Our thoughts and prayers go out to TJ Ford who suffered a vicious flagrant-2 foul. Here’s hoping that the damage is slight, and he’s able to make a speedy recovery.
What is it with Atlanta? A year ago, the Raptors experienced a bizarre series of events that led to a missing point. In the modern NBA, it doesn’t really occur that often, but it probably cost the Raptors the game. Today, we saw Jason Kapono go down with what looks like a sprain, Calderon with a finger dislocation (which he thankfully returned from), Jamario heads out for a spell with a leg cramp, and TJ Ford finally with a possible neck problem. It always seems, though, that the most major, serious injuries always happen at the end of games to these Raptors (Garbajosa, Calderon, and Ford).
So with a heavy heart, I begin today’s recap. Today, we saw the return of Andrea Bargnani, the continued consistent play of Jose Calderon, another superb leader-like game from Bosh and an aggressive attack from Kris Humphries. The Raptors managed to start attacking the interior of the Atlanta defense and began to play to their natural strengths. However, Atlanta kept themselves in the game with strong play from Josh Childress and Marvin Williams. It’s quite fortunate that the Raptors had strong play from TJ and Calderon in particular. Although Ford’s stats immediately jump to attention, it was Calderon’s presence that kept the Raptors playing like a team, making sure everyone was involved on both ends of the court.
On a side note, I’d like to say that Bargnani made an impact upon his return, but unlike Bosh, Bargnani hardly managed to make a dent on the floor. In fact, at this point, it seems as though he hasn’t learned much with his time on the bench, and that’s concerning. He seems to have picked up right where he left off by continuing to hold the ball too much on the offense rather than making the quick pass. If he’s not careful, he might start becoming a detriment to the team especially if he continues to make the quick shot rather than the quick pass.
As I’m typing this, I’m listening to Mike Woodson try and explain away the Al Horford foul. It’s surprising just how unapologetic he is about the situation, saying that it was an accident of the fall. Granted, Al didn’t mean to do that to TJ, but he didn’t even try to attempt to save him. Yes, he’s a rookie, but for him to say that TJ just had a bad fall completely burns me up inside. I’ll give in to the fact that Al Horford didn’t intend to do it, but there has to be more ownership from the Hawks. Horford, at least, looked reasonably upset about the situation.
Finally, Sam had every right to be upset about such a play. To see him jump on to the floor like that must have really meant something. I hope that it wasn’t lost on anyone that Sam almost started a fight with Woodson and the refs immediately afterwards, and I’m just glad that I can say that no Raptor player has ever committed a flagrant to that degree.
Next Game: Dallas @ Toronto