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News » Triano likes Wright's unselfish attitude

Triano likes Wright's unselfish attitude

Triano likes Wright's unselfish attitude It's a comment not often heard in the me-first, dog-eat-dog world of the National Basketball Association, where playing time rates right up there with tricked-out new Hummers and acorn-sized diamond earrings.

So when Jay Triano heard forward Antoine Wright tell him during crunch time in the fourth quarter of Wednesday's game against the Detroit Pistons that the team was better off with him remaining on the bench, the Toronto Raptors coach was surprised - and pleasantly so.

"We had a lot of guys saying a lot of unselfish things," Triano said after practice yesterday afternoon. "Antoine, I thought about putting him in late in the game for defensive purposes and he said, 'Coach, these guys are rolling, let them go, they're doing fine.' "That's just a sign of a guy who's willing to sacrifice minutes for the sake of our team staying on a roll. I think to a man that's one of the things we have to try to maintain over 82 games."

It's not that the 6-foot-7 swingman is lacking in confidence.

It's just that he felt the rotation already on the floor, one that included Chris Bosh and Hedo Turkoglu, was Toronto's best option at fending off a late Pistons run.

Turns out Wright was right, although the Pistons fought all the way back from 17 points down in the third quarter to seize a 91-90 lead with just under eight minutes to play.

After Wright declined an invitation to play, he sat back and watched Bosh and company ramp up the defensive intensity that led to the Raptors closing out the game on a 20-8 run for a 110-99 victory.

"I think we had the game under control," said Wright when he was commended for his unselfish gesture. "Sometimes you make a substitution, a guy can come out there and break the rhythm for the guys that are out there.

"The most important thing is getting that win because we have an important road trip."

Wright was asked if this gets him one in the time bank with Triano when he wants to get additional court time in a future game.

"I've already told everybody, when we play Dallas I don't want to come off," he said. "I'll see if it works for me."

Wright, a former first-round draft pick, was acquired by the Raptors in the off-season in a trade with the Mavericks.

After starting the season 2-2, the Raptors are entering their first tough stretch of the season with seven of their next eight games on the road against Western Conference opponents, who are rarely polite hosts.

The journey begins tonight in New Orleans against the Hornets and classy point guard Chris Paul, who has added a three-point dimension to his already formidable offensive arsenal.

Paul is 12-of-15 from beyond the arc to begin the season, a not-too-shabby 80-per-cent success rate.

The Raptors will then play the game that Wright is eagerly anticipating when they head into Dallas to face the Mavericks tomorrow.

After that it's off to San Antonio to play the Spurs on Monday before the team makes a quick detour back into Canada to do a fast laundry and play the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday at the Air Canada Centre.

After that its back out on the road again for games against the L.A. Clippers, Phoenix Suns, Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz.

While Triano commended Wright for his team-first attitude, he said he doesn't want the players to become too unselfish - especially on the floor when they might choose to make that extra pass rather than try for the basket.

While the defence has been suspect through the first four games, the Raptors are among the league leaders offensively, averaging 108.5 points a game.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 6, 2009


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