Yuta Watanabe has completed a very busy campaign that has allowed him to enjoy different styles of basketball in geographical contexts antagonistic. After finishing the regular season with the Toronto Raptors he traveled to his native Japan to play the Olympic Games with the national team.
This experience helped him to assume a more important role, amplifying his functions on the court and being more aggressive. A scenario that now wants to print in the NBA within the responsibilities that finally fall on him.
«With the international team he had to be very aggressive every time he had the ball. It was a very different experience, “he said to the middle Toronto Star. “I understand that my role will not be the same with the Raptors but I still need to be more aggressive because with that I get my teammates to score more easily.”
The 26-year-old Japanese international displayed interesting defensive versatility and some offensive prowess during his first year with the team. However, his role in attack was very discreet as the annotation was condensed in players like Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet or OG Anunoby. However, Nick Nurse and his teammates have urged him to get involved in roles like shooting and creating.
“Being aggressive was a challenge last year,” Watanabe continued. “In college I was the guy to score. I always had that inner sense but last year I distanced myself from that role. I know when I can go for the hoop but I focused on looking for Fred, Pascal, OG or Kyle. This year, if I see that I can do it, I will. “
If Watanabe is able to expand his game, it will return him a great advantage in the battle for one of the vacant positions in the roster beyond this course. In fact, he will become a free agent next summer and this term his contract is not fully guaranteed. In addition, the forward can take advantage of the lower firepower that these Raptors present to assume some weight in the scoring.
«I know very well what I can do on the court: defend, rebound, play with energy and things like that. And I can also be more aggressive and score, as I showed a bit at the end of last season. So I will definitely be more aggressive and try to score more this year. “
(Cover photo by Lauren Bacho / Getty Images)