Banks a key to shutting down all-star Paul

MIKE GANTER, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 9:31 AM ET

Marcus Banks began the year as an afterthought, but is making his presence known with Jose Calderon down.

Banks was part of the Raptors second unit that came in and brought some life to a game that was desperately in need of it yesterday, a game the Raps went on to win 98-92 over the New Orleans Hornets due in large part to the contributions of that second unit.

The Raps reserves also came in and, led by Banks, put the clamps on Chris Paul ensuring the Hornets go-to guy never really got rolling.

Banks wound up playing just over 13 minutes and earned a little extra run from head coach Jay Triano in the fourth quarter with his solid defensive play.

“The one thing Marcus can do is defend,” Triano said. “When he is in the game we try and let Turk run a lot of the offence from the point-forward position. Marcus can guard point guards and even tonight Chris Paul tried to post him up a couple of times in the third and Marcus was very strong and did a good job holding his ground.

“He has been taking advantage of the chances he has to play right now,” Triano said. “He stays ready, he works out all the time and is ready to go.”

Banks has been around long enough that he knows his role, but has to be commended for staying ready even when playing time has been hard to come by.

“ Of course I want to play,’ Banks said, “but at the end of the day this is Jose’s team and I’m just being a teammate. We’ve got a guy down so I’m just helping hold up the ship.”


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