Toronto Raptors: Alan Anderson Needs to Learn His Role

By Michael Roberts
Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Alan Anderson has gone from a fan favorite, to many in the stands wondering why he’s still on the court, in a matter two months.

The Toronto Raptors used a total team effort, with six players in double-figures, to defeat the New Orleans Hornets 102-89.

One of the players in double-figures was Anderson, who finished with 11 points, three assists, three steals and three rebounds. The 30-year-old also finished second on the team in most field goals attempted going 4 for 12 from the floor, with only Rudy Gay attempting more shots than him.

The Raptors aren’t going to have consistent success if Anderson is attempting the second, third, or fourth amount of shots in a game, as the guard has quickly forgotten his role on the team. With Gay’s arrival, Anderson needs to remember that he is on the court to do the little things while playing defense and he is not there to put the ball in the basket.

Unfortunately, Anderson has shown since Toronto acquired Gay that he is very talented at forcing up brutal shots with 23.9 seconds left on the shot clock, while ignoring much more skilled scorers around him. He routinely ignores when teammates such as Gay, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry are looking for a pass, in order to force his offensive game that rarely ever works.

Prior to Gay’s arrival, Anderson was doing a wonderful job of waiting for the offense to come to him and knocking down open three-pointers. Now he appears determined to force up off-balanced three-pointers in an attempt to keep scoring in double-digits regardless of it hurts the team or not.

His awful shot selection continues to cost the team valuable possessions while leaving the fan base puzzled as to who the player thinks he is. Anderson is more than capable of being the perfect glue guy that every team needs in order to be successful. However, he seems much more interested in trying to do his best Kobe Bryant impression than by helping the team with his above average defense and basketball I.Q.

The greatest role player and glue guy of all-time, Dennis Rodman, used to pride himself on games where he finished scoreless. Rodman’s favorite type of stat line would see him finish with double-digit rebounds, a few blocks, along with a couple of steals and assists while recording zero points.

Now not everybody is like Rodman, (which is probably a good thing) but The Worm proved you can be extremely effective on the court while making sure the ball gets into the hands of the talented scorers. Rodman made questionable decisions during his career but he was far from stupid, he knew the way his teams were going to have success was by getting the ball to Isiah Thomas, David Robinson and Michael Jordan.

If Anderson can figure out that he doesn’t need to score when Gay, DeRozan, Lowry and Andrea Bargnani are on the court, than he’ll be significantly useful for the Raptors.

If he can’t figure it out, than fans will soon be chasing him out of town faster then they are with Bargnani.

Michael covers ACC and Big East basketball along with the NBA and NHL for Rant Sports, you can follow him on Twitter @MichaelxRoberts


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