A Tale of Two Cities: Toronto vs. Seattle
By Andy Denham,
11:50AM, Mon. Feb. 11, 2008
Holy living Christ! T.J. Ford’s back, and back in a big damn way. On February 4, in Miami, Ford had been riding the bench for the first 14 minutes before this:
Ford punched his time card with 9:55 left in the first half and immediately went to work. Now given, the Heat are about as scary as a sack of daisies, what with the whole can’t-crack-double-digits-in-the-win-column-in-48-tries thing, but that doesn’t mean you can beat ‘em from a stretcher.
What’s more, less than a week earlier - January 30, to be exact - Ford wasn’t even practicing with the squad. Still, things looked up when Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo officially said what T.J.’s been saying from the very beginning: That Ford’s return to the hardwood was “just a matter of time.”
But didja expect a homecoming quite like this? Four dimes, a pair of steals, and one hell of a statement dunk in only 17 minutes of action. Oh yeah, the Raptors took advantage of a struggling Heat team, handing D. Wade and Co. a 114-82 loss, their 19th loss in 20 contests. Oh how the mighty have fallen.
The best of times for ya T.J., see ya on February 11 in San An.
The worst of times?
Though Kevin Durant’s SuperSonics have won four of their last five - ending a 14-game losing streak which dated back to New Year’s Eve against the Spurs. (What the hell Antonio? Piss, crap, damn.) KD and the rookie class as a whole haven’t been up to par.
ESPN.com’s David Thorpe has even noted that even though Durant is still the premier rook, as of late, your former-National-Player-of-the-Year’s shooting percentage has suffered while his overall scoring has plateaued* at just more than the 20 p.p.g. mark.
Thorpe lamented Durant’s shooting, wishing that he would “love to see Kevin Durant make a decision, maybe even for just one week, to simply stop shooting perimeter jumpshots (unless forced to by the shot clock). Contrary to conventional wisdom (and his own memory), he is not a good shooter.”
Ouch … but fair enough. What’s more?
“Any study of his statistics suggests that he'll miss about two-thirds of his outside shots,” Thorpe wrote. “Do I think he'll ultimately be a great shooter? Yes. But for now, focusing only on hard drives, paint jumpers, and post-ups would be a better method to help the Sonics win games.”
What sucks most – at least for us in the 40 Acres - is watching a Seattle squad with nothing to gain but more losses, and a UT hardwood team that’s sitting at the No. 12 spot on ESPN.com’s power 16. Remembering things like this just make us blue:
Ah well; live and let die … just like the Sonic’s season.
* Some words should really be, you know … actual words. Hint, hint, Merriam-Webster.