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News » Toronto Raptors Getting Inside 2008-03-28


Toronto Raptors Getting Inside 2008-03-28


Toronto Raptors Getting Inside 2008-03-28
The Raptors are gambling on some significant lineup changes to rejuvenate them for the final 11 games of the regular season.

At the urging of Jose Calderon, who saw the struggles T.J. Ford was going through as a backup, the two point guards have switched roles and Rasho Nesterovic has taken over as the starting center for the stretch run.

"It's something Jose had talked to me about a couple of games ago and I said, 'let's see how things go,' and we talked about it again -- and we really felt like this is going to give us the best opportunity," said coach Sam Mitchell. "If we're going to make a change, we need to do it now."

Ford had been miserable, and spotty, coming off the bench. His tendency to try and single-handedly attack defenses led to a stagnant Raptors' offense and his style of play was starting to irk teammates and coaches. But as a starter, he seems more relaxed and in control and Calderon is quite content -- for now -- coming off the bench.

They do provide a contrast in styles that's tough to defend when both are on their games. Ford is a waterbug on the court, darting to the paint to break down defenses and create opportunities for his teammate while Calderon is a more steady hand. The two paces they play at make it difficult for opponents to adjust, which is part of the reason they needed to get Ford going.

RAPTORS 89, PISTONS 82: Toronto had seen a 17-point lead cut to seven when Jose Calderon hit a three, followed one defensive stop later by a T.J. Ford three-pointer that gave the Raptors the decisive cushion.

And even though Detroit's Chauncey Billups came back with two threes of his own -- part of a 24-point night -- the Raptors were able to hold on.

Chris Bosh, who had 12 of his 21 points in the second half, removed any lingering doubts with a 20-foot jumper with 28.3 seconds left that gave the Raptors an eight-point lead.

Ford had 13 points and nine assists and Calderon had 13 points and four assists in their new roles while Nesterovic continued his stellar play with 15 points and nine rebounds.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 28, 2008

 

 
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