Julian Wright as a Starter
Wright as a Starter:
How badly I wish Julian Wright had a jumpshot. That dude played wicked good in the first half. The offensive board, up-fake, bounce-pass to Calderon for the layup was about as good a play as can be made in the game. Top notch.
I can see the leadership he brings having all kinds of positives on Demar and I think they'd form a pretty solid wing combo. If anyone doubts his leadership, just watch the second quarter of last night's game. It was a masterstroke for the Raps on defence. Him and Calderon were making their switches perfectly in the zone, which closed up the lanes and compelled SA to make late in the clock jumpers. Misses by SA that came as a result gave Derozan all kinds of chances to score on the break, which he did beautifully. As a second-playmaker he also allows Calderon to hit some spot-up 3's with more frequency.
I don't see why that kind of play can't be given consistently. Had Bargnani been on they could easily have won these past two games against New Orleans and San Antonio.
The New Bench.
The lack of offence Wright would contribute to the first unit also - in theory - provides the second unit guards of Barbosa and Bayless more room to score, as that would then be their primary assignment, and they both excel when given the green light to attack. Kind of like having Curry-Ellis come off the bench for you. Weems comes in as the bench 3, with his role being spot-up shooting, waiting for chances off Bayless & Barbosa drives, and defence. Kleiza is used as a post-scorer off the bench. It would be a small bench lineup, but an exceedingly fast one. If only the Raps had a decent defensive 5 that would complete the bench and make it formidable.
So Wright as a starter: better defense, better on the floor leadership, better overall playmaking in the first unit, and a more concretely defined second-unit with the Raps' best scorers off the dribble given the green light to attack.