Lesson for Moon

MIKE GANTER

, Last Updated: 8:18 AM ET

Jamario Moon has been clear about his focus in his first NBA season. He is concentrating on his defence, something former NBAer Michael Ray Richardson convinced him would not only get him to the show but keep him here.

Listen to Sam Mitchell and on the defensive front Moon is giving him what he needs. But his offensive forays have left Mitchell wanting. Specifically it has been Moon's reluctance to drive to the basket, a deficiency in his game that a handful of his teammates seem to have as well.

Moon settled for jump shots on his first three opportunities Saturday night in Houston. Each time, Mitchell was on him to drive to the basket.

"Bill Musselman taught me how to drive to the basket," Mitchell said. "I used to say 'Coach, the guy is playing off me' and he would say 'Well, Sam, you have a running start don't you and you know which way you are going?'

Mitchell has used this same lesson with Moon.

NO MORE SETTLING

Mitchell says the days of the Raptors running and settling for jump shots is over.

"It's one thing to run but we have got to run for layups and not run for jump shots. We run for jump shots and the first pass back leads to their fast break. So are we talking about running? Yes, but it's got to be for layups," he said.

Mitchell said he's heard people say it's foolish to force a player (like, say, asking a Raptor who has been reluctant to drive to get to the rim) to do something that's not in their nature, but he's not buying that.

"People say that is not their nature. That is not who they are," Mitchell said of his cast of jump shooters. "Well, part of being a basketball player, or a coach, or anything in life is getting better at the things you are not good at. I refuse to accept we cannot do that."


Videos

Photos