Antoine Wright Puts Up Zeros On the Road

Stephen BrotherstonAnalyst IMarch 18, 2010

NEW YORK - JANUARY 28: Antoine Wright #21 of the Toronto Raptors lays the ball up against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2010 in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

One of the nice surprises this season has been the emergence of Antoine Wright as a viable and effective rotation player.

Considered a defensive role player, Wright was one of the Raptors important offensive contributors during their successful run in January and February.

For two months, the offensively challenged Wright averaged 7.1 points on a decent 45 percent shooting and hit on over 40 percent of his three-pointers.  A poor man’s Bruce Bowen in the making?

But Wright’s offensive resurgence flagged in March and during the recent four game road trip, Wright was a perfect 0-8 from the field and 0-5 from three.  And the Raptors missed what had become a reliable three-point threat from the corner.

One has to hope his recent shooting woes are the result of some minor nagging injury or just a temporary set-back and not a return to Wright’s historically offensive ineffectiveness.  That "sprained" ankle in Portland had nothing to do with Wright's 0-8 shooting over the four road games.

Wright started out the season shooting a career low 34 percent from the field.  Unfortunately his 31 percent shooting from three was actually an improvement from his last two seasons.  The result was the disappearance of Wright into the Jay Triano doghouse in the second half of December.

And during Wright’s previous four NBA seasons, he has been a five point, two rebound role player who averaged 41 percent from the field and 30 percent from three.  Now in 55 games with the Raptors, those averages are reappearing.

But it is easy to forget that Antoine Wright is just 26 year-old and the improvements seen during last year’s playoffs with Dallas and in the last two months in Toronto could be sign of Wright’s continuing development as a player.  There is a case for Antoine Wright.

Wright has a strong incentive to find his February production of 9.1 points on better than 40 percent shooting and 37.5 percent from three.  At the end of this season, Antoine Wright is a free agent.

And in a year filled with free agents, Wright knows that he has to finish strong if he is get that next NBA contract.