Belinelli does what works

Raptors guard Marco Belinelli could get more minutes with DeMar DeRozan injured. (QMI Agency/Jack...

Raptors guard Marco Belinelli could get more minutes with DeMar DeRozan injured. (QMI Agency/Jack Boland)

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:24 AM ET

Marco Belinelli starts off by apologizing if his off-balance runners and leaners from distance appear like the kind of shot no NBA player in his right mind should even consider trying.

The fact of the matter is, Belinelli doesn’t look at his vast arsenal of circus shots that way.

He doesn’t consider them gambles or even high risks. And he’s not sorry he takes them.

These are shots he has made before and believes he can make again, and because of that there is no need for an apology.

No, they do not all end up finding the mark, but when Belinelli lets them go, that is exactly what he expects.

“That's me,” Belinelli said. “Sometimes people tell me about taking crazy shots. I must be nuts, but I don't care about other people.

“I'm just trying to do my best every time ... As long as you score it's good. That's me.”

There are those on his own team that see him putting up shots every day in practice, before and during games that swear he makes a higher percentage of the crazy one's than he does when he actually sets his feet and tosses one up there the traditional way.

As far as Belinelli is concerned, it's a matter of get the job done whatever way you can.

“That’s my job. I’m a shooting guard so I want to score every time,” he said.

Belinelli himself admits he practises the way he plays, completely unorthodox with no sense of form or style. It’s what he knows and what works for him.

And lately it’s been tough to argue with the results.

While he went through a tough December shooting just 33% from the field, Belinelli is finding the mark with more regularity this month hitting at 46% for January.

That improvement has coincided with more minutes from head coach Jay Triano, but it would be a mistake to credit simply his makes this month for the extra run.

Belinelli himself realizes he’s being far more aggressive in January, both in getting to the rim and protecting his own and he believes that’s the reason his minutes are up this month.

Jarrett Jack, another Raptor whose aggressiveness in getting to the basket has opened things up for the Raptors offensively this month, says the key for Belinelli is believing in himself.

“I think he had a rough shooting patch before and I think he’s one of those guys who lets his offence dictate his mood and that’s most of us,” Jack said.

“Now he’s doing a great job defending, being active. Sure he hits those crazy-ass acrobatic shots and I don’t know how he does it but he’s been rebounding too and that has been key. He’s just been really active.”

With starting shooting guard DeMar DeRozan hobbled with not one, but two ankle sprains, there’s a good chance fans will be seeing more of Belinelli than usual Wednesday against Miami.

So don't be shocked if you happen to spot a guy more horizontal than vertical attempting a shot.

That will be Belinelli.


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