Category Archives: TJ Ford

JO to TO? Please BC

The Key to the Treasure Chest of ‘010

Too many acronyms? Who cares, the Raps may soon have the best frontcourt in the Eastern Conference. According to the Indianapolis Star (via the Arsenalist), Jermaine O’Neal could become a member of the Toronto Raptors. And we’d get rid of TJ Ford? Outtttttstanding.

The Star is reporting that a TJ-Rasho-17 package could net the Raps the veteran lefty. Though I am a little tentative to include the 17, if the Pacers demand it, BC should pull the trigger. JO is a defensive force who could instantly improve one of the Raptors’ key weaknesses. Throw in the rebounding help, the guys averaged 8.8 or more 6 of the past 7 seasons*, and this deal is money for the Raps. Although Rasho is an effective, intelligent baller, his exit, like TJ’s, was inevitable considering the attractive combo of his play and expiring contract. Speaking of expiring contracts…

Unlike the many pundits who feel JO’s exorbitant contract is a negative, to me, it’s the most enticing aspect of the deal. I’m shocked more teams aren’t chasing JO. Why? Primarily because JO’s deal ends in 2010, or the year of the greatest free agent class of all time. Here’s the mind-boggling list of 010′ FAs (lifted from Stop Mike Lupica):

Joe Johnson
Ray Allen
Ben Wallace
LeBron James (player option, likely)
Dirk Nowitzki (player option, unlikely)
Josh Howard (player option, likely)
Marcus Camby
Rip Hamilton
Stephen Jackson
Tracy McGrady
Shaquille O’Neal
Dwyane Wade (player option for 10/11, unlikely)
Michael Redd (player option for 10/11, likely)
Tyson Chandler (player option for 10/11 – 50/50)
Eddy Curry (player option for 10/11 – 50/50)
Amare Stoudemire (player option for 10/11, unlikely)
Brad Miller
Manu Ginobili
Chris Bosh (player option for 10/11, unlikely)
How disgusting is that?

Basically, this deal is an experiment that cannot fail. For the next two years, rolling the dice with an injury-plagued JO is much more appealing than extending Teej’s pouting. Best-case scenario, the two lefties dominate the post, allowing countless doublers to be burnt off wide-open threes from AP, Kapones, and Calderon. Worst-case scenario, and it’s pretty bad, JO goes down to injuries and we’re stuck with regular Humph time.  Whatever, the possible reward is worth the risk.

Making the worst-case scenario much more manageable is what would follow. After 2 years, if JO falters, which I admit seems pretty likely, there’ll always be the light at the end of the tunnel that is Manu. Or Rip. Or Lebron. Or Melo. Or D-Wade. Or Redd. Or Captain Jack. Or Dirk. Or Josh Howard.

Honestly, this contract, considering the timing and value of the deal, is the most valuable expiring contract in the Association. Having JO in 2010 guarantees a premier player that summer. Plus, if the Raps’ realize the premier FAs of ‘010 won’t sign with Toronto, they could move JO to a team with a hardon for one of those dudes. What could we get for that contract? Think of the possibilities. If my scenario plays out, as I hope and pray it does, then TJ-Rasho-17 now could, and this is an enormous could, turn into LeBron later. Insane hypothetical, I know, but still within the realm of possibility.  A possibility that makes the 17 an afterthought. Make it happen BC.

*Some nice cherry-pickin’

 

 

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Filed under Chris Bosh, Indiana Pacers, Jermaine O'Neal, Lebron James, Manu Ginobili, NBA, TJ Ford, Toronto Raptors, Uncategorized

Jamal the Meek

Was searching for the latest news on Jamal Crawford, since you know, the TJ deal is pseudo-imminent, and found this interesting piece from the Associated Press. Supposedly, the rocky relations between D’Antoni and Crawford are officially over. The reason for the turn-around: A Phone Call. Huh…

Besides the surprising ease of gaining Jamal’s allegiances, the first line of the piece proclaims “Knicks guard Jamal Crawford has changed his mind when it comes to his new coach”. Really? I wasn’t aware his mind required changing, and according to my search efforts*, neither does anyone else. I couldn’t find anything that could be interpreted as discontent on Crawford’s part. I remember reading a NY Magazine piece describing Crawford as a company man fiercely loyal to Isiah but other than that there was nothing that implicitly stated Crawford’s supposed anger with his new coach. But lets pretend there is.

If Crawford was truly angry with the hiring of D’Antoni, he sure abandoned his position pretty quickly. A single phone call could hardly be described as a difficult courting period. Despite Mr. Crawford’s meekness, this story somehow makes him more enticing as a possible trading chip for my beloved Raps. If BC could possibly deal TJ for Jamal, I would be giddy. A malcontent sulker for a company man eager to please, as the NY Magazine piece states, “likes to please whoever he’s with at that minute”. Sweet, there will be no battle for the Heart and Mind of the Raptors’ locker room from Jamal. The team will undoubtedly be Boshs’ and Joses’ and we would get a player who can score 20 per and be content as a second option. Add Brandon Rush and were golden. Or maybe I’ve got some weak induction skills. Who knows.

*Looooooooo-ooooooooosssssseeee

Heres some links:

Absolutely, Positively the Worst Team in the History of Professional Sports – NY Magazine

Knicks coach praised – Pasadena Star-News

 

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Filed under Jamal Crawford, Mike D'Antoni, New York Knicks, TJ Ford, Toronto Raptors

Raps’ Prospects

Now that the removal of Smitch has become inevitable due to D’Antoni’s newfound freedom (God, this has to happen. Imagine D’Antoni’s impact on Bargnani’s development. HE HOLDS DUAL CITIZENSHIP IN THE US AND ITALY!!! Instead of shunning him for months (a Smitch specialty), these guys will be best buds. Please BC, eat Sam’s salary. The Jays and the Leafs are doing it), I am turning my attention to the Raps’ new glaring need: an Athletic Slasher Guy. Sure Jamarios a decent defensive precence but he offers little on the offensive end except for one dunk per game. These guys would fit in well with the running style of D’Antoni and offer some defense. No liabilities here.

Josh Smith – The most enticing possibility has got to be this guy. 3.2 BLOCKS/GAME. Imagine the athleticism of Bosh, Smith, Jamario, AP/Kapono, Jose. Would that not be the most exciting lineup in the Association? Considering his ability to block nearly anything on the floor, and the fact we would be throwing out one of the few lefty strong lineups anywhere, I would…pay money for this to happen? God, I hate Mondays.

Shawn Marion – Possible opt-out candidate. Could reunite with his former coach and form a determined bond to smite the Association. Granted, this is highly unlikely considering the Matrix would have to opt out of a 17.1 million option for next year, which may be the dumbest thing anyones ever done and also considering Marion doesn’t like winning so hes unlikely to leave Miami. Although the lure of D’Antoni could be enough to make it happen.

Andre Igoudala – Interesting piece on the Sixers summer plans. This isn’t as outrageous as I initially thought. I guess their bench is stocked with athletic swingmen so AI2 could become expendable in their search for a PF.

Antawn Jamison – Incredibly versatile PF/SF who is a threat both inside and out. Would love to have him but supposedly Agent Zero will be sniffing out max money so there is little chance the Wiz front office would allow two of their big three to leave in one summer.

Lamar Odom – This option is completely speculative but would also become increasingly plausible if the Lakers win the NBA title. If the Lakers do in fact win the NBA title someone out of Gasol, Odom, and Bynum is likely to become expendable. Considering the Lakers’ love for Bynum and the fact Gasol is killing everyone in the West right now, Odom is probably the odd man out, and he would probably be fine with that. After all the shit hes taken from Kobe over the last few years, I’m sure he would be eager to move on. He would be great for the D’Antoni system since he is incredibly versatile. Would have to be traded however, and I don’t know if two of Rasho, TJ, and AP would appease the Lakers. Maybe toss in the first rounder?

Luol Deng – Somewhat enticing option if only because of how pissed off he will be if he signs for less than the 57 mill over 5 years that he turned down last summer. He would be furious at everyone and attempt to portray himself as “worthy”. Unlike most of the names on this list, Deng coming to TO is an actual possibility due to the plethora of Free Agents on the Bulls’ roster. Well theres only two (Deng and Ben Gordon) but they’re going to be asking for mucho dollars which may leave one on the outs.

Corey Maggette – According to this clips should be looking in Toronto’s direction. Maggette in return maybe? Guys coming off a career year but I question his ability to play defense. Plus him and Dunleavy were on the outs which makes me question his character. But then again he did go to Duke? Thats a good school right there. But then again, Duke is full of rapists. But they were never charged, sooo….Don’t trade for Maggette?

Richard Jefferson – according to this shits already in the works. Plus I’d rather have Adnan Virk hitting on her than Dwight Howard’s father. Unfortunately there aren’t any Superman Sr. pics for all those who share Adnan’s inclinations.

Jamal Crawford – PG eh We’ve totally got those. I got Jamal at the bottom because, 1: there is nothing remotely exciting about him, and 2: I see little difference between playing TJ at the 2 and trading for Jamal to play the 2. Except for the 5 inch difference in height but they’re both incredibly frail dudes that seem incapable of playing some good perimeter defense which is what the Raps desperately need.

WILD (in every sense) CARD:

Ron Artest – As I said earlier in the year, there is almost no downside to having Artest on your team. Except for the ever-present possiblity of this 

TJ – According to Fanhouse  we shouldn’t be surprised when TJ is traded. The more reassurance the better. I’ve been having nightmares of TJ strutting through intros of opening night 09.

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Filed under Andre Iguodala, Basketball, Jamal Crawford, Josh Smith, Lamar Odom, Luol Deng, Mike D'Antoni, NBA, Richard Jefferson, TJ Ford, Toronto Raptors

Manic ACC assists Raps in Game 3 Victory

Tonite, the Raptors and a deviant ACC crowd defeated the Orlando Magic 108-94 in game 3 of their first round series. Behind some communist scoring (6 guys in double figures) and guard domination (Raptors guards – 56 points, Magic guards – 28 points), the Raptors guaranteed themselves a return trip to Orlando, whose crowd would have to drop a collective 1000 years and snort a kilo of blow EACH to match the absurdity put forth by the ACC crowd tonite. What a performance by the truthers. At this moment, I think Hedo is holding Dwight ever so gently in the Magic locker room. The fearless ACC laughed in the face of holy repercussions and let Howard have it. After going 14-20 in Orlando, the ACC’s verbal assault on Jesus Christ Superstar forced him to shoot 3-8 from the line. I was gettin all tingly when the Canucks’ chanting of “Howard, Howard” forced the second coming to miss two free throws in the 2nd quarter. Just phenemonal. Guy with beach towel, I salute you.

Also fascinating was TJ’s dismantling of Carlos Arroyo. I didn’t think much of Chuck’s assertion concerning Ford’s love for Carlos’ D, but Teej made him look clairvoyant during an epic three minute stretch that saw the lil Texan score 11 points on the pride of Puerto Rico. TJ has found his Manny DelCarmen. What are the odds of seeing Carlos again in this series? Large I say. TJ finished with 21 on the nite despite sitting the entire 4th. 

And why did he sit? Because the Jose of the regular season made a much appreciated appearance. The spaniard was at his sauciest tonite, finding open man after open man and knocking down uncontested treys off kickouts from a doubled Bosh. It was tingling. Though Bosh only had 15 points tonite, his passing out of double teams led to numerous threes from wide open teammates. Bosh’s instincts are far superior to Dwights’ when it comes to double-team recognition. On at least 3 occasions, Howard turned the ball over after being hounded by some nice doubling. You could also tell that the ACC’s collective taunting frustrated the big man, as he commited 4 fouls away from the ball and was goaded into a 5th by some elaborate Jose dance moves.

Another key component of the victory was the reinstatement of Jamario into the starting five. Jamario went off in the 1st half, collecting a double-double and finishing off some poetic ball movement with an open trey. This success did not extend to the 2nd half however, as Jamario regressed into bad habits and started taking awful shots. He actually finished the game as the only Raptors player in the minus (-2) despite being +15 18 minutes into the game. Hopefully the Raps can avoid that dropoff in performance in future games. He did however serve his purpose, igniting the reds to a 61-40 start.

Kapones once again made his case for the final shot by putting up 11 of his 15 points in the 4th quarter to subdue a frisky Magic team that had cut the Raps’ lead to 9 at the start of the final frame. Just a treat.

Despite the fantastic result, tonite’s success just seems to reveal the faults of Sam Mitchell. Kapono’s playoff performance has made his gross misuse during the regular season even more infuriating. I mean he only played 18.9 minutes per game this year, or two less than TJ puppet Carlos Arroyo. Also, Moon’s removal from the starting 5 was also revealed to be idiotic as he played a huge role in the Raps’ hot start. I could just see the old-school Sam talking himself into benching Jamario based on his playoff inexperience, as if he forgot that he just broke the record for Rookie starts. Guys gotta go no matter what the result of the Raps playoff run.

A little foreshadowin during the game maybe. Larry Brown now available eh…

 

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Filed under Basketball, Dwight Howard, Jason Kapono, Jose Calderon, NBA, TJ Ford, Toronto Raptors

Really, Mr. Mitchell, Really?

have a 24 at hand tonite friends, your gonna need every one. mr. doug smith has dropped a bombshell on my joyful Wednesday; tonite, in your raptors starting lineup, TJ FORD. wow. lets get right into it by looking at the trusty +/- for the PGs the last three games:

TJ – Miami +15 in 22:39, @Cleveland -13 in 18:05, Denver -14 in 16:11 for a total of………..   -12 in 56:55

Jose – Miami +27 in 25:21, @Cleveland +6 in 29:55, Denver +5 in 31:49 for a total of………..    +38 in 88:05

50 POINT DIFFERENTIAL!! extrapolate TJ’s numbers across Jose’s minutes and things get even worse (I’m using the last 3 games for this study cuz of the Bosh factor. the west coast disaster don’t count none). why couldn’t sam attempt this experiment during the west coast swing when it would have had limited consequences? why does he feel now, after two hard fought games that got away from the raps in the 4th quarter (27-16 in CLE, 38-27 vs. DEN) to be the best time to fuck with his lineup? this is no time for experimentation. we can beat detroit. save it for the knicks mitchell.

also TJ has been instrumental in creating 4th quarter runs for the opposition. case in point:

CLE – TJ comes in at 2:07 of the 3rd – TO leads 63-59

CLE – TJ leaves at 4:33 of the 4th – CLE leads 81-77

DEN – TJ comes in at 2:35 of the 3rd – TO leads 69-65

DEN – TJ leaves at 7:36 of the 4th – DEN leads 85-84

Epic Mess in Utah

Just saying. Maybe its possible that the chemistry with the 2nd unit isn’t working for TJ but I can’t see how usurping Jose will improve this team. Jose and Bosh work the high screen like Nash and Amare and i don’t know if TJ can replicate that success. The only reason i can think of that doesn’t implicate Mitchell’s incompetence for pulling this move would be TJ himself. has his sulking gotten so bad that it is wearing on team moral? has he become such a malcontent in a backup role that he has forced Mitchell to put his job on the line in the hopes he feels better? cuz i got to say, as a raps fan, Ive always considered TJ’s self-esteem much more important than team success.  

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Filed under Basketball, canada, Jose Calderon, Sports, TJ Ford, Toronto Raptors