Raptors Republic: What to Expect From Belinelli
Old 09-21-2009, 09:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Raptors Republic: What to Expect From Belinelli



Quote:
Originally Posted by Arsenalist via Raptors Republic
What do I want out of Marco Belinelli? Nothing spectacular. Like some, I’m not expecting him to be the super-sub off the bench who comes in when the offense isn’t clicking and lights it up through sheer scoring prowess. The only reason his game is being analyzed to death is because we couldn’t get our hands on our preferable option as the first wing off the bench – Delfino. We got him as a secondary measure for practically nothing and that’s the best thing we can say about him for now. All we know for sure is that at 40% he’s a good three point shooter and that he can potentially score in bunches. We also know that he can miss in bunches. An NBA team that hopes to still be playing in May should not be relying on Marco Belinelli for much.

But that’s my take, a far more meaningful one is provided by Comcast Sports reporter Matt Steinmetz who has covered the Warriors throughout Belinelli’s time with the team and spoke to me last night.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Steinmetz
I think Belinelli is a rotation player, but I’m not sure if he’s a starter. I think he’s going to help the Raptors, if for no other reason, than it’s a position with minutes available.

He knows how to play, can be clever and has some creativity to his game. He can get his own shot off at times, even though it means some fadeaways and leaners. He’s a player who if you give him a role will likely have effective stretches, and maybe even lengthy stretches of effectiveness.

I sometimes wonder if he can be a consistent outside shooter and yet when he came into the league that was supposed to be the thing he could do best. He can be streaky, for sure. But he certainly hasn’t proven he can be a knock-down type of shooter.

He can play a little bit of one, if he has to, and did in emergency for Golden State last year.

He didn’t play more for the Warriors for a number of reasons. One was he happened to be a rookie two years ago when the Warriors were trying to win every game and make the playoffs. Remember, they won 48 games.

Last year, he was banged up a little, but in fairness he wasn’t one of Don Nelson’s favorites, either. Nelson really used to get on Belinelli about his defense, and Belinelli ended up taking that challenge some. When he got playing time last year, he showed himself to be a pest defensively, trying to draw charges — a little Vujacic-like, not that I’m praising that necessarily. Point is, he definitely became a better defender between Year No. 1 and Year No. 2.

Lastly, I’d be shocked if Devean George had more of an impact for the Warriors than Marco Belinelli will have for the Raps.
Thanks to Matt for exclusively giving us his take. His blog should be regular reading for NBA fans; his latest post is about one of my favorite NBA players of all time.

All this doesn’t change the fact that if Antoine Wright is our backup small forward, it makes Belinelli our backup shooting guard to rookie DeMar DeRozan. I don’t want to say our depth issues at off guard remain unaddressed but really, other than athleticism, how much have we improved from the Parker/Kapono combo? This team as it stands right now is very Hedo-centric, as in we’re looking at the Turk to be the remedy for a lot of problem areas including scoring, defense and play-making. He’s the experienced wing who can create his own shot but find me a wishful contender not having at least two of those types of players. Lebron/Mo Will, Pierce/Allen, Granger/Dunleavy, Hamilton/Prince, Iguodala/Lou Will, Johnson/Crawford/Williams etc. Fact of the matter is that we’re thin at the off-guard and are desperately trying to plug that hole with Belinelli with little insurance.

It’s one thing to hope that he’s a diamond in the rough, another to expect it which is what Colangelo appears to be doing when he says that Belinelli could easily be in the running for most improved player based on increased minutes. He’s going to crack the rotation no problem and his playing time will depend on how DeRozan fares, but it’s hard to see him playing more than 25-27 minutes a game which is going to be 4-6 more than last year. Not that big of a difference really. The X-Factor that will determine his improvement will be whether he’s going to have a well-defined role in Toronto, something I’m sure Triano will at least try to start with, if for nothing than to appease his GM. The good part about our insane schedule to start the season is that we’ll find out exactly what our wings are made up of which will be enough for Colangelo to evaluate just exactly what he has.

Some quotes by Belinelli from the other day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marco Belinelli
“I come to a nice city like Toronto, a good team like that, a young team, European team, so it’s a really great opportunity for me.”
I cringed when I read that. I’m far from being a xenophobe but seeing the Raptors officially being referred to as “European team” doesn’t feel right, mainly because no matter how far the international game has come along, every other country still sucks when compared to the USA. 3/5ths of our starting lineup is European and if you figure Triano going with a 10-man rotation with Jack, Belinelli, Wright and Rasho, it means 50% of our main players are European. Never has such an experiment been done in the NBA and the Raptors are about to find out firsthand whether it’ll work or spectacularly fail. The common theme among successful European teams has always been teamwork, ball-movement, zone defense and cohesion. Three things that are born of good coaching, effective sets, player discipline and execution. It’s a massive understatement to say that Triano’s job is cut out for him. Asking a rookie coach to be the mad scientist behind an experiment like this is almost unfair.

The best part about him is that he’s very motivated and wants to showcase his talents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marco Belinelli
“…this is a good spot for me because I can have a lot of opportunity to play. Now is my time to see what I can do and I want to be ready for that. I’m a guard who can shoot, but at the same time I can create for my teammates. I practice every day for myself to be the best. It is my job and I can help this team, I think.”
Other than the ‘I think’ at the end you have to like this quote. He doesn’t have the overconfidence that Jermaine O’Neal had but instead feels the need to prove himself – I like. The good part about not having enough depth is that a player like Belinelli will have a chance to play through his mistakes simply because there’s nobody who is outright better than him on the team. Even if he jacks up three bad shots in a row who’s Triano going to go to? Antoine Wright at the off guard? We’re all expecting feast or famine from him on any given night, but if Triano can squeeze something resembling consistency and discipline from him, he could be good. Otherwise, he’s a more athletic Jason Kapono 2.0. But hey, at least he has potential to be good which Kapono just didn’t have, the silly little twat.

I firmly believe that 80% of defense is effort. If you’ve ever even played pick-up ball you’ll agree with this statement and I’m sure you’ll remember Sam Mitchell moaning about that for the last couple years. I don’t have a doubt in my mind that Belinelli will be 100% committed to playing defense, factor in his athleticism and you’ve got the makings of an above-average defender. His three-point shooting skill is unmistakable but we’ll be asking more of him than just to park himself in the corner and spread the floor. Like most three point shooters (including Bargnani), the ultimate question becomes whether he’ll have the stamina and conditioning to do all the things we’re asking (score, defend, slash) while still have the legs to knock that three-point shot. Take for example Anthony Parker who shot 44% in the first quarter but only 37% in the fourth.

So my keys to Belinelli having success with the Raptors are as following, in this order:

* Conditioning: Come ready to compete on the defensive end and still have enough to contribute on offense.
* A Consistent Role: There is nothing a player likes more than to know when he’s going to play and when he’s not. We can’t be jerking his chain around by tinkering too much with how much he plays, when he comes into the game, and what we ask of him. I understand that responsibilities are based on matchups and those changes on a game-by-game basis, but there’s something to be said for predictability and if Belinelli knows exactly what’s asked of him and when, you increase the chance of success. See Joey Graham and Andrea Bargnani, similar issues last couple years.
* Coaching: He’s European and needs direction. If you throw him out there and ask him to freestyle you’ll get the Belinelli Don Nelson benched. Channel his ability, don’t just expect it to show up.
* Practice: He’ll be going up against DeMar DeRozan in practice and these two have to challenge each other. Something told me that never happened last year with Kapono and Parker. These two need to be pitted against each other all season long to the point where they get on each others’ nerves. Ideally for us the minutes at SG would be split 50/50 with these two playing tug-of-war. Approximately 24-28 minutes for each of them means they don’t get burned out and have something left for the post-season, and we avoid DeRozan hitting the inevitable rookie wall.

Thoughts?
Source - What to expect from Belinelli – Raptors Republic - Raptors Blog ESPN TrueHoop
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I think the "European" tag becomes a problem if it's allowed to remain in use beyond Belinelli's description of the team. Sam did a nice job of forbidding the distinction, and insisting that they all get defined as basketball players period. If they want to take some aspects from the approach taken over there then that's great, but it's still basketball. There's no need to make it sound like it's a different sport that might suit some players better than others. They need to get the most out of everybody.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I think some of it is lost in translation with Belli.

Jose is European, Turk and Bargs as well.

Europeans play a different style than most north american ballers in the sense that fundamentals is key. There is no denying the fact that a team full of European players is not going to play like a team like GS and no denying that Belli is a much better fit here than there.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Yeah - I'll give him that. I just want it stop there. From now on call it fundamentally sound basketball. It's not exactly a foreign idea. There are examples of it flourishing in the NBA already.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The spurs certainly come to mind in that regard.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Yep. That's the model they need to reach for.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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What to expect from Belinelli

- Shooting off the bench
- Good passing skills (court vision)
- Decent defense
- Spark off the bench for 20 minutes


Calling him streaky is obvious, he's 23yrs old and has never really been given consistent minutes (even though he's proven to be a pretty consistent shooter). I think once he knows his role and is playing a consistent 20+MPG he'll flourish here. I think that off the bench, he along with Jack are our only real offensive threats. So he'll have a sizeable role in the next few seasons.

Rookie season- 40% 3PT FG
Second season- 40% 3PT FG
This summer in Europe- 42% 3PT FG

= Consistent shooter
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:33 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by •LX• View Post
Yep. That's the model they need to reach for.
As boring as it is to watch, I have to agree.

I can actually see the team going the direction of a combo between The Spurs and the Jazz.

Fundamental teams with a strong emphasis on P&R play. Some very solid players around their PG/PF combo. Bargs is our Okur. Demar hopefully will be our miles/Brewer guy and Turk to be our Manu.
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah but the thing is the Raps are trying to implement the "transition" offence so I don't think it will be like the Spurs. Thoughts?
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:23 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AznRayD View Post
Yeah but the thing is the Raps are trying to implement the "transition" offence so I don't think it will be like the Spurs. Thoughts?
I know the Raps want to get out and run when the opportunity presents itself, I don't necessarily think it's going to be a full-fledged run and gun offense. Every good team runs the break when the openings are there, the Spurs are no exception.
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:46 AM   #11 (permalink)
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The Spurs can play different styles as the opportunities present themselves, and I don't see the Raptors locking themselves into a box either. They are going to look for their shots earlier in the shot clock after identifying mismatches. The Spurs do that themselves. The main thing with them as a model, is remaining open to taking advantage of different things along the way, while maintaining stability over a long stretch of time.

In terms of how they look on the floor, I'd prefer to see Bargnani to be much more like Vlade or Miller while Bosh fills the CWebb role, and we develop someone to fill the Christie role while Turkoglu can be Turkoglu/Peja. If Bargnani is going to be Okur, I'm not sure it works. I think he has to at least fit the mold of a Smits.
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:58 AM   #12 (permalink)
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bellinelli should bring the second worst defence on the team next to jose who is a two stumped shrub out there defensively. Bellinelli should only be allowed to play when jack is on the court with him but it will probably take colangelo a few months to figure this out because defensive deficiencies are easily masked in fantasy league basketball .

i can just picture opponents eyes lighting up as they see Calderon and bellinelli coming at them with the backpedal defence. We're gonna be seriously abused when those two are on the court together
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:14 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by GrannyFro View Post
bellinelli should bring the second worst defence on the team next to jose who is a two stumped shrub out there defensively. Bellinelli should only be allowed to play when jack is on the court with him but it will probably take colangelo a few months to figure this out because defensive deficiencies are easily masked in fantasy league basketball .

i can just picture opponents eyes lighting up as they see Calderon and bellinelli coming at them with the backpedal defence. We're gonna be seriously abused when those two are on the court together
As has been said by some journalists & broadcasters and a few here, Belinelli's defence is better the you think. He isn't great by any means, but not as bad as people who haven't seen him much think and he's 23yrs old and i think will only improve. The thing is, in GS there was little to no emphasis on defence, and since i think defence is alot about structure and coaching as long as Iavaroni puts a good defensive program together Belinelli will be fine. He's not as bad defensively as some think, just like Wright isn't as great on defence as some think.

The Raptors do not have one great defender.
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Old 09-21-2009, 01:23 PM   #14 (permalink)
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best case scenario, a beast (a less smart ginobili), worst case scenario, somebody like kapono. as far as the european comment, to me it's pretty clear he's talking about the so called european flavor toronto has, we always tend to be among the league leaders in international players (and most people consider all internationals as europeans, probably because that's where they last played before coming here).
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Old 09-21-2009, 02:38 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by moremilk View Post
best case scenario, a beast (a less smart ginobili), worst case scenario, somebody like kapono. as far as the european comment, to me it's pretty clear he's talking about the so called european flavor toronto has, we always tend to be among the league leaders in international players (and most people consider all internationals as europeans, probably because that's where they last played before coming here).
I think his worst case scenario is Carlos Delfino. Although he's a better shooter and a bit of a lesser defender. I think he'll end up being a better version of Delfino.

No way is he anything like Kapono.One can shoot, pass (court vision) and can play a little PG. The other (Kapono) can shot but is afraid to do so and has as much court vision as POB. lol

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Old 09-21-2009, 02:41 PM   #16 (permalink)
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He'll be a better, more athletic but obviously less heady Anthony Parker. Skillset reminds me alot of Parkers days in Maccabi.
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Old 09-21-2009, 05:32 PM   #17 (permalink)
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im so excited for the season to start and see him progressing. lets go raptorssssss
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:05 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I think his worst case scenario is Carlos Delfino. Although he's a better shooter and a bit of a lesser defender. I think he'll end up being a better version of Delfino.

No way is he anything like Kapono.One can shoot, pass (court vision) and can play a little PG. The other (Kapono) can shot but is afraid to do so and has as much court vision as POB. lol
I was mostly thinking about consistency, but delfino is a good example of that too I think there's a non-negligible chance that belinelli is worse than delfino (skill wise). There is a possibility that the reason he didn't play much for gsw is because he wasn't good enough for the nba. The fact that he played good for 3 weeks is not really proving anything (remember when joey had his moment of fame at the end of the 2006/07 season?)/
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:17 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Well, surely i can't be sure for the NBA, but Marco has shown that he can be really consistent while playing in Europe and with the national team. The gamble with him, the same that BC has made, is to prove he can be so good at an NBA level.
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:29 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I was mostly thinking about consistency, but delfino is a good example of that too I think there's a non-negligible chance that belinelli is worse than delfino (skill wise). There is a possibility that the reason he didn't play much for gsw is because he wasn't good enough for the nba. The fact that he played good for 3 weeks is not really proving anything (remember when joey had his moment of fame at the end of the 2006/07 season?)/

Comparing a skilled 23yr old scorer with good court vision to Joey Graham tells me where you're coming from. Lord?
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