Can We Get a Little Love for TJ?

TJ did pretty much what we figured he was going to do last night, attack and attack early. The Bucks D broke down in a minute and they were never able to recover. What wasn’t getting much coverage last night was that TJ was also being an absolute pest on D, grabbing 3 steals and forcing a lot of other quick passes. Down the stretch, he started to go a little bit into TJ mode, overdribbling and ending up tripping over his own feet, but a credit to him, he got back on D and the next time down the court, made a smart decision. I would still like to see the turnover/steal ratio improve (he had 4 turnovers last night), but I like that he is being aggressive on the ball, remembering that being a PG doesn’t only mean playing one end of the floor.

Can we also get some love for MoPete? Once again, Mo shows that when he’s on the floor, it’s always 100% no matter what the score and his D is like a wet blanket. He just gets on you and you can’t get him off. The foul he picked up in the 4th was bogus and while the guys didn’t say anything about the T, I thought the T he picked up was a little bogus too. I’m all for keeping decorum in the game, but a guy does a little jump and you T him up? Come on.

What I also loved about last night was TJ sticking up for Bosh after Bogut’s flagrant near the end of the game. If Bonner was here, it would have been ON, but I’ll take TJ stepping up and getting a little lippy. TJ plays his best when he has a little bit of swagger going last night and the fact that he went up to Bogut (who would have dropped him if he felt like it) says a lot. We also got a good shot of Garbo high-fiving TJ when he got back to the bench. Nice job by Sam to get TJ the hell out of there after that, that was good coaching.

Time to buy a lottery ticket, the Raptors actually outrebounded a team, but I’m not going to give the Raps a ton of credit on that, because the Bucks were simply disinterested last night. Actually, if you saw Charlie V out there (and if you blinked, you missed it), he pretty much summed up their effort last night. If I were a Bucks fan, I would be pretty pissed off. That looked like the last time the Raps played the Bucks, just reversed.

I stated earlier that I don’t hate anybody in the game…I’m starting to find a strong distaste for Ruben Patterson. The guy thinks he’s a prime time player and while he has talent, come on, you average about 11 points (over your career) and for a thick guy, you play soft. All talk. All talk.

Now come the big games (and who in the world thought we would be saying that about the Knicks?). I don’t think the Knicks match up well against the Raptors. True, they are young and athletic, but that’s kind of the point. I don’t think they have the same poise the Raptors do and they definitely do not have the leadership. If it comes down to a crunch game, I’m going to go with the Raptors and (gulp) can’t believe I am going to say this, but if I have to rely on a coaching decision in the stretch, I’m going to take Sam over Isiah (who recently got extended…guy’s team is playing under .500 and he gets extended…wow). Should be interesting.

7 Comments

Jay  on March 13th, 2007

Yeah, I saw this in the morning. If I were MoPete, I would definitely walk after the season. He could stay and be part of a winner in Toronto, but with his minutes going down and Sam not showing him any respect whatsoever (hey, players want to play), he could be part of a winning tradition somewhere else where he will actually get some minutes. This whole situation has been handled poorly.

There’s no guarantee that he would go to a winning team or a winning atmosphere, but he’s the kind of guy who can help with that, a veteran with a good attitude who can play D and shoot from outside. That’s the kind of stuff that changes the mindset of a team.

He may be back, but I would split.

TTFD  on March 13th, 2007

I agree, he probably should move on, there almost seems like there’s a rift between him and Sam…not sure what thats all about though but Sam’s comments to the press (which are never that elegant or intelligent) just seem to add fuel to fire.

Interesting stat from last nights game from ESPN.com
http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/recap?gameId=270312015
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“Juan Dixon’s 3-pointer with 4:30 remaining in the first quarter extended the Raptors’ streak of consecutive games with at least one 3 made to an NBA-record 678. … The last time the Raptors did not record a 3 was Feb. 24, 1999, against Indiana”
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Jay  on March 13th, 2007

Yeah, interesting stat, but completely meaningless. Still, it was hilarious when D-Mart saved that streak near the start of the season by hoisting a 3 and draining it in the dying moments of a game. I think we have the clip posted, because Chuck’s going nuts over a meaningless stat.

I also think there is something between Sam and Mo, because while they are winning, there isn’t really an excuse for Mo’s minutes to go down THAT much, especially in games where they are getting licked on D. I don’t get it.

Johnn19  on March 13th, 2007

TJ Ford looks to finally be getting back to his pre injury form. He has been spending a lot of time on his shot in practice. When his shot is falling and he is making the right decisions he is unstoppable as a PG and the Rap’s offense is flowing. At 23 and 50 odd games with these players the sky’s the limit in the next couple of years.

Johnn19  on March 13th, 2007

MoPete’s injury bug/inconsistent play in recent games has kept his minutes down. When he had a chance to start because of Parkers injury he did’nt get the job done (6.6pts/3rb/22mins/3gms) requiring Sam to start Dixon instead (and he did the job (15.5pts/4.5rb/34mins/2gms). The message is when you are a veteran player and your number is called you have to perform or someone else’s number will be called. It’s natural for a coach to have more confidence in playing players who perform when called on.

Jay  on March 13th, 2007

True, I’ll give you that on his opportunities with Parker, but let’s also remember that a lot of the time when Mo is on the floor, he is put on the opposition’s best player, which limits what he is going to do offensively. Maybe a stretch, he still needs to perform. But I think his D gets overlooked when assessing his overall performance.

I have no problem with Dixon, who has answered the call. I think Mo just got off to a rough start because of injury and since then has just had some poor luck with other guys getting hot.

But there’s no excuse for Gatorade Graham taking minutes out there when Mo is on the bench. That’s not right.

Johnn19, good having you around, you know your ball and always challenge me on stuff!