by user HoopsAddict.com
Last night the Toronto Raptors proved that Barney isn’t the only purple dinosaur that knows how to share. Toronto was able to get away from their habit of chucking up ill-advised shots and instead made the extra pass so that teammates could get open looks. Proof that Toronto shared the rock is the fact that they had 29 dimes on 38 field goals.
Following the game Sam Mitchell addressed this issue in his post game media scrum. A mellow Mitchell told reporters that, “when we move the basketball we are pretty good. To give some of those guys the ball and get them to go one on one, that’s not what we do. When we get movement and screen the ball (we are successful). With Mike and Darrick in the game we have ball movement.”
Veteran point guard Darrick Martin had a huge game last night and had his first double dip since the 1999 season when he was playing for the Los Angeles Clippers. He more than any other Raptors symoblizes the great strides the team has made this season. Often when teams go through seasons where team success isn’t there individual players try to force things so that they can have individual success. Martin is an older player who’s career is winding down yet he’s been content in his role as the team’s third string point guard. Instead of forcing Mitchell to play him extended minutes he’s been happy to mentor Jose Calderon and get sparse minutes. It’s this selflessness that has rubbed off on his teammates and has helped the Raptors young players continue to mature this season.
After the game Martin attributed his success to the way that the Raptors played as a team and told Norma Wick, “we are a tough team to be. We have so many people that can score on this team and it just stretches the defenses out which makes it a lot easier for Chris to drive, kick and do his thing because he is our go-to-guy. Chris does a lot for us night in and night out and when we can spread the floor on offense and get other guys shots it makes it easier for him.”
Without fail every player in the locker room talked about the key to success tonight for Toronto was their ability to pass the ball. It’s great to see that the whole team is starting to see the light and that they are on the same page and hopefully they apply they continue to share the rock in their game tonight against the Pistons.
Wed 03/15/06, 1:45 pm EST