Nonetheless, Triano held firm that he was going to start the rookie each night to get him time with a quality starting crew; but to do what, exactly? The only thing that this starting five lacks is a defender, and DeRozan was never advertised as being suitable for that role. He's a scorer first, and he looks positively unsure of how to use his primary skill set to help this team early in the season. He's not terrible at sticking to his man on defence, but as soon as he's screened off of him, or asked to pick up someone else's man in a rotation, he's lost.
To compound matters, because of the depth at his position, DeRozan will typically play only six-to-eight minutes to start each quarter before being quarantined on the bench, which means that not only is he being asked to guard starting shooting guards exclusively, but he himself is being guarded by them at the other end. That means that he's never put in a position where he might be at an offensive advantage against an opposing reserve, where he might be able to get some offensive traction as a rookie who has gotten to this point in the NBA on the back of scoring and athletic prowess. So in a sense one could argue that not only is he letting his team down by struggling defensively against some of the league's most potent scorers, but also he's letting them down again by not being in a position to utilize his offensive assets to compensate. In a starting five with Turkoglu, Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon and Chris Bosh, DeRozan is the team's last option on offense, making him a wholly unnatural fit in the Raptors' current configuration. As a result he's also being portrayed in the media (especially in the U.S.) as a rookie unable to find his feet at the NBA level and his stock is plummeting as a result. Well, of course he can't find his feet since it's starting to look like they've been lopped off to accommodate a bizarre requirement that he start games as the team's fifth scoring option come hell or high water.
Let's put it more plainly: if you were to take a look at the four players surrounding DeRozan in the starting five, what would you say that they needed to help them be more successful? From this vantage point it looks like they need someone who can slow down opposing guards, especially in light of the fact that Jose Calderon is ensconcing himself as one of the worst defensive guards in the NBA. It would need to be someone who didn't hang his hat on his scoring and could, ideally, guard multiple positions out on the court. Someone, like say, Antoine Wright, the guy I wrote a piece about this summer as the ideal starting shooting guard for this lineup.