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Old 01-30-2008, 02:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
effin' ineffable

In the Paint
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 30,070

I came into this season just wanting to see both point guards continue with their development, and I've been very happy to see that both have worked very hard and in fact gotten better. I still don't think who starts is the essential issue, but yes, Colangelo has to begin to look at who will play what role in the future. I don't think he's necessarily cornered into letting one or the other go in a trade unless it becomes all to clear the one or the other will not be happy with their role.

I'm not convinced that a different role for TJ will spell the end for him. He is as aware of his health issues as anyone. Colangelo has said that he has gotten to know TJ really well since he's gone down with the injury. And he also talked extensively to Calderon over the summer when GM's all over the league were calling about him. And my overall impression is that BC likes having two top-ten pgs on the same team, and I think he can see that taking either one of them out of the equation makes things more difficult for this team, and puts them in constant danger of sinking right out of the playoff picture. With both of them here, the team has weathered so many injuries to so many players.

If he ends up going with one or the other, it will have to mean a guy like Roko proves to be more than just a steady backup, or they will have to settle for a steady backup, and retool the team's bench so that it can produce with a pg that does not play within the system the way that the starter does. That would mean that the ability to plug in versatile bench guys to make the most out of the team's depth would likely not be there, and instead the overall rotation would be tightened up. But right now there is just not the kind of reliable experience on this team to allow for that kind of gameplan. I just don't see consistent results from a starting five in a tight rotation from the current crop of players. Not yet. So to me that makes the roles of both point guards extremely significant. In another season-and-a-half that might change, or the results might make it that much harder to break them up.

The team's success is the ultimate barometer for me, as I would imagine it is for BC, and to some respect both players in question. But yes - the future course of the team does need to be chartered, with everyone buying into it. But I think that has already happened since Colangelo's arrival. I think that is why this team has turned things around thus far. I don't think that the improvement of any player is something that knocks a team off-course for their longterm plans. But a player's individual success could bring issues to the surface if the team's course is not furthered at the same time, and then a trade would make sense for the team and the player.

Now if this team is able to acquire an experienced player who can assert himself on both ends of the court every night, or even on one end of the court consistently, then that would change things dramatically, putting less pressure on the play of the pg over a full 48 minutes every time out, as well Bosh as the main option. There would be less of a need to plug in various role players off the bench to make things work. But even then I prefer having the two point guards, unless there can be some real certainty that one or the other can sustain a full season of play without tailing off at some point, or fighting through injury and fatigue. The two point guards can really do a job defensively at a time when containment on the perimeter is so important, while one guy playing more extensive minutes is not going to be able to contribute defensively to the same extent. You combine that with the fact that sharing minutes is going to lengthen the careers of both guys, and it's just not something I want to let go of. I think Forderon provides this team with a distinct advantage over other teams in this league, an advantage that will only gain in importance as they both continue to develop within this system. And that could mean years of success down the road, using a formula that hasn't really been used before, but one that fits well in this current era where the demands on guard play are at an extreme, and where defense on the perimeter is so essential as well.
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