Arsenalist

The Toronto Raptors Blog with an Arsenal touch

A nervy win in Indiana

Posted by Arsenalist on February 26, 2008

Toronto Raptors 102, Indiana Pacers 98

Sometimes a win can overshadow many things that went wrong in a game and such was the case last night. This was a little too close to being a L for one’s liking. The Pacers sans Jermain O’Neal and Jamal Tinsley frustrated the Raptors by putting up a fight and took the lead midway through the fourth quarter at which point it looked like this might be a New York repeat. A couple Delfino deep bombs restored some order, but the offense went dead after that giving the Pacers a chance to tie it up with 19 seconds left. Fortunately for us Jim O’Brien’s playbook appears to be paper thin and all they could muster was a Kareem Rush one-on-one contested three. Game over. Thank God.

Not the ideal follow-up to the NY win; getting bailed out by Delfino’s deep threes isn’t something you want to rely on but at the same time it’s good to see him knock them down. TJ Ford’s close to returning to his pre-injury form and becoming the nightmare that he is for slower guards that are forced to give him space. If he’s matched up with a guy the same size such as Travis Diener, what usually follows is an infliction of speed combined with hesitation that will leave the defense on its heels. TJ’s 16 points and 7 assists were essential on a night where the reliable Jose Calderon laid an egg in the assist column, something that will never happen again. Ever. It’s only a matter of time before TJ gets the starting job, has a bad game and the Forderon debate begins anew. The starters were in the habit of creating a hole (1st and 3rd quarters) only for the bench to come back and restore sanity (2nd and 4th quarters). We outscored their bench 55-24 (Marquis Daniels had 20) with Delfino leading the way with 6 threes and a career high 23 points. Check the box score, it’s all there.

Time for a post game quote, it’s always good to hear some sort of praise from the opposing coach:

“It’s hard for anybody in the NBA to match bench for bench. That’s a formidable group, and it speaks to their depth that those players come off the bench.” – Jim O’Brien

Depth is one of our strong suits, no doubt about that. But come playoff team when the rotations are shortened and roles become well-defined, I’m not sure how much our depth will help us. We’ll see I suppose.

Although the Raptors are a defensively challenged team they go into these hounding defensive sequences where they pressure the ball handler, trap on the baseline, collapse on the big men and actually come out to make the rotations. The second quarter and some stretches in the fourth were great examples of this. However, it’s hard to maintain that sort of a defensive effort across four quarters because of the sheer toll aggressive defense takes on the body. That’s why you see a Jekyll and Hyde effect with the Raptors defense. We’re a middle of the pack defensive team (11th out of 30 D-Rating) with some gaping holes on the perimeter which will undoubtedly come back to bite us. Jamario Moon’s defensive game has regressed, he’s falling for simple up-fakes, isn’t following the scouting reports and is too concerned with providing help. Murphy, Granger and Dunleavy all took turns undressing Moon on simple moves. It didn’t come back to bite us but a case could’ve been made that Joey Graham deserved to get some run based on Moon’s poor effort. Sam is by his own admission an “equal opportunity hater” and Moon definitely deserved some hate today.

Anthony Parker tries to do his best to contain his man but he’s a sucker for help defense, maybe that’s how he was coached overseas for all these years and it’s in his nature to help off his man on another wing player. However, in the NBA once the perimeter man is beaten, it’s up to the 4/5’s to contend with the man that just penetrated the heart of the defense. Parker’s always guilty of leaving his man to provide help which ends up amounting to nothing because by leaving his man he’s made him the easiest pass for the penetrator. Thus we see Parker always late getting back and wildly flailing his arms at his man as a three is being drained. I’m disappointed in Sam Mitchell’s inability to instill a defensive mindset and philosophy in this team over his tenure, the offense is very simplistic so you’d think that the majority of the work the coaches might do would be on the defensive end but frankly speaking, I don’t think we’ve improved at all.

The frustration with Bargnani continues: 2/5 on 1-5 FG. Even though I’m a traditional center guy I’m willing to go with the “new age” center theme on this one but it has to be done the right way. It’s great that Bargnani is a 7-footer that can shoot but he might be taking it to another extreme. 35% of his field goal attempts are threes! That is an insanely high amount, to put that in perspective, 38% of Parker’s FGAs are threes and only 28% of Jason Kapono’s shots are threes. Does a “new age” center mean that he’ll be living on the perimeter? Because I thought a 7-footer center meant he’ll be beating his man off the dribble and out-quicking him in the post for easy scores, not settling for deep bombs. To further extend my late night analysis, I looked at Dirk Nowitzki’s shot selection (chosen for obvious reasons) in his first two years and only 25% of his shots were threes, gradually he moved his game further in and currently only 21% of his shots are threes. My point? Threes are nice but I doubt Colangelo brought him here to be a 7-foot Kapono, he needs to move his game inside.

Primoz Brezec got his first DNPCD. The guy must be wondering what he did wrong in the NY game to warrant a benching. Instead Kris Humphries got the call (well, for 7 minutes) and played well in getting his 5 points. With Kapono getting 23 minutes and Bargnani staying out of foul trouble, the Raptors big men reserves only netted 11 minutes. This was also the first game since TJ’s injury where Ford got more playing time than Calderon which is a telling stat because this wasn’t a blowout and every possession meant something. Sam opting to go with the in-rhythm Ford means he’s confident in TJ’s ability to run this team again and the “ease back TJ” period seems to be over.

It’s hard to end this post without a mention of Chris Bosh’s seemingly routine night: 24 points, 10 rebounds. He didn’t have a pretty night, got stripped at least three times (5 TOs) and took some questionable shots that’ll make anybody grimace. Chris Bosh is very obviously choosing spots where he can be aggressive and where he can ease back. This is a perfectly normal strategy for the regular season, I’m hoping (praying?) that come playoff time he’s not mulling over shoot or drive decisions, it should be pretty obvious when a player of Troy Murphy’s quickness is covering you.

Unlike Washington and New York, we avoided a letdown in Indiana. It should be a super-easy win on Wednesday against the T’Wolves before we get a chance to sweep Indiana at home on Friday. Check the schedule, look at March and shit in your pants.

Liners:

* Hard to believe Rob Babock passed on Danny Granger. Twice.

* Indiana was one well-designed play away from taking this game to overtime. We’ve got to start the halves much better against them on Friday.

* Kareem Rush and his brother Jaron Rush used to play at Pembrooke High School in Kansas City, MO. I used to go to O’Hara High School in Kansas City at the same time. These guys used to come in and put on a show. Jaron was clearly the better player but he got hooked on drugs, took money from agents and ended up ruining his shot at the NBA. He’s trying to find HS coaching jobs now, kinda sad.

* Leo Rautins making excuses for Jason Kapono? Stop trying to convince us that Jason Kapono is anything more than a strictly one-dimensional player just because he cut to the rim and had a layup. It’s insulting our intelligence.

* Does Chuck Swirsky know anything about basketball? His reasoning for the West being stronger made no sense, he somehow managed to give Bryan Colangelo credit in why the west was stacked. Apparently he’s also a proponent of the Top 16 teams making the playoffs regardless of conference. Might want to think that through Chuck. Pain to listen to.

* “He sure blabs a lot” – That’s my wife’s (who knows nothing about basketball) take on Chuck Swirsky. Bang on really.

* Carlos Delfino is the Top Rap.

Thanks for reading. Later.

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31 Responses to “A nervy win in Indiana”

  1. Darrick Martin 4 3 said

    Solid post.

    Pretty cool you saw the Rush bros play in high school. Brandon must’ve been 10 at the time. Who knew he’d probably end up being the best one?

    0 assists for Calderon is an anomaly, playing heavy minutes over the last few months have started taking their toll. If TJ’s still injured we lose this game. Minny and Pacers at home should be easy wins so we should be 9 games over .500 soon. Not bad.

  2. David Moro said

    I looked at the March schedule–why am I shitting my pants again?

    Yeah, there’s a west coast swing, but only 6-17 games (I think) are against difficult opponents, and that’s COUNTING Orlando, who I don’t consider to be top notch.

    Big deal.

    We’ll probably be above ten games over by then, and can afford a few losses to Detroit, and whoever else.

    But honestly, many of those games are winnable for us. G.S. we shoul dhave beat already, and Le-sideshow in Cleveland too.

    How long do you think it’ll take for TJ to get back into the starting lineup–Wednesday? I’m gonna say next week.

    As far as bargs goes, at least he rebounded today in limited minutes (5). He also defended okay. I thought he was trying to be agressive, but the Pacers were keying on him a bit (running him off the three point line and running him into traps off the drive) and he struggled to find a rythym. Might’ve been tired from yesterday–remember, this is his first year as a starter, he’s stil getting used to the travel.

  3. john said

    Looks like we did agree on something, Carlos was just something tonight.

    I might be naive on this, don’t you think he is on par for the Sixth Man Award with Barbosa from the Suns???

    http://mundoalbiceleste.blogspot.com/2008/02/nba-news-carlos-raps-high-in-indy.html

  4. PsychicSpy said

    I think what you saw last night was typical NBA basketball. The 0.550 Raptors sqeaked out a road win against a 0.400 team ONLY because of their depth. The difference between a 0.550 and 0.400 team is about 5 points. It’s not a mismatch.

    Brezec rolled into town and ran his mouth non-stop for 48 hours. Why are you surprised Sam nailed him to the bench and gave Hump some burn? At his next stop 6 months from now… Brezec will be doing his Sam Vincent trashing routine about Sam Mitchell… and Sam knows it.

    Chuck Swirsky is a Whore. For MLSE or anyone else he may have worked for. He was a whore for $5.00/hour… and he is an Over-The-Top Whore for the BIG money he makes today. Some people call it “selling your soul”. Others call it Public Relations. That’s why Chuck’s opinion is not an opinion at all.

  5. Raps Fan said

    “he’s a gangster” LOL. Clearly primo doesn’t realize you don’t call black folk that. Solid write up as per usual. Granger would have been a nice piece for this team. Moon has been declining for a while now. Only a matter of time before he comes off the bench.

    John’s been spam commenting on my tennis blog. Dude is everywhere!

  6. arsenalist said

    Assuming the Raptors generally continue to play well against bad teams and struggle against the top tier ones, my conservative March prediction is this:

    @ Charlotte W
    @ Orlando L
    @ Miami W
    vs Washington L
    vs Seattle W
    @ LA Lakers L
    @ Golden State L
    @ Denver L
    @ Sacramento L
    @ Utah L
    vs Miami W
    @ Cleveland L
    vs Denver L
    vs Detroit L
    vs New York W
    vs New Orleans L
    @ Charlotte W

    to go 6-9

    Looking at it optimistically and assuming TJ comes back to full force and we don’t have any letdowns, replace the below L’s with W’s to go 11-6.

    @ Orlando
    vs Washington
    @ Golden State
    @ Sacramento
    vs Denver

    Somehow I doubt we can play at such a high level.

    @David Moro: Next week for TJ starting sounds about right, especially if Calderon struggles a little. I’m more interested in how we do against the tougher teams there, it’ll give us a much better indication of exactly how good the Raptors have become at competing with the better teams in the league. If we come out with a sub .500 record, it’ll mean that we still haven’t learned to win meaningful games.

    @PsychicSpy: Didn’t think that running his mouth would affect his PT this early. Good point.

  7. […] a win can overshadow many things that went wrong in a game and such was the case last night. This was a little too close to being a L for one’s liking. The […]

  8. i say 8-7, they beat washington at home, and steal a road game from sacramento.

  9. Sam is COY said

    Caldy … 3 crappy games and counting … so is he trying to make Smitch’s decision easier by stinking it out there?

    Are we going small ball now? How many minutes did we play with only 1 guy over 6’10?

    TJ is starting to play like the distributor he CAN be, getting people involved, I hope that he stays that way.

    Poor Primo. Well @ least he’ll have a lot to talk about to Hump and Rasho.

  10. i’m surprised no one has commented on your suggestion that ford will be starting soon. i really don’t know how i feel about that, and you know i am a ford fan. i personally don’t think it can happen unless he strings together 4 or 5 straight games like last night where he plays well.

    he also needs to be fearless when driving to the rim, like his pre-horford mugging self. that is where his real value is because as it stands now, he can break down defenses off the dribble, but everyone knows he wont take it to the rack with people waiting for him in the paint. once he gets over that, he is going to be back in full effect.

  11. PapiJulio said

    I think Sam will throw TJ into the fire. Sam has a history of doing this with players. Maybe 1 more game off the bench for TJ and if all goes well he’ll start. I wouldn’t be surprised if Sam started him next game.

    It was painful to watch Sam juggling the line-up again, but what choice does he have with new faces and players that aren’t playing to their ability. Some players might not like the deadly ‘Dr.Hook’ by Sam when players don’t preform but everybody has their own coaching stratgies. Sam is still a baby in the ‘coaching world’ but I like the ‘Dr. Hook’. If you baby your kids they’ll grow up to be babies. If your hard on your kid they learn how to defend themself and grow into men!!

    Primoz better keep his mouth shut and listen to Sam. Primoz welcome to tough love!!!

  12. […] – Arsenalist […]

  13. Johnn19 said

    Calderon did not play with his usual energy and aggression, took to few shots to score, but also had some tough luck with his passes. He looked like the 40 minute games are starting to add up.It seemed whenever he made a pass it went to someone who in turn made the pass for a basket, or got fouled, or made a turnover. The starting shooters Bosh, Parker, and Bargnani had 10 turnovers. TJ did some good things,with 7ast 16pts on only 6/16 but could not finish at the basket, blowing 3 or 4 layups. Some concern there, feel he needs more consistentcey before starting again unless Calderon continues to struggle like vs Pacers.

  14. PsychicSpy said

    The rest of the season is all about TJ… and whether he can return to top form. TJ does not automatically “deserve” to start after the way Jose has played… but that is irrelevant.

    Bryan has to KNOW. He must decide which one to move… possibly before the draft. It would be nice to add another pick in the #8-10 range… and have two 1st rounders + Roco in camp next fall.

    I would argue that Bargs slow development has pushed the entire BC Master Plan back one year… so this year’s draft dramatically increases in importance.

  15. totally agree psychic. this team has proved we don’t need two starting points to win, as well as proving that they can’t win without some more rebounding and defense (post and perimeter).

    i want to see wilcox in a raptors uniform, with brezec getting resigned to a reasonable contract…whatever that will mean.

  16. Crank said

    I’m hating the way Moon has been playing, he’s not thinking when defending. He likes to rely on his athleticism and everybody’s just taking him to school on the perimeter and even in the post Daniels took him. That up-fake Bender or whoever pulled on him was depressing. On the next play Bosh got took on the baseline by Murphy which was sad. And Arsenalist’s comments on Parker are accurate. This all ends up adding to us being a bad perimeter team. I wasn’t surprised when Crawford lit us up so bad.

    I don’t if there are any stats or measures that reflect perimeter defense. I’d be interested in seeing some…

    Psychic, no thank you to adding more picks. We need a veteran, can’t throw in another jump-shooting rookie out there and go through the growing pains all over again.

    David making excuses for Bargnani is hilarious. He’s in his second year and still not gotten used to traveling? And somehow starting makes a difference? The guy play sthe same amount of minutes as a starter or bench player…all that is bullshit. He’s easy to contain, that’s all it is.

  17. Sam is COY said

    PsychicSpy > would you keep both if Jose is willing to sign for 5 mil. and under?

  18. khandor said

    Now that Jose Calderon has tasted what life is like in the NBA as a starting PG it is going to effect his mental/emotional state of being when he is made to ‘share’ duties, as the ‘2nd Fiddle’ to TJ Ford.

    (which is how it’s going to work with this team, as long as Ford is healthy AND Colangelo, who traded Villanueva for him, straight-up, and then signed him to multi-million-dollar-contract-extension, is the GM)

    This is what you can now see in his recent drop-off in production.

    It’s not due to a gradual build-up of his 40 minute games … it’s due to his newfound appreciation of ‘1st-class Life’, in the NBA, as ‘Tha Man’ for a Winning team.

    And, once ‘Pandora’s Box’ has been cracked open … it can never, ever, be shut tightly again.

  19. Red Rebounder said

    I don’t have much faith in Sam but one area he’s done a good job in is handling the TJ/Jose thing. I trust him to make the right call for the starting job and expect Jose to be OK with it. Jose knows he’s going to get the money regardless of if he starts or not so that’s not an issue.

    khandor is saying that Jose’s drunk with the power that comes with the starting job. Don’t think so cuz if you listen to his interviews, quotes, the Spanish press there’s one thing consistent about him. He only cares about winning. Cliche but true…you might have had a point if things were the other way around but Jose is solid when it comes to teamwork (not that TJ is not).

    Let’s see how far this PG combo takes us and reevaluate the team in the offseason and trade one of the two if something good comes back.

    Primoz being benched was great — it’ll teach him to keep his mouth shut.

  20. jjdynomite said

    Khandor, do you even reread your posts when you type them (Tony Parker @ 6’2 180 pounds is a “big” guard — and you know that NBA height is measured in shoes, right?)

    How much fun it must be for you to pull out some more inanities from your Psych 101 textbook on how Jose suddenly can’t handle being “Tha Man” — when *all* evidence points to the contrary. He hugs TJ upon the latter’s return, has given absolutely no public indication that he preferred starting over TJ, and that maybe, maybe, he’s simply gotten *exposed* by smaller, quicker guards like Diener and Robinson (whereas TJ can neutralize them with his own quickness?)

    All that, aside from the fact that Jose’s been accruing a tonne of minutes for the first time in his NBA career (even though you don’t seem to think that matters). Does Jose send you personal love notes telling you how he really feels? If so, please post them here. If not, why don’t you go Padora’s Box yourself. You truly lower the level of discussion on this board.

    Anyway, Arse, I would never have guessed that you’re an ex-pat (at least, I assume you’re living in Canada, given all your legitimate dissing of the Swirsk & Leo). So am I, and would rather live here and deal with the Euraptors aspersions from ESPN and such. Although if I spent my teen years in the States I wonder if I would start calling my black coaches “gangsters”. Primoz is like the inverse mirror image of O-Dog Hudson calling JP Ricciardi “a pimp.” Fun times.

  21. arsenalist said

    jjdynomite, I live in downtown Toronto. I used to live in Kansas City, MO for about two years ’94-’96. Not the greatest town.

    When those Rush brothers got in the gym they were doing windmills and shit while the gym was going crazy. People used to show up pre-game to see them warm up, an NBA scout came to a game. It was a fun times, far cry from HS athletics here.

  22. lol@jjdynomite ricciardi is so pimp!

    he must have been a dirty player in high school. i remember playing against magloire in a tournament during my senior year. he wasn’t even the best player on that team. he was just a big dude who would turn around and drop the ball in. their point guard was the best basketball player i ever played against. he had a put back dunk, that he yanked away from 2 guys on my team, and magloire…all in one swoop. everyone in the gym went nuts, including us.

  23. khandor said

    jjdynomite,

    Because you don’t see the things I see happening on a basketball court … is no reason for me to insult you, so I won’t stoop to that level, in response to your attempted insults.

    If you would like to consider Tony Parker as a “Small Point Guard who scores a lot on a team with perimeter oriented focus” you’re entitled to that perspective.

    That’s not how I see Tony Parker.

    When Jason Kidd’s team plays vs Parker, Parker’s coach does not choose to send an immediate double team, should Kidd attempt to post up on Tony. (the reason? … cause Parker’s coach doesn’t think that Tony is a too small defender to handle that specific defensive assignment)

    But, should J-Kidd play vs TJ Ford, it seems to me that if Kidd trys to post him up, Ford’s coach feels the need to send an immediate double team his way. (the reason? … cause Ford’s coach thinks that he is a too small defender to handle that specific defensive assignment)

    Secondly. Because Jose Calderon is a 1st-class person and teammate … you will not see any visible evidence that this specific Pandora’s Box has been opened. Instead, as the minutes go up for Ford, what you will see is Jose’s productivity go down … as will the team’s winning% vs +.500 teams.

    At least, that’s what I see happening in my ‘crystal ball’. :-)

  24. Johnn19 said

    Mitchell has decided that TJ will stay with the 2nd unit, as it gives him more freedom to create his game and his own shot, as well as setting up Delfino and Kapono for shots, without worrying about the P&R with Bosh. Jose will start and stay with Bosh and the starters to run a more structured half court offense on the P&R.

    TJ is fine with that program & Jose is happy to play wherever COACH wants him to. Minutes as always will be determined by Sam, based on game situations and performances. Both TJ and Jose want the TEAM to WIN, that is the most important thing, not who plays where.

    That’s the deal for the forseable future, end of story, as noted from interviews with Mitchell, Ford, and Calderon on Raptors today 2/26/08.

  25. khandor said

    If TJ stays with the 2nd unit, and plays 2nd unit minutes … then there should be no major drop-off in Calderon’s performance.

  26. khandor said

    John19,

    Btw, just saw the same set of interviews with Sam Mitchell, Ford & Calderon.

    Finally, after 18 months together, there is now hope that these Men understand ‘The Best Way’ for this team to play effectively at the PG spot, in this league, as an elite level group.

    Love the fact that Sam said the ‘right things’ about the value of Jose’s size as a main-frame PG in this league, with Ford’s spectacular quickness best utilized coming off the bench, exclusively, in short spurts, vs an opponent’s 2nd unit (w/o Bosh on the floor, as their go-to guy).

    By far, the single most encouraging day of ‘talking heads’ (on an off day) in the history of this franchise.

  27. jjdynomite said

    Ah, Khandor, so you call Jose “a 1st-class person and teammate”. And TJ is, um, well….

    From Sunday’s paper:
    http://www.torontosun.com/Sports/Basketball/2008/02/24/4872306-sun.html
    “Ford drives home point of playing alongside Jose”

    Quote from TJ: “The great thing (about Jose and I) is, no one feels threatened. Nobody feels like somebody is trying to out-do them to take his job or be an a–hole or has ego problems. Everybody’s been able to maintain their egos, and I think that’s what kept us afloat.”

    From today’s paper:
    http://www.torontosun.com/Sports/Basketball/2008/02/27/4879258-sun.html
    “Jose should start: Ford”

    Quote from TJ: “I think Jose is doing a good job as a starter, he should continue to start probably for the rest of the year. I don’t think starting is a big deal to me, I just want to get out and help the team win, and at the end of the day it’s all about wins and losses.”

    But noooooooo, according to you, (lack-of-)Khandor, only Sam is the one saying the “right things”. Nothing in your comments about TJ being “a 1st-class person and teammate” although the above quotes prove that 100%.

    Don’t you see that with your comments you are lowering yourself BELOW the editorial level of a tabloid newspaper like the Sun? It is getting pretty easy to read between the lines of what you are writing, what you consistently put in your comments regarding some players, and what you consistently leave out.

    I’m just curious how you would rephrase things if TJ was white/European and Jose was black/American. Hmmm?

  28. jjdynomite said

    Ah, Khandor, so you call Jose “a 1st-class person and teammate”. And TJ is, um, well….

    From Sunday’s paper:
    http://www.torontosun.com/Sports/Basketball/2008/02/24/4872306-sun.html
    “Ford drives home point of playing alongside Jose”

    Quote from TJ: “The great thing (about Jose and I) is, no one feels threatened. Nobody feels like somebody is trying to out-do them to take his job or be an a–hole or has ego problems. Everybody’s been able to maintain their egos, and I think that’s what kept us afloat.”

    From today’s paper:
    http://www.torontosun.com/Sports/Basketball/2008/02/27/4879258-sun.html
    “Jose should start: Ford”

    Quote from TJ: “I think Jose is doing a good job as a starter, he should continue to start probably for the rest of the year. I don’t think starting is a big deal to me, I just want to get out and help the team win, and at the end of the day it’s all about wins and losses.”

    But noooooooo, according to you, (lack-of-)Khandor, only Sam is the one saying the “right things”. Nothing in your comments refer to TJ as being “a 1st-class person and teammate” although the above quotes prove that 100%.

    Don’t you see that with your comments you are lowering yourself BELOW the editorial level of a tabloid newspaper like the Sun? It is getting pretty easy to read between the lines of what you are writing, what you consistently put in your comments regarding some players, and what you consistently leave out.

    I’m just curious how you would rephrase things if TJ was white/European and Jose was black/American. Hmmm?

  29. khandor said

    jjdynomite,

    Someone’s complexion and nation of origin are irrelevant.

    What I write is what I mean … nothing more and nothing less.

    ‘Reading between the lines’, incorrectly, will get you nowhere fast … when it comes to understanding the intricacies of high level basketball.

    The TJ Ford, I heard being interviewed yesterday, gave 1st-class person & teammate remarks in response to the questions asked of him by the media … which was encouraging to see and hear.

    The type of replies Jose Calderon has consistently provided, when asked similar questions … for the last 18 months.

    With Calderon as the mainframe PG for this team, and Chris Bosh as its Center-piece … the Raptors have “2 key building blocks” in place, as they attempt to grow into an elite level team in the NBA … both of whom were brought on-board by ‘he-who-shall-not-be-named’.

    It’s going to be very interesting to observe what happens next with this team.

  30. jjdynomite said

    Khandor, you may know more than me about the “intricacies of high level basketball” (whatever that means), but this is why it’s hard for me to take you seriously as a Raptors fan, since you are incorrect about the most basic history of the team.

    It was Glen Grunwald who drafted Bosh #4 overall in 2004, not ‘he-who-shall-not-be-named’, unless there are two ‘he-who-shall-not-be-nameds”, but I doubt Grunwald is one since he actually built a playoff-caliber team. As has BC. BabCOCK did *one* thing right in his 2 years at the helm — bring in Jose. Everything else he did, from his drafting to his free agent signings, were a disaster of Isiah Thomas proportions. (And thank god Embry was able to dump Jalen on Isiah).

    Calderon has been a back-up for over 2 seasons in the NBA; it is unsurprising that he has uttered more “teammates first” remarks, since that’s what back-ups should do (and the ones that don’t, like Dixon, get their asses shipped out). TJ has had no need to defer to anyone until this season. The fact that he has done so, now that the tables have been turned, per se, proves ME right — that he is a team player, regardless of whether he has been as deferential as Jose in the past.

    I just don’t see a need — if you are indeed a Raptor fan, which I am still unclear about — to denigrate a player who gives it all on the court, simply because he is not your cup of tea. You consistently make remarks on TJ based on his perceived personality and mannerisms, which is proven wrong on a daily basis by the positive relationship his teammates and coaches have with him — including Jose. I had no problem with Wince’s laissez-faire personality, until he started dogging it on the court. TJ has never dogged it.

    If there are no overt emotional conflicts, I really think you — and all of us — should let their games do the talking. Both TJ and Jose have won games for the Raps this season; TJ just 2 days ago. They both have value, to each other and to the team as currently constituted. Hopefully some day you can accept that.

  31. khandor said

    1) My sincere apologies for failing to recall that Chris Bosh arrived through the work of Grunwald and not ‘he-who-shall-not-be-named-by-all-die-hard-raptors-fans’.

    2) At no time have I ever written, anything, anywhere indicating that I think Ford is without considerable value to the Raptors, as a PG … in a strictly back-up (short spurt) role.

    One of the things that might set me apart from (some) other Raptors’ fanatics, however, is my perception of Ford, since his first arrival in Toronto, as nothing more than a high quality back-up PG, who should be playing with the 2nd unit of an elite level NBA team … and not in the lead role of ‘Forderon’ or, most definitely, not as the Main-frame Starter.

    One of the strategic errors which has held Toronto back from even further development to this point, in the re-building process since the 27-55 debacle, has been the organization’s insistence on playing Ford in this lead role for which he is not best suited.

    Recent comments by Ford show that he might well be a tremendous fit with this team in this type of back-up category.

    3) Jose Calderon, on the other hand, as a Main-frame PG, is the type of individual that an elite level NBA team can win a championship with.

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