Saturday, February 7, 2009

Too Much Of The Same

Take that title how you will, too much losing, too many jump shots, not enough defense. It really does fit in a scary number of ways for the Raptors. How I see it is simply, too much of the same player, the same attitude. Ironically, some of the skills our Raptor players have would be sought out by many other franchises, it's when we put them on the floor at the same time where we become less than the sum of our parts.

The main thing that has stuck out to me probably since the post Mike James/Mo Pete era is that we have too many players being unselfish, too many players trying to be more than they are. Our sharp shooters, Parker and Kapono, it seems that they don't want to be labelled as three point shooters with parker taking perhaps the toughest off balance shots with regularity than I've seen from anyone. Granted, he does make a decent share of them but I'd much rather see him take a spot up three than a jumper on the move. Then we have Kapono, camped as a three point threat with his patented pump fake and travel, or pump fake and tear drop. Last time I checked, you were not Tony Parker. Both these players want to be seen as more than sharp three point threats, but both after being in the league for years should know, thats what they are! I'm constantly reminded as I walk past the ACC where there is a Kapono quote about finding your niche in the league. Ironically, he doesn't mention staying IN that niche. Personally I don't understand their fear of being labelled. Sharpshooters will always have a home and I have to believe this desire to show a wider skill set is the reason they are so hesitant to take 3 after 3. Meanwhile, the Hornets know what they can do from the long bomb and are willing to take 6 or 7 3's in a row, something I have never seen the raps do more than twice or thrice. It's nice to have post ups and all, but when we can't guard the three, swapping 2 for 3 just doesn't cut it. Meanwhile we have Jamario who wants to be a sharpshooter and should realize his skills are rebounding and playing the passing lanes. Hump to be an energy player and give us offensive put backs, but he's taking jumpers from the free throw line.

What separates the best from the rest is not always talent, sometimes it's simply players knowing their roles and staying within them and becoming more than the sum of their individual talents. Look no further than Boston, Allen and Pierce taking a step back, LA, Odom off the bench, Spurs, Ginobili off the bench and so on. The Raps need to get more players who know what they can do, accept it, and actually do it.

Remember, shooters shoot.

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