Alan Anderson (6) Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

Toronto Raptors Player Profile: Alan Anderson

Name:  Alan Anderson

Position: Shooting Guard

Age:  29

Height:  6’6″

Weight:  220 lbs.

College:  Michigan State

Season with Raptors: 1

2011-2012 Stats: 17 GP, 27.1 MPG, 9.6 PPG, 1.5 APG, 2.0 RPG, 0.3 SPG, 39.3 FG%, 38.7 3P%, 85.3 FT%, 8.75 PER

 Analysis: The presence of Alan Anderson on an NBA roster is a huge surprise, and a tribute to him for his perseverance. You won’t suffer writer’s cramp compiling a list of players who, like Alan, have been dropped, continue to play in lesser leagues, and find their way back to The Show. Anderson’s odyssey (Charlotte, Tulsa, Italy, Russia, Croatia, Israel, New Mexico, Spain, China, and finally Canada – that’s one well-stamped passport) is presumably over. He has a fresh contract, following a reasonably successful call-up from the D-League last season.

Alan will make it through the ’12-’13 season on the strength of his 3-ball shooting, and nothing else. I confess I’m somewhat confused by the decision to bring him back. How can it be that our roster has room for a one-trick pony like Alan, yet none for versatile, younger players like James Johnson & Jerryd Bayless? Does Raps’ management place that much emphasis on a player’s locker room demeanour? Is he expected to tell to the Raps’ younger players minor league horror stories of too much travel on second-rate conveyances to third-class towns, thus frightening the kids into better play with less bitchin’?

OK – let’s shelve the conspiracy theory and concentrate on what Alan brings to the dance. From what I saw last year during his 17-game audition, he shoots well enough, and without forcing. His handle is solid, though he’s not much on using it to take his man to the rim. Defensively, he’s more of a get-in-the-way type than a ball thief or shot blocker. If forced to cover the league’s best young guns, he’d be severely overmatched, but can hold his own, barely, against the others’ second unit 2-guards. At 6’6” & 220 lbs., he’s big enough to box out on the boards, but whatever leaping ability he may have had is no longer to be found. In short, he’s not impactful as a rebounder. As befits a player whose professional life hangs by a thread, Alan is serious and undemonstrative on the court. 

Alan shot better from distance than from 2-point range last year. That’s an anomaly which likely won’t recur. He also had a 3-game stretch in which he was 0-15 from 3-range, before redeeming himself with a 5-9 performance against the Nets (the infamous Ben Uzoh triple-double game, easily the shabbiest affair all season, and one of the worst excuses for an NBA game I’ve ever seen). 

Key stat to watch-FG%: As noted, Alan’s shooting percentage is upside-down, probably because he doesn’t create enough high percentage drives & layups for himself (and don’t waste your time watching for an alley-oop). While it’s nice to have a backup guard who can hit nearly 40% of his 3s, that pleasure drops when his near-in shots won’t fall. Note that for him, a few bad shooting games represents an existential threat to his tenure as a Rap. 

He stays on the floor if: He stays on the team. If Jose Calderon is the Rap most likely to be traded, Alan is the one most likely to be waived. Should the Raps be up or down 20 with 5 minutes to play, Alan will finish the game. Otherwise, he’ll collect the team’s highest total of DNP-CDs, more than John Lucas III.

Brian Boake is a staff writer for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada. 

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