Before TJ was injured in that game against Dallas earlier this year. He was arguably the MVP of the Raps so far. Only dude who was bringing it night in, night out, while Bosh and Bargs were battling injuries and 1-11 shooting nights. He was playing a more controlled pace compared to last year and was shooting almost 50%. TJ brings alot more than just scoring and distribution of the basketball, he brings an edge, an intensity. His Swag is Phenomenal... when his jumper is falling, TJ Ford plays like the top tier point gaurds, even though he is still only 23 and ranked #6 behind the usual suspects(Nash, Parker, etc.) for Efficiency.
TJ haters like to point out that he plays a bit reckless, takes ill-advised shots and is not a pass first PG. Also that when TJ scores big we lose. These people would prefer Jose Calderon as the starter of our team. While I like Jose, he could definitely be a starter on the bottom half of the teams in the league, he's nowhere on TJ's level.
While TJ's decision making is improving by leaps and bounds, he shouldn't be described as reckless. TJ plays a little more reckless or "dynamic" when compared to Jose. TJ's the only player who can consistently get to wherever they want to get on the court using a combination of his quickness and dribble. He causes havoc for teams who run set defenses especially when breaking them down off the bounce and kicking to our open shooters. While Jose runs a mean pick and roll, he can't get those open lay-ups that he was getting last year. Teams read the scouting report and don't let him turn the corner which means he has to shoot or swing it around. This leads to our offense becoming stagnant if jumpers aren't falling.
People like to mention that TJ takes ill-advised shots. I like to think, good for him that he has the confidence to take that shot whenever the defence gives it to him. TJ's intensity and confidence on the court instantly make our team better. He's afraid of no one, has the intensity and edge to get through a playoff series. On a soft team like the Raptors, he is the only player on our team who's consistently brings it. As much as I like Bosh, he admitted he was shook in last year's playoff series but what player was bringing it night in an night out no matter what, thats right TJ Ford. As shown last year when he won that game against the clippers at the buzzer or with that game winning assist to Bargnani for the win in Portland the following night. Even after the injuries, TJ still has the confidence that he can make the shot when the game comes down to the wire. That my friends is called Balls, he's the most clutch player on the team, hands down.
People like to say that "we need a pass first point guard, we have enough scorers". While I agree to that in theory. In theory, communism works. The top PGs in the League can and will drop 20 points a night if needed, if other players are not getting the job done. TJ does a good job at recognizing when our players aren't playing well and takes teh shots himself to keep us in the ball game. Our players are all shooters and if the jumpshot isnt falling, it usually does a number on their confidence. To average 8-10 assists is excellent for a young point guard, averaging over 10+ assists doesn't equal victories (unless you're Steve Nash, but even he's surrounded by slashers and cutters) . As a PG you have to be able to score to keep the defenses honest, and keep them on their heels. The reason TJ scores so much when we lose is because everyone else just starts tossing up bricks, TJ decides to add a bit more scoring himself. When TJ is scoring between 15-20 and dishing 8-10, we are that 47 win team which won the Atlantic Division title.
Get well soon TJ!