Hereís the thing about T.J. Fordís ball-hogging in the fourth quarter: it has the potential to really disrupt the team, and it could also affect Jose Calderon.
The more Fordís teammates stand around watching him go one-on-five in the clutch, the more they are going to get pissed off. Remember, these are NBA players and some of them are quite talented offensively, so they donít take kindly to being wallflowers in the T.J. Ford Show.
Sam Mitchell says that his wings sometimes just hand the ball back to Ford when he does pass it, but that could be the first sign that they are peeved, especially if Ford only gets them the ball late in the shot clock. As in: ĎIím not going to take a low percentage shot up against the clock, since you like the ball so much, here, you bail us out of this mess.í If players are putting teammates in bad situations out of spite, thatís dangerous.
The other potential pitfall has to do with Calderon. Presumably, his teammates like it better when he is at the point, but Calderon
cannot try to overcompensate for Fordís lack of playmaking. He canít refuse open shots he would normally take just because the ball doesnít move as well when Ford is on the floor. He canít let the new-TJ create a new-Jose.
Minus Chris Bosh, the Raptors
have to re-invent themselves on the offensive end. There is no question that dribble penetration by the lightning-quick Ford is one of the teamís best options. Ford just has to find a better shoot-pass balance. He seemingly has it figured out in the first half Ė at least he did Wednesday in Golden State with 10 points and seven assists Ė and hereís betting that he corrects the situation before this road trip is finished. Ford was never known as a shoot-first point before, and with a day off Thursday, Mitchell or mentor John Lucas had some time to talk to him.