Marion eager to run again with Toronto Print
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Tuesday, 17 February 2009 12:27
NBA Headline News

 TORONTO (AP) -Freed from the shackles of Miami's half-court offense, Shawn Marion hopes a trade to Toronto will bring a return to the run-and-gun game he once played in Phoenix.
Toronto acquired Marion, guard Marcus Banks and cash from Miami last Friday in exchange for forwards Jermaine O'Neal and Jamario Moon and a conditional first-round pick.
Marion said Raptors coach Jay Triano plans to push the tempo now that the versatile forward has joined the team. Marion said it will be a welcome change from the more conservative offense he played in Miami.
``The game is supposed to be exciting,'' Marion said Tuesday as he and Banks were introduced to the Toronto media. ``I'm tired of playing that boring style in the half court, watching everybody just go up and run plays, call this play. That's boring. The fans don't enjoy it either. People like to see you get up and down, have high-scoring games and dunks and all that stuff. That's what it's about.''
Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo, who drafted Marion in 1999 when he was GM of the Suns, expects the four-time All-Star to fit right in.
for Shawn to be a little bit more useful to his team,'' Colangelo said. ``I don't think they were fully maximizing his potential down in Miami. That was maybe a system thing more than anything else. I think the system here will work in his favor.''
Marion and Banks join a Toronto team that is last in the Atlantic Division at 21-34, five games behind Milwaukee for the final playoff spot in the East.
It's the second time in the past year that Marion has moved down in the standings in a midseason trade, but he's more encouraged this time.
``It's going to be a little easier than the adjustment I made last year,'' Marion said with a laugh. ``I went from the first-place team in the Western Conference (Phoenix) to the last-place team in the Eastern Conference (Miami). We're only five games out of the playoffs. It's not unreachable for us. We've got 27 games to go and I think it's very obtainable.''
Colangelo called Marion ``a better fit'' than O'Neal was because of his ability to rebound and defend wing players, two of Toronto's biggest shortcomings.
``Shawn can pretty much guard anybody in the league and has always been, I thought, a very solid defender,'' Colangelo said. ``He's always been underrated as far as the perception of him. He's a very solid defender, solid rebounder and he finds ways to score. I can't think of a better complement to our team.''
Marion and Banks will make their Toronto debut Wednesday when the Raptors host Cleveland. The matchup with LeBron James, the league's leading scorer, will be an immediate test of Marion's defensive skills.
``He (James) is definitely a handful for anybody, regardless of what position you play,'' Marion said.
 

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