Ford Tough -- Again
The roller coaster ride continues. In the last two games the Bucks, who seemed to be sliding on the slippery slope out of the playoffs, have reestablished their footing in the Eastern Conference standings. Consequently, at 39-40 they are on the verge of finally clinching a playoff berth.
Last night they convincingly defeated the clueless New York Knicks, running them off their own court, 97-80. The game was over by mid third quarter. Once again TJ Ford was brilliant, as was the ever reliable Michael Redd.
In the last week Ford has basically reinvented himself. If you toss out the Memphis game, he has posted an astronomical CG score of 35.54 over that stretch. That's better than the season CG scores of most of the great players in the game, and it certainly blows away Ford's own mediocre season CG of 18.71. It may be a temporary perch he has ascended to, but, as I stated in an earlier post, now we know he can get there.
He's just been a different TJ lately. He seems calm and determined on the court, instead of reckless and unsure.
The new approach has helped elevate every part of his game. His passing is crisper and smarter. His penetration moves are far more effective. And his jumpshot is much more accurate. All the result of his new, more confident mindset.
Perhaps the greatest beneficiary Ford's ascent has been Andrew Bogut. All of a sudden those two seem to be communicating on a private wavelength. Last night Bogut was 8 of 9 from the field. 4 of those 8 field goals were slam dunks or layups created by marvelous TJ Ford bounce passes. In fact, a good deal of TJ's more remarkable assists of late have ended in a Bogut slam dunk. They are reading one another very well.
How long will the New TJ last? I don't know. Not the point. The point is we now know that he exists, and, more importantly, so does TJ.