Status quo suits Triano

Jay Triano's main concern after viewing the tapes from Sunday's game is dribble penetration from...

Jay Triano's main concern after viewing the tapes from Sunday's game is dribble penetration from the Raptors. (Sun Media/Craig Robertson)

MIKE GANTER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:10 AM ET

Forget any notion of a lineup shuffle. Jay Triano isn't interested in even discussing the pros and cons of any potential shakeup.

Ditto for a change in their core defensive or offensive principles. For one thing, it's three games into the season.

Triano doesn't do panic. For another, the Raptors have been down that road of knee-jerk reactions before and it hasn't worked.

Triano was asked specifically yesterday if he had entertained any thoughts about getting Antoine Wright, who couldn't practise because of a minor ankle sprain, into the starting lineup.

"Not for a second," Triano said. " I think the rookie (DeMar DeRozan) has been very good in limited minutes and we're happy with where he is right now."

Triano admitted his main concern after viewing the tapes from Sunday's game is dribble penetration.

Wright spent a good deal of last year matched up defensively with opposing point guards because Jason Kidd wasn't quick enough to keep them in front of him.

Triano was asked if he might consider the change just to add that defensive quality to his starting five.

Again, the answer was a definitive no.

"Antoine is going to get his minutes," Triano said. "I would rather have Antoine playing at the end of the game and getting stops than at the beginning of the game."

As for the dribble penetration, Triano said it was an obvious point of emphasis yesterday.

"We showed them three (examples)," he said. "I think we had 12. To me, guys have to help and that's how they were allowed to kick for threes.

"We worked on our close outs and we have to get better as a team. We are not a super-quick team, so we have to be very good at closing out.

"I think when they make a few shots, you close out a little bit more and your hands are up and you become more susceptible to more blow bys. Good teams make you pay for that and they made us pay (Sunday)."

And Triano isn't placing all the blame for the easy walk into the Raptors paint on his point guards either.

While he admits Jose Calderon and Jarrett Jack have to do a better job of fighting through and cutting off penetration, it's also up to the bigs to provide help in that case.

In any event, the approach is not going to change.

"I don't want to abandon what we are doing," he said. "In years past, we have had a defensive philosophy and we would get to this point and decide: 'This is hurting us. Let's abandon it and do something different.'

"We're not going to do that. We just have to it better and that's part of what (yesterday's practice) was."

Calderon, a guy who gets plenty of the blame for opposing point guards preying on the Raptors -- not all of it deserved, according to both Triano and Chris Bosh -- came into this season intent on being a better defender.

While the early results don't appear to be attractive -- both Memphis' Mike Conley and Orlando's Jameer Nelson got into the lane at will in the past two games -- Calderon feels his defence has improved.

"I feel much better," Calderon said.

"I'm really comfortable out there."

Right now, the results appear at odds with the opinion being expressed by the Raptors point guard.

MIKE.GANTER@SUNMEDIA.CA


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