite NBA defender (try above average), but I find Antoine’s high-energy approach endearing. He stays with his man, contests shots, and generally works in the “doing the little things” mold to contribute in the most subtle of ways. Admittedly, Wright’s not always super-effective in that regard, but his defensive efforts and expanding offensive game do give him some value on the floor.

Wright is a markedly better spot-up shooter than he was when he first came to Dallas, and he’s also shown to be a decent slasher. But Wright’s still shaping his own offensive abilities, and for better or worse he is both evolving and malleable. Or offensively raw and currently unspectacular. Y’know, depending on which side of the bed you woke up on this morning.
Sound like anyone we know? Cough…Joey Graham…Cough… Actually, Wright was drafted one spot ahead of Joey in 2005. Fortunately for us, this is where comparisons with Graham end. Where Joey was a physically gifted player with all the tools (except a brain/motivation) to excel at the NBA level, Wright is an energy guy who has created a niche for himself with his defensive ability and spot up shooting.

I would venture that expectations are much lower for Wright then in years past for a couple reasons:

* He was a throw in on the Turkoglu trade
* We drafted a promising young’n at the shooting guard position who we all know will be the starting SG by mid-year and the SG of the future
* He is not expected to put up copious amounts of points on the board (we have enough scoring)
* Toronto fans appreciate energy players who play tough defense, and since Humphries and Pops are gone…

What does concern me is productivity:

PER:
Parker - 12.16
Wright - 8.63

Production per 36min:



It’s not necessarily the points that concerns me, he is improving in that department, but the kid is 6″7 and grabs 2.4 rebounds per 36minutes. Considering he wont be playing more then 24mins, he will be contributing about 1.6rebs/game. For a team that struggles to rebound, this is not good news. Considering Calderon only grabs about 3 per 36mins, we can expect our starting backcourt to grab just 4.6rebs/game. What compounds that is that Bargnani wont be grabbing much more (6.1), so we have 3 positions on the floor that contribute about 10.5rebs/game. Add in Bosh and Turkoglu (5.2) and Bosh (9.5), and our starters grab 25.2rebs/game. Looks like we will be struggling to grab boards again…that’s another article.

Back to Antoine; he is 9 years younger and 1-inch taller then Parker. If he can play lock-downish defense on the perimeter, grab some boards, knock down the occasional three/jumper and take it to the rack whenever a lane opens up … that is all we can hope for. If he can avoid the mistakes Moon made, and swing the ball on the perimeter and not grin idiotically and incessantly, he will be fine. Not asking for great, just don’t want to see bad.
Source - Does Antoine Have the Wright Stuff? - Raptors Republic - Raptors Blog ESPN True Hoop
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Old 07-29-2009, 10:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Wright should start at 2. That will also remove the pressure on the rookie DD.

Wright will be my hero if he can stop VC in our Orlando games. That's all I'm asking lol.
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Old 07-29-2009, 10:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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i think he can be a solid rotation player, i'd put him @ the 2 spot before giving minutes to jack @ the 2
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Old 07-29-2009, 10:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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great review and excellent research. I think Wright will provide a bit more to the mix as the environment he comes into is more welcoming. He will be given the chance he has not had to this point, imho, i am looking forward to seeing what he can do knowing that we have JJ and DD waiting, we are solid at the 2 for the start of the season...

i am not as worried about rebounds as i am perimeter d and with jj and aw there, i think we are improved at one of the weakest parts of the team game...
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Old 07-29-2009, 10:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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+1 on everything
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Old 07-29-2009, 10:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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All sounds right to me. He won't be the most exciting player on he court, but I expect he will be solid addition to the SG rotation. As long as people keep their expectations reasonable they should be quite pleased with what he brings to the team.
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Old 07-29-2009, 11:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The title isn't doing it for me WRIGHT now...
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Old 07-29-2009, 11:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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2D won't have any pressure starting with Bosh, AB, Turk & Jose.

Everyone thinks he won't be starting but he will be!
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Old 07-29-2009, 12:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Let's not over-think this here. Statistics aside; the kid has to come in and give us solid minutes of perimeter D. We have enough scorers on this club, which is why he will fit in nicely. I'm sure the coaching staff as well as fans won't expect much scoring out of Antoine which will alleviate pressure, allowing him to thrive in the Raptors system.
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Old 07-29-2009, 12:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Can't believe that people don't see Delfino as a starting guard for us. Yet they are willing to give the job to Wright, who can't even hold Delfino's jockstrap. I've watched a fair amount of Wright even going back through archives. He lacks offensive confidence and at times looks like he doesn't even want the ball most of the time. I don't know how many easy layups he missed. His shots weren't just off, but many of them look like someone opened the barn door.

His defence is pretty good, but not outstanding and i wouldn't even say is better than Delfinos.
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Old 07-29-2009, 12:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Wright can't hold Delfino's jock strap? What about when Delfino mysteriously disappears for five game stretches and a guy who looks uninterested and can't hit the water if he fell out of the boat shows up? I'm not sure why people have such a hard-on for Delfino. When his "media makeup" comes off this season and people see the scars that were being covered up, people are going to wish they didn't scream "give him what he wants."

Memo to Charlie Rosen:
Add Delfino to your overrated list.

Last edited by Apollo; 07-29-2009 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 07-29-2009, 12:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tvett6 View Post
Can't believe that people don't see Delfino as a starting guard for us. Yet they are willing to give the job to Wright, who can't even hold Delfino's jockstrap. I've watched a fair amount of Wright even going back through archives. He lacks offensive confidence and at times looks like he doesn't even want the ball most of the time. I don't know how many easy layups he missed. His shots weren't just off, but many of them look like someone opened the barn door.

His defence is pretty good, but not outstanding and i wouldn't even say is better than Delfinos.
I agree. But the SG in the starting lineup will on most nights be the 4th-5th option anyway. Therefore Wright can be a defensive presence and Delfino can be along with Jack/Derozan a scoring punch off the bench and a pretty good defensive second unit with Evans/Rasho up front.
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Old 07-29-2009, 12:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Wright's also very good at fouling in late-game scenarios...oh wait...

Wright is the darkhorse of all of Colangelo's offseason additions. He's not going to step in and amaze people but he'll bring a lot of the under-the-radar intangibles night in night out, which will do nothing but help this team.
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Old 07-29-2009, 01:08 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I really hate PER and per-minute stats. they're for video games and fantasy leagues. why do all these bloggers/posters rely on them so often? the only point they make to me is that they have no point and haven't seen enough games to make an actual assessment.
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Old 07-29-2009, 01:24 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apollo View Post

Memo to Charlie Rosen:
Add Delfino to your overrated list.
He's only overrated in one city, so I'm not sure if he'll cut it.


Antoine needs to have the "wright" stuff. If he doesn't this team is in trouble because I'm not sure who they're going to get stops from.
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Old 07-29-2009, 01:51 PM   #16 (permalink)
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You gave me an opening..sorry..

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Old 07-29-2009, 03:12 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjjs View Post
He's only overrated in one city, so I'm not sure if he'll cut it.


Antoine needs to have the "wright" stuff. If he doesn't this team is in trouble because I'm not sure who they're going to get stops from.
Antoine's a soild defender but I don't see the team going to him for consistent, significant defensive stops. He's just not good enough of a defender to have the defensive success of this team hinge on him. The whole defensive system needs to be overhauled over the next few months and implemented during training camp. That's what it needs to come down to.

In the end you're right, we don't have a lock-down perimeter guy to depend on which is why the system needs to be very good if not seamless. If guys don't buy into the system and the system doesn't have the "wright" stuff, that's when this team will be screwed.
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Old 07-29-2009, 03:51 PM   #18 (permalink)
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It doesn't matter what the system is, defense is defense, and we're going to be finishing games with Bargs, Bosh, Hedo, and Jose on the floor, everyone of which is an offensive minded player. It doesn't matter if defense is the focus all through training camp, all four of those guys think about scoring the basketball, not stopping the other team's top guys.

It will take a massive change in the way those guys approach basketball, for this team to be a good defensive team.
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Old 07-29-2009, 03:52 PM   #19 (permalink)
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DeMar DeRozan will start & Wright will back up Turk & DeRozan why does everyone think we will start Wright when he was just a salary thow in to make the Turk deal go though?

Colangelo chose 2D.

He probably didn't choose Wright he was given him.
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Old 07-29-2009, 05:03 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackson Filth View Post
I really hate PER and per-minute stats. they're for video games and fantasy leagues. why do all these bloggers/posters rely on them so often? the only point they make to me is that they have no point and haven't seen enough games to make an actual assessment.
Yep - it was all pretty good up until that point.

And the defense is going to be interesting - regarding BJJS' points. The thing is that the focus has very much been on defense. I'd say Bosh will do the job of trading in his offensive-minded approach for defense, and lead the way. I think he's wanted to for some time now, and last season did so when there was a modicum of defense on the perimeter. It is going to tell the tale as to how far they can go. If BJJS' suspicions are correct, then it won't be much of a breakout year.
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