COMPARING Calderon AND FORD
Calderon displayed much more control than did Ford, not forcing any running situations, and avoiding madcap forays into the paint.
Meanwhile, Ford pushed the ball at a more rapid pace, but overhandled on four occasions, producing two missed shots and a pair of deflections that luuckily maintained possession for Toronto.
Both had identical success on their jump shooting — 3-7 — with Ford unleashing the only airball on a pull-up 17-footer.
Calderon drove-and-kicked three times, generating three points. Ford dribbled and passed four times, creating two points.
In addition to his three assists, Calderon's passwork generated 11 open shots that his teammates missed. Ford had three of these.
Calderon was able to finish twice — once on a fast break, and once after turning the corner on a high screen/roll. Ford was never able to complete any of his drives with a layup of his own.
Calderon's entry passes into posted teammates were much more effective than were Ford's.
Calderon set four hard-bodied screens, whereas Ford set none.
Calderon made no discernible mistakes in directing the offense. In addition to his penchant for pounding the ball into the floor, Ford erred in not shooting a pull-up in the third quarter with the shot clock about to buzz. Instead he juked around with the ball, plunged into the paint and shot a floater that came about two ticks too late.
Calderon made one misplay — not running all-out in a first-quarter transition and thereby permitting Delonte West to score a layup-plus-one. Ford was constantly burned when he wandered too far away from Damon Jones in futile attempts to help on LeBron James. As a result, Jones knocked down a pair of triples.
When Ford turned his head on defense, Jones was free to drop a 20-footer.
was efficient in closing out perimeter shooters, Ford was not. He either arrived late, not at all or with a bang that sent Jones to the stripe.
Calderon was strong enough to beat West to a high screen/roll and then body him off his route. Meanwhile, Ford was run over repeatedly as though he was made of straw. And in the brief time that Calderon
and Ford shared the court, Devin Brown quickly took Ford into the low post and scored on an easy turnaround jumper.
yielded a total of three points in head-to-head confrontations (all of them to West), while Ford was victimized for a total of 13 points (11 by Jones and two by Brown).
To clinch Calderon's advantage, the Raps were plus-six when he was on the court, and minus-13 when Ford was there.
On the basis of this game, as well as the past several weeks, it's clear that Toronto is much better off with Calderon
getting the starter's minutes. Even more so considering how easily Ford could re-injure his spine. Ford would, however, make an excellent backup, one whose speed and ability to stop-and-pop could provide a dramatic change of pace with the second unit.
Too bad the chances of Ford accepting this kind of diminished role are nil.
Simply put, along with their other needs — like a powerhouse big man, and a creative wing — Ford must be traded and Calderon must be resigned for the Raptors to ever challenge the Pistons, Celtics, Magic and Cavs for supremacy in the East.
With all of Ford's physical vulnerabilities, it will undoubtedly be much easier to re-up Calderon
than to find a new home for T.J. Even so, the Raps will in deep trouble if there's a Ford in their future.