Arsenalist

The Toronto Raptors Blog with an Arsenal touch

TJ Ford’s having a big impact

Posted by Arsenalist on February 10, 2008

Toronto Raptors 105, Minnesota Timberwolves 82

About a decade ago when Tim Hardaway and the Miami Heat were one of the best road teams in the NBA, he was asked the question where they’d rather play Game 7 of a series. Hardaway responded that it would be better if it were on the road, that way the entire team would be more focused and wouldn’t be distracted by all the elements of home games. Although Hardaway’s comments were most likely insincere, they do carry some weight and some of what he’s talking about can be seen in the Raptors play. The Raps have blown games at home and away but one thing that is unquestionable is that they’ve always played with better energy, focus and intelligence on the road. For whatever reason they’re a team that seems to have trouble getting motivated for home games and play with a higher level of energy when on the road. This is reflected in our 14-10 home and 13-12 away record which bucks the trend of teams being considerably more successful at home.

The opponent tonight wasn’t a barometer of any sort. A win in Minneapolis is a surety for any team but at least we can be thankful that we didn’t have another letdown. However, we’ve seen this movie before: after we lost to Philly, we beat Boston, after we lost to Phoenix, we beat the Spurs, after we lost to Boston, we beat Houston, after we….you get the point. We have a good record in bounce-back games this year but we’re struggling to find the consistency that might give us a chance of finishing the season as a favorite in a first-round playoff series. Either we have to hope that the current unit can simply play better and makeup for our defensive deficiencies or we have to be active in the trade market. Only time will tell what will transpire, my money’s on nothing happening.

It was nice to see Bosh actually pay attention to Sam’s post-game quotes from Friday by addressing the complacency issue and coming out playing with a purpose:

“We can’t just show up and expect to win. Sometimes you look at some teams’ records and you just think you are going to show up and get crowned the winner. It doesn’t work like that.”

Minnesota just doesn’t have any weapons that are threatening enough, all we did was send doubles at Al Jefferson who didn’t get any help from his team. At least two other guys on the T’wolves needed to have 18+ games for them to even have a shot in this one and the best somebody other than Big Al could muster was Marco Jaric with 11. Jaric – who has no reason to give a shit because he’s already won the championship of life – got his points in the first quarter and was rarely heard from again. We did a good job of crowding Jefferson and forcing Sebastian Telfair and Randy Foye to beat us via the jumpshot, neither of them are good shooters and shot a combined 6-20 contributing to Minnesota’s 41% performance. The offense didn’t need to be that great today bit it was anyway, Calderon was hot early and Bargnani headlined five players in double figures and two with eight. It was like taking candy from a dead cat.

Any praise that is given tonight should be scaled down by half just because we were playing the worst team in the league, with that being said it’s appropriate to give Jamario Moon some credit. I thought he had a bad game against the Clippers but bounced back nicely and passed up chances to test his broker jumper in favor of either a drive or a pass. All of the shots in his 4-4 FG performance were high percentage dunks or layups which is the only place he should be getting his offense from. Uncorking 20 footers isn’t his thing no matter how open he is, especially when you have a quick first step his. Yeah, he only had 1 rebound which is somewhat pathetic but let’s look past that seeing how the rebounding didn’t come to bite us.

TJ Ford seems to have a great on-court relationship with Rasho Nesterovic, TJ has always looks to get Rasho shots, whether it be through “drive and dumps” or zipping passes right down the key, TJ understands the value of Rasho’s finishing ability and always looks to get him involved. It’s not a coincidence that Rasho’s decline of late coincided with TJ’s absence. The same can be said about Kapono who lives of TJ’s creativity which happens to be far superior to Jose Calderon’s. The best part about TJ tonight was that he only took 6 shots and most of them came in garbage time, he took his first shot in the third quarter and was actively looking to get others involved. Maybe sitting on the bench has given him a chance to look at the team and realize that shooting must always be secondary to a point guard of his quickness and creativity. A great controlled performance by Ford who’s starting to look like he never missed a beat. 22 points, 23 assists from Forderon including 13 assists in 22 minutes by TJ. I’m liking TJ coming off the bench right now because of his ability to get Kapono/Rasho shots, don’t know when Sam will decide to pull the switch.

A meaningful test against the Spurs is next, let’s see if our record against the top-tier teams changes for the better. For now we have a win against a bad, bad team. Celebrate at your own discretion.


Liners:

* Humphries’ parents were in the stands which deserved 8 minutes of playing time: 1-5 FG, 4 points, 2 rebounds. Not bad.

* Atta boy Bargs!!!!! 16 points, 6 rebounds. Aggressive drives, effective ball-fakes, confident decisions, sweet stroke: Keep it up!

* Instead of folding in the third quarter like we did against LA, we blew them out.

* Jason Kapono went 6-10 FG, life is good when you’re on the floor with a PG that demands so much attention from all the players on the court that it makes getting open so much easier.

* Rob Babcock had the wisdom to pass over Gerald Green twice. I honestly believe that he didn’t screw up the Vince Carter deal although emotion at the time made me think otherwise. He acquired expiring contracts and gave Colangelo operating room for the future. His biggest fuck-up wasn’t the Carter deal, it was drafting Hoffa.

* Getting very tired of Chucks’ homerism. I know this subject has been beaten to death but it continues to haunt Raptors broadcasts. Listening to the radio doesn’t work because of the sound delay.

* This was one boring ass game to watch.

* TJ Ford is The Top Rap.

Grab the feed if you use an RSS reader. Till tomorrow.

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27 Responses to “TJ Ford’s having a big impact”

  1. Crank said

    Can’t read much into this win, here’s the moment of zen part of this post:

    “Any praise that is given tonight should be scaled down by half just because we were playing the worst team in the league”

    Enough said, good to see TJ do well, let’s see how we do against SA.

  2. Lopez said

    Once again i cant take much from a win because of a loss in the game before. If we would’ve beaten the clippers then this win would have meant more, we proved nothing here but wins against San Antonio and New Jersey will give us some momentum going into the All-Star Break. Tj was great tonight, its good to see him take less shots because his shot isnt very good to be blunt. Bosh was ok. Bargs was good. Jose was Jose. Delfino and Moon played well, hopefully all this will carry over into another win against the defending champs!!

  3. i don’t know man, i really think he did screw up the vince carter trade. all he did was get the williams (combined salary of about 6-7 mill), a couple draft pics, and he bought out alonzo. he could have got a better player for the combined salaries of the williams (maggette maybe?). and clearing cap space? well, he could have bought out anyone if that was the plan. the real cap savings was a couple weaks later when embry traded rose to the knicks.

    i say ford takes back starting pg duties from calderon early-mid march. what do you think?

  4. arsenalist said

    I have no idea, I think if the team goes on a win-streak or starts playing really well, you might have to stick with Calderon for a bit. But knowing Sam and how he respects loyalty, I’d say TJ comes back in the lineup after the ASG or so. I wrote about this a while back, there’s no PG controversy here but it’ll be a little difficult for Sam to bench Calderon given how well he’s playing.

  5. Messiah2315 said

    I have to say this, simply because I can’t see anyone else looking past the razzle dazzle to notice the flaw. TJ Ford did not have a good game. That was forced. He did not dictate the tempo at all. Calderon, be it as it may, is less creative. However, there is a reason Court-vision doesn’t equal good floor general. Ford had an inspiring performance, but lets be real here please. He was way too quick to be guarded and just shredded the defense, refused to shoot and thus found open shooters and cutters. Was it all that impressive? Could he have done this against a playoff bound team? NEVER – It will never happen. Don’t call me a hater, I call it how I see it. Jose Calderon led this team over San Antonio, Boston, New Orleans… 3 of the best teams in the league. With Ford starting, the Raptors did not beat ONE of the top 8 current teams in the league… point is, good defenses can stop Ford, because against good defenses, Ford stops himself. He makes poor choices, gets childish, and starts looking for his own offense. There is a difference between can’t shoot, and don’t want to shoot. Calderon is the 8th best 3-point shooter in the league, way taller, and a much smarter player. No one would complain had he taken 20 shots. But he doesn’t. He always looks to get Bosh, Bargnani involved. Just look at the two talk,

    Calderon: ” We just passed the ball well, like I said, when we move the ball around, everyone plays well. It was a good win for us. We needed it”

    Ford: “Thats what I do, I make plays for other guys. You don’t loose that. My shot is a little off, but I am a passer, and you don’t loose that. I feel good, I think I’m 100% right now”

    … You won’t find Calderon smiling after dropping 20/15 in a loss..
    You will never find Jose sulking after a win where he got all of 17 mins of PT..

    You will see TJ get mad at his team mates for not making shots which will give him assists (just watch a game live). You will see TJ noticably happier when he plays well, even when the team doesn’t. You will see TJ sulk on the bench if he plays 15 mins in a game. You will see Jose clapping as TJ steals his PT in the playoffs.

    You will never see Jose bring up the All star game, although he’s the only Raptor outside of Bosh since 2003 who’s been worthy of an invite.

    You have, and will see TJ Ford tell you his main goal of the season is to make the all star team.

    I have NO question that both want to win, I have no question both want to start. Difference is, Jose would win any way, and TJ wants to win his way. I prefer Jose, and I see the people at the ACC have started feeling the same way (heard some BOOS and go break your neck again you chucker) chants against LAC… he forces too much… sorry. For those who are simply wowed by numbers (assists) you have no clue as to what it means to be a floor general. TJ just played run and gun bball against a helpless T’wolves team. Jose… if he could work on his defense would be one of the top 5 PG’s in the league… there IS A DIFFERENCE.

  6. Red Rebounder said

    “Break your neck again you chucker” – that is harsh and I’m thinking it was never said. I went to the game and didn’t hear any of those chants because I don’t think anybody is that classless.

    One of the main reasons I read this blog is because is steers clear from bullshit like TJ v Jose and other such stupid meaningless banter. I prefer Jose as a starting PG because I think we need TJ’s quickness in the second unit more than the first. That’s where it ends. This has nothing to do with who smiles after the game, who talks about all-star games, who sulks, who’s facial expression changes with each fart – all that is FUCKING POINTLESS and shit made for drama queens.

    Focus on the basketball, we’ve won with TJ as the starting PG and are doing OK with Calderon at the starting PG. We’re better when both are playing and worse when one of them is not. Get that through your head and focus on the team rather than the individual. As Arse is pointing out TJ’s making it easier for Rasho and Kapono to get theirs, it’s not a slight towards Calderon. If I had to pick one of the two to make an open jumper or a jumper off a screen, I’d go with Jose but that doesn’t mean I’ll always take Jose, TJ is ideal for teams who play great perimeter defense whereas Calderon is not.

    13 assists for a guy coming off a frightening injury is a damn good game. Why take credit away from TJ? This is not even worth discussing.

    I’m with Lopez, Clippers loss makes me see this in a different light. We’re struggling to be consistent. Let’s see how they do against San Antonio who’ll be pissed because of their home loss and getting beat by the Celtics.

  7. […] If you want a more detailed breakdown of last night’s game head over to the Arsenalist. […]

  8. i agree, there is no controversy, tj gets his starting role back. for no other reason then it is the way of sports. starters get injured all the time. when they are out, someone replaces until they get better. if that replacement happens to excel/prosper, great. but when the starter is ready to come back, they get worked into the lineup, then get worked into starting again. it isn’t anything other than how things roll in pro sports. any sport, not just the nba y’all need to get used to it and come to peace with it.

  9. Sam is COY said

    Messiah2315 > why so harsh?

  10. Messiah2315 said

    There is no way I give someone credit for 13 assists when

    a. half of them were forced
    b. the other half came after Jose blew the lead wide open in the third and the rest of the time was simply garbage time.

    c. To be fair, Andrea is my fav player, and I personally don’t think he had a GREAT game either, and I don’t think his little 4 rebounds in garbage time was all that impressive, because through 23-24 mins, he still had 2 rebounds, and thats for him, Unacceptable, as was his 0 blocks and his allowing Jefferson to go around him, when he, unlike Bosh has the lateral quicks to stay infront of him.

    d. When you play poor defensive teams (which the Twolves are) you can pick them apart with some penetration. Today TJ got past the likes of the scrubs who tried to stay in front of him, and because he feels he needs to show the world he can play, he decided to play hot patatoe with the ball, in the hopes that since he obviously can’t score right now, perhaps by passing he will get more assists. I hate players who think about stats because when you do, it means you’re playing he game the wrong way. I lead you to an example where Delfino had an open shot and passed it off. The pass went (I think to Andrea) and you could see TJ was pissed. Few plays later, Delfino missed, and someone got the rebound and put it in (i think Andrea?) and lol, TJ ACTUALLY WENT UP TO HIM and said commmmmmonnn man I got you an open look.

    Where do TJ’s passes always go? To his very best shooter, (Kapono) when he’s open, or Rasho when he’s under the rim for a layup. You do understand that Jose makes sure EVERYONE gets touches. Here is the bottom line FOR ME.

    1. When the team is struggling, Jose does not abandon the game plan and start shooting random fade aways. He may make a few shots to get his team back on track, but he will once again go back to passing.

    – In contrast, TJ will shoot until he misses. I have seen him come up the court and jack it 3-4 times without moving the ball to more than 1 person. He is like… Allen Iverson with no shot. You think Iverson and Carter don’t have splendid court vision? Ivey was first overall pick as a PG! But that didn’t mean he was a PG. The reason TJ IS A PG, is he cannot (can never) due to his size and lack of consistant shot be a 2-guard.

    2. TJ/Jose are liabilities on the court defensively. But… but but but, they’re both lacking in different areas. Jose is poor lateral defender and has trouble keeping guys in front of him. TJ is too short, too weak, too slight, and easily gets bumped, but also gives off the Jason Kidd effect. He is so short, he makes other PG’s better in terms of their effectiveness when seeing the court. He also has no answer for stronger PGs. If you see New Jersey, or Detroit, or Chicago, or Washington in the playoffs, TJ will cost you the series with his lack of ability to even contain Kidd/Billups/Hinrich/ Arenas . I think they’re both bad defenders, but Calderon can at the very least avoid being abused if you get some lane coverage. But there is no help for TJ against guys over 6’2 210, except double teaming… and against Billups, Kidd, Arenas, that’s going to cost you a series.

    You cannot win with TJ as your PG. You cannot win a championship without a better defender playing that backup role either. I personally think this team is better off waiting till the offseason, trading him with Rasho for a big contract SF (whoever it may be) and bringing over a bigger Roko Ukic. In fact if you were so impressed with TJ Last night you’ll love Ukic, he does the same god damn thing. Drive, dish, drive dish. Oh and he’s 6’5 with BETTER handles… just check out his season so far this year over in Italy.

    And a last thing…

    Since we can all see Bosh is the “franchise” … ask yourself who he turned his corner with? Who did his 30+ point games come with? There is possibly over a 6ppg difference between playing with TJ v.s Jose… is that just blind chance? It certainly isn’t because Jose is a worse scorer, because we all know if anything he’s the better scorer. Why then has Bosh seen so much MORE success on offense since TJ got hurt?

    OCT – 16 ppg 43%FG

    NOV – 19 ppg 46% FG (Nov 20th he gets hurt)
    Bosh for the AFTER 20th, 22PTS, 41 PTS, 16 pts, AND then he got injured.

    WITH JOSE

    DEC – 22.1 PPG 42% (meaning even though he shot poorly, he was getting the shots UP) AND The next month… with Jose

    Jan- 27.7ppg 59%fg (best month of his career)

    With TJ, bosh was always in that 20-21 range with poor shooting, and with Calderon (always looking for him) and their first month together after getting that chemistry, he got 28 ppg nearly… For Bosh that is impressive, and we won a lot.

    We BLEW out Detroit
    We beat a RED-HOT Portland
    We beat BOSTON 114-112 at full strength! big 3 what?
    We beat San Antonio by 10 when they had Parker/Duncan

    And we did all 4 things, with Juan Dixon playing significant minutes at the Back up Point… if you think TJ deserves to start, I’d like to hear ONE reason why which doesn’t have to do with his AND-1 mentality when it comes to over-dribbling and over-passing.
    DEC – 22PPG 42%FG (middle TJ got hurt)

    and we Beat New Orleans, check where those 5 teams are in the W-L column

  11. PsychicSpy said

    Well… Messiah does have a point. I’ve been pushing the “only wins against Elite teams matter” doctrine for a while. Pre-Atlanta December 11th we were about 1-7 against solid Playoff Teams.

    Since then we are 4-6 (Wins: DA,SA,NO,BO, Losses: BO,PX,HS,DE,DE,LA)… leaving out 1-1 versus Portland. But the Raptor point differential in those 10 games is -61… so it’s not as good as it may appear.

    Also, the whole Messiah arguement about Jose playing better than TJ against Elite Teams… MAY go right out the window after the way Billups/Hamilton DEMOLISHED the Raptor backcourt TWICE in succession.

    TJ’s comeback is the KEY to everything. We do not have enough assets to contend in 2 years if TJ’s value goes to near zero.

    It seems to me that he definitely has developed an aversion to the rim… and CONCURRENTLY has scaled back his shooting. This may be a reach… but I’m beginning to think that his injury FEARS may actually become the CATALYST that FORCES him to play under control… and elevates him to Elite Status. If TJ makes a full comeback… Jose, a classic half-court PG with greater trade value, is probably a goner.

    Question about TJ: Can a PG be Elite with no 3 point
    shot? Answer: YES. DWade has no 3 point shot (13/76 = 0.171 in Miami’s Championship season).

    The home/away issue raised is also very interesting.
    Recently, I’ve been debating with myself what BETTER
    indicates an Elite NBA team: a very strong home record or a good road record.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that an overpowering
    HOME COURT advantage is paramount. Especially in the
    playoffs. An (a) unusual venue and (b) the culture
    of the home crowd play a big role in this. Certain
    college teams are almost unbeatable at home.

    Unfortunately, the Raptors have a minimal home court
    advantage (14-10)… and this was dramatically exposed
    by the Nets last spring. No team WORRIES about playing
    at the Air Canada Center. The venue and culture are
    very ordinary… and offer the Raptors no major
    advantage. It’s almost a neutral site. Probably will
    never change.

    The Elite teams that have DOMINANT home court advantage
    are: BO (22-4), DE (20-4), SA (20-5), UT (22-3), DA (22-3). Not much chance of getting past the Pistons or Celtics in the 2nd round.

    On the positive side… bettors love the Raptors. Tonight’s SA game has virtually the same line as yesterday’s Boston game. So, mathematically, Raptors = (Celtics – KG).

  12. PsychicSpy said

    Well… Messiah is extremely biased, but does have a point. I’ve been pushing the “only wins against Elite teams matter” doctrine for a while. Pre-Atlanta Dec11 we were 1-7 against solid Playoff Teams.

    Since then we are 4-6 (Wins: DA,SA,NO,BO, Losses: BO,PX,HS,DE,DE,LA)… leaving out 1-1 versus Portland. But the total point differential in those 10 games is -61… so it’s not as good as it may appear.

    Unfortunately, the whole Messiah’s point about Jose playing better than TJ against Elite Teams… MAY go right out the window after the way Billups/Hamilton DEMOLISHED the Raptor backcourt TWICE in succession.

    TJ’s comeback is the KEY to everything… because the Raptors lack the pieces to compete in 2 years if TJ’s value plummets. You can kiss the BC era good-bye.

    It seems to me that TJ has definitely developed an aversion to the rim… and CONCURRENTLY has scaled back his shooting. This may be a reach… but I’m beginning to think that his INJURY FEARS may actually become the CATALYST that FORCES him to play under control… and elevates him to Elite Status. If TJ makes a full comeback… Jose, a classic half-court PG with greater trade value, is probably a goner.

    Question about TJ: Can a PG be Elite with no 3 point
    shot? Answer: YES. DWade has no 3 point shot (13/76 = 0.171 in Miami’s Championship season).

    The home/away issue raised is very interesting. Recently, I’ve been debating with myself what BETTER
    indicates an Elite NBA team: a very strong home record or a good road record.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that an overpowering HOME COURT advantage is paramount. Especially in the playoffs. An (a) unusual venue and (b) the culture
    of the home crowd play a big role in this. Certain
    college teams are almost unbeatable at home.

    Unfortunately, the Raptors have a minimal home court
    advantage (14-10)… and this was dramatically exposed
    by the Nets last spring. No team WORRIES about playing
    at the Air Canada Center. The venue and culture are
    very ordinary… and offer the Raptors no major
    advantage. It’s almost a neutral site. Probably will
    never change.

    The Elite teams that have DOMINANT home court advantage
    are: BO (22-4), DE (20-4), SA (20-5), UT (22-3), DA (22-3). Not much chance of getting past the Pistons or Celtics in the 2nd round.

    On the positive side… bettors love the Raptors. Tonight’s SA game has virtually the same line as yesterday’s Boston game. So, mathematically, Raptors = (Celtics – KG).

  13. […] – Arsenalist […]

  14. arsenalist said

    Messiah, I see you’ve found your way over.

    You’re being extremely harsh on TJ for reasons that are entirely based on speculation and assumptions. You have no idea what TJ said to Delfino or whether TJ “abandons” his teammates or not whether “he looks pissed”. You’re looking very hard between the lines so you can grasp on to something you can criticize.

    Here’s a simple stat:

    – Our record when TJ went down was 2 games over .500.
    – Our record with Calderon as the starting PG while TJ was out is 2 games over .500

    I think you’ll agree with me that schedule strength was even and maybe even a little easier for Calderon.

    As for Bosh’s numbers being better with Calderon, it’s completely due to him getting healthier and coming into mid-season form. He was nagged by his knee injury earlier in the year and it was affecting his game by his own admission – this is not my opinion, it’s stated fact.

    Your defensive assessment is spot on but you’re trying to play Calderon’s weakness down by saying “Calderon can at the very least avoid being abused if you get some lane coverage” while you highlight TJ’s problem as having no solution but to double: “But there is no help for TJ against guys over 6’2 210, except double teaming”. How is providing lane help any better than double teaming? They both require another man to come help you out, I’d even say that we’re a team better suited for rotating on the perimeter than rotating in the lane (remember Philly, Seattle, Washington?). Either way, I think it’s a wash and each PG can be the “better defender” based on game-by-game matchups, you can’t use a broad brush to paint their defensive abilities.

    I think TJ looks for his shot more than Calderon but it’s not close to being as bad as you’re saying it is. TJ tends to do a “heat check” when he’s made a few shots but guess what, so does Delfino, Bosh, Bargnani, Dixon, Parker etc. You’re overexaggerating again by saying “TJ will shoot until he misses”, that’s not true. Earlier in the year he singlehandedly carried us in games where we were struggling early by going off in the first half when his mates weren’t hitting shots – I don’t call that ball-hogging. Calderon does this too at times and it’s a great thing.

    Kidd/Billups/Arenas will own TJ or Jose any day. There’s not even a debate here. I don’t know about Hinrich though, he’s not in that category of PGs.

    I thought we could’ve used TJ in our losses against Detroit, Lakers and Cleveland where he could’ve created shots when we were struggling. Anyway, I’ve grown to appreciate them both based on match-ups. To each his own, thanks for taking the time to give your thoughts, however controversial.

    Also, what the hell is a “forced assist”?

  15. PapiJulio said

    Hey Arsenalist… How about this…I was thinking about trying it but I don’t have Satatlite. If you had a PVR you could tape the game, then delay it so it matched to radio broadcast. It should be possible for fans that can’t stand our TV “Glamour” broadcast. Except Jack Armstrong. He has a way of understand all the little things that most prople aren’t aware of. And usually doens’t get over excited.

    I’m not saying nothing about TJ & Calderon. It’s too early to say this or that. They are both awesome. A positive with Ford off the bench righ now is at the beginning of the season TJ played more with Rasho and it shows that the comfort level is still there. But I’m sure we are going to experience growing pains with trying to bring TJ back into the line-up. The last two games we’ve lost major momentum in the 2nd quarter when trasitioning between TJ and Calderon. The team gets pretty confused at this point and loses their momentum for some reason…. oh the growing pains!

  16. arsenalist said

    Papi, I found this nifty piece of software which can be used to sync up the TV and radio so that there’s no delay.

    http://www.daansystems.com/freestuff/

    Check it out.

  17. Sam is COY said

    Messiah2315 > I put it down to style. Jose is a Euro-PG, where stats do NOT matter. Only Ws. TJ is a North American PG. You need to play to be noticed, and noticed to be played.

    I believe TJ plays that way, because that is how Smitch wants him to play. It’s how he has been taught to play.

    I don’t think at this point one is necessarily better than the other. I’d like to be an advocate of playing the right PG to fit the situation. Whoever that may be. Because we can.

    I wonder if we will ever be happy having two quality pg’s.

  18. Messiah2315 said

    One thing :

    Jose did his magic with Juan as a back up
    TJ did his with Jose as a back up

    If your record with TJ and without TJ is the same, that means he means nothing to this team.

    If you’re going to say Calderon struggled against Det (which I don’t remember so well) look at this

    “Jose Calderon: Leads Raptors in Win Over Celtics Wednesday
    Update: Calderon had a double-double, led the Raptors in scoring, and scored the winning basket with 10 seconds left in the game in Wednesday’s 114-112 victory over Boston.
    Analysis: Calderon finished the night with 24 points, 13 assists, three steals and three three-pointers, shooting 8-for-10 from the floor and 5-for-5 from the line. With coach Sam Mitchell’s recent suggestion that even if TJ Ford does get back on the court it would be in a bench role, Calderon’s spot as one of the league’s top point guards would seem to be secure.”

    And to answer, a forced assist is an assist made for the sake of getting an assist. It’s like Ricky Davis’s forced tripple double. I bring you to an example.

    I am playing a game, and I see I have 17 points, 8 assists, and 11 rebounds. I have been playing well, but because I’m so close to a tripple double, I pass (doesn’t matter the situation) so I can get my 2 assists. North American bball is flawed for emphasizing individual success over team success.

    I pass, dominate the ball, and over-pass and suddenly I have a tripple double.

    Then –

    I am playing, and I see I have 17 pnts, 8 assists, and 10 rebuonds, and despite Rasho being wide open on the break, I decide the percentage of him catching this pass is lower than me going and laying it up myself, and thus I lay it up. TJ Forced the passes yesterday. He would hold on and on and on, dribble around, and then would pass to a person in the position to shoot. Calderon on the other hand plays to make plays for everyone. He will make a TON of passes which lead to the pass, and everything from Calderon is not involved with making the pass, but he makes the right play.

    He will look for players who haven’t touched the ball in a while, he looks for the hot hand, he makes sure to facilitate ball movement, he is a better leader, a better captain, a better team mate – I’m sorry the difference between the first scenario and second one is this. One, you play so well that your play translates to a tripple double. The second, your tripple double defines how you play. There is the difference. TJ will shoot tirelessly if he’s stuck at 8 points, and Calderon wouldn’t. Calderon reminds me of stockton, where Ford reminds me of again, a young Allen Iverson without the scoring power.

    I’m just not one for these Mike James, Jason Williams, Iverson type guards. I like my Kidds, Calderons, and Deron Williams. They… seem to loose less.

    And I bring up a point I brought up 6 months ago- you cannot keep both. If Colangelo does, its a mistake.

    You have holes on this team, which need masking.

    TJ is more injury-prone, and while more talented, is the less mature player. Oh I do like him quite a bit as a person. His personality is that of a winner. He brings with him winning. But… he will not thrive as option 3. He doesn’t have the mind to play that role. He himself has compared himself to Iverson and he envisions this as His and Bosh’s team, where everyone else knows this is Bosh and Andrea’s team. In the long run, option 2 on a championship team will not be him. And he will not continue to play 25 mins per game happily. He also won’t accept being benched, despite

    a. Jose is one of 6 players in the LEAGUES HISTORY to be 50-40-90, 50 FG% 40 3PFG, AND 90 FTP

    Nash is the current other.

    b. Jose is leading the league in all time assist- turnover

    Can you imagine how many great PG’s in the league have played? Stockton? Magic? Kidd? Payton? Nash? Thomas? And for 10+years? 16 years? This is Jose’s 3rd YEAR! You’re talking a potential Hall of famer in 10 years if you just let him play, and he deserves 30 + mpg. You need to deal Ford for a small forward who can play some defense, ala a Ron Artest, and bring in a back up to play back up, ala Roko Ukic, or brevin Knight (if you must go for a midget) . You need someone who can play WITH Jose if he’s going to be a starter on the bench, and to put it right, TJ and Jose cannot play together. If TJ was 6′4, this would be a significantly different team…

  19. PapiJulio said

    Messiah2315—> your a rooted fan with some deep understanding. Your logic I think is on par. You really can’t have 2 starting PG in a league that would give a left nut for one starting PG. I don’t think your being harsh in a bad way. You make valid points. I think the back-up PG Ukic is signed for next season??? Calderon best friend Garbo is coming back next season,I hope.

    From a business point of view you could get a good trade for TJ if he proves he can finish the season strong. Calderon is improving in leaps & bounds. Not sure where his ceiling is. I think he’ll be a durable PG in the league for a long time. His agent will probably sign a 3yr deal somewhere because his value could continue to rise. If Calderon signed a longer deal he might not be getting valve for his playing ability.

    The problem is I really like TJ Ford. But on the other hand you might be able to trade him for a SF star. Calderon is more of a team player and turning into one of the purest PG in history! I know BC isn’t a shy guy!!

  20. arsenalist said

    Combine these facts: 1) Our biggest tradeable asset is Calderon 2) TJs recent injury has made him a risky trade piece and 3) BC said he won’t trade Calderon. This likely means that nobody’s going anywhere, at least not until the offseason. I’m all for trading one of Calderon or Ford BUT ONLY IF we get a triple-threat slashing SF but I just don’t see it happening.

    Messiah’s stats are correct but the sample size is a little small and we’ve all discussed the risks and benefits of playing conservative basketball where the PG doesn’t force things because he’s looking after his AST-TO ratio. That’s not a debate worth going into but generally speaking Calderon tends to pull back and not look for easy baskets in semi-transition. In short, it’s like saying you’d rather have Calderon instead of Chris Paul just because his AST-TO is higher. Statistics and lies go hand in hand.

    I disagree that keeping them both is a mistake. It’s only a mistake IF our other needs are not being addressed, if BC is able to make a trade/signing which addresses those while keeping Forderon, it’s ideal for the team. Look at how Ainge acquired KG while keeping Allen and Pierce intact, it can happen and that’s what BC should be focusing on.

    I’ve been advocating a trade for a long time and have often brought up how uncomfortable things might get IF Ukic plays well next year. It’ll be hard to keep 2 great PGs plus a solid backup on the team. The worst part is that none of the three can play the 2 spot which means they’ll be forced into sharing minutes at the 1. But that’s an entirely different matter and has nothing to do with TJ vs. Jose. IMHO, none of them are going anywhere until BC has a proper chance to evaluate Ukic’s play in the NBA and after that it’ll be a salary cap decision more than anything.

    Besides, the sooner everybody realizes that having two very good PGs on the team is a good thing, the better.

  21. PapiJulio said

    Arsenalist—> “the sooner everybody realizes that having two very good PGs on the team is a good thing, the better.”

    I agree… but with the shortage of PG in the league I sure a team will wave a PHAT contract infront of one of them…. you might see how loyal they are at that point. If TJ finishes season strong I think he’ll be traded. How’s that for a “Catch 22” situation.

    In a perfect world I’d love 2 staring PG’s but is it possible????

  22. Messiah2315 said

    Arsenalist, please explain to me why a 6’5 Roko Ukic can’t play the 2?

  23. Messiah2315 said

    And while it is POSSIBLE to keep two starting PG, hell two AMAZING PG’s , it isn’t happening here. Payton and Kidd could probably play together very well. At a time, they were 1,2 in terms of the leagues top PG. It can be done, just not with these 2. Your back court would be dead on defense.. dead.

  24. arsenalist said

    ^^ He can play the two, my mistake. He just doesn’t play the two, I caught some of the Lotto games on P2P and he was exclusively handling the ball. I’ll be the first to admit, I haven’t seen him play much at all, maybe 7-8 games but you get what I’m trying to say, with AP here next year we can’t possibly have room for another guard. Hence, the necessity of a trade.

  25. Messiah2315 said

    Well out of these few

    Delfino
    Calderon
    Ukic
    Parker
    Ford

    which of them should be moved? Can you at this point move Delfino?

  26. Messiah2315 said

    and I think You’re about to see the “real TJ” in this game, you know the one who’s looking for his shot… and only passes when he gets booed for shooting too much. If he hit 45%+ from 3 (like Jose) you would see the biggest chucker since Gordan Giricek. Thank God for the Raptors he can’t shoot.

  27. PapiJulio said

    Little late but… I think TJ might be traded. Don’t know Ukic game, but if he’s a’Good’ passer then you have a 6’4″ PG on the floor off the bench. On defensive height alone should give an advantage. If his Defense is, OK, then nothing against TJ…. but he’s only 5’11” with a small frame. Players can shoot over him easliy on a switch.

    From a management point of view the team has more options and room with salary for the NEEDED PF if TJ was traded. But… he has to finish strong to prove to the league that he’s can still play the minutes. I’m sure a team will be tempted to take a chance on TJ considering how ‘Quick’ and how much he understands the game.

    This is my ideal line-up for next season:

    Starting Calderon, Parker, SF, Bosh, Barganai
    Bench Ukic, Delfino, Kapono/Moon, Humphries/Graham, Rasho

    If Garbo proves heathly he’s Flexable enough to play SF/PF maybe he could still play some freaky SG against certain matchups. He did last year.

    Which leaves… Ford, Dixon, Maceo Baston Possibly Graham and/or Moon for trade bait.

    With One 1st round & Two 2nd round draft picks next season, plus the flexable players with the Raps we have lots to offer. With a NEW starting PowerForward the Raptors have a relativily young teams with lots of room to grow.

    I’m a HUGE TJ fan. If he returns to 100% then Calderon anf TJ will have too many offers and it will become personal between them. Do people expect one of them to say “Oh, it’s ok. I didn’t really want to play down the stretch in that close game. I’m happy on the bench.” Calderon fits the BC European falvor, plus his ceiling isn’t know yet. TJ is already shown his talent. You pretty much know how AWESOME he can be.

    I think BC might just choose to ride this season out. A pick-up will probably just give you a chance to make third round & that’s it for this year. Soooo… if you wait and see how the seaons finishes you’ll know what TJ and Garbo will give you in 2009 and can make a much better decision at that point.

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