Having an Impact

No matter how much T.J. Ford is able to contribute, the Toronto Raptors believe having him on the court will only make them better.

After seeing limited time in his first game back from a left arm stinger, Ford could have more of an impact as the Raptors try for a fourth straight victory over the visiting Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Toronto –9.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 195 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 56% of bets for this game have been placed on Los Angeles +9.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

In his first game since Dec. 11, Ford had four points and four assists in almost 17 minutes of Toronto's 114-82 win at Miami on Wednesday.

Ford should provide good depth for the Raptors as he's eased back into action since colliding with Atlanta's Al Horford in that December contest where he had 26 points and eight assists.

The point guard, whose neck injury in February 2004 while with Milwaukee forced him to miss the 2004-05 season, averaged 14.1 points and 6.8 assists in 17 games before missing the next 24.

"It's about me getting back into a flow and the guys getting used to my style," Ford told the team's official Web site. "I don't think people expected me to come in and do the things that I normally do."

It's uncertain how Ford will be used with Jose Calderon averaging 14.5 points and 9.7 assists since Ford went down. It would seem the two together could only benefit the Raptors, one of five Eastern Conference teams with a winning record.

"(Ford's) fast and quick and he can get to that basket at will," said forward Chris Bosh, who had 24 points Monday. "He can find guys. Yes, Jose's been playing well, but imagine if you can have two guys playing at the same rate, splitting time. That's a good thing for us."

Ford has a chance to see more time Friday against the Clippers (15-31), who have lost three in a row in this series since a 115-113 overtime win in Toronto on Feb. 5, 2006. Ford has totaled 31 points and 16 assists in his last two appearances against them.

The Raptors are looking to build off Monday's win where they shot a season-high 59.5 percent from the field and went 10-for-19 from 3-point range.

"It would be hard for us to play much better," said Toronto coach Sam Mitchell, whose team has won nine of 13.

Bosh, named a reserve for the East in this month's All-Star game, went 8-for-11 from the field against the Heat and looks to continue his recent success against the Clippers on Friday.

He had 24 points and nine rebounds in Toronto's 80-77 win at Los Angeles on Dec. 18 in the teams' first meeting this season, and is averaging 26.0 points and 10.2 boards in his last five contests versus the Clippers.

Los Angeles lost 111-100 at league-best Boston on Wednesday to fall to 1-3 on its season-high seven-game road trip.

Corey Maggette had 33 points and eight rebounds, but the Clippers shot 41.1 percent two nights after a 103-94 win at New York snapped a nine-game road losing streak.

"It's not going to be easy on the road and we didn't make it easier for ourselves," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said after Wednesday's loss. "We did play hard. We got a ton of deflections. We did some good things. We kept fighting, scrapping our way back into it. We couldn't get enough guys to be hot."

It was just the second game back after missing four due to flu-like symptoms for Maggette, who had 22 points against Toronto in December. Maggette has made all 19 of his free throws since returning, and has missed only two of his last 48.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

More NBA Basketball Coverage from theSpread.com

 - NBA Basketball teams
 - NBA Basketball standings
 - NBA Basketball schedule
 - NBA Basketball scoreboard
 - NBA Basketball injuries
 - NBA Basketball matchups
 - NBA Basketball stats
 - NBA Basketball odds
 - NBA Basketball public betting chart
 - NBA Basketball news wire
 - NBA Basketball top stories
 - NBA Basketball trends
 - AccuScore NBA Basketball predictions
 - Expert NBA Basketball picks
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
 - NBA Basketball Home

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Celtics improving Finals odds The Boston Celtics are showing signs that they want to be in the hunt to win the NBA Finals next season. Do oddsmakers feel the Celtics are...
Thumbnail Warriors re-sign Curry, Iguodala The Golden State Warriors are committed to keeping their championship team together. The team re-signed a number of players last week to improve their odds to...
Thumbnail Paul George joins the Thunder The Oklahoma City Thunderwon the Paul Georgesweepstakes last week. How has this impacted the team’s ability to win the NBA...
Thumbnail Rockets improve Finals odds After making a big splash this week, are the Houston Rockets making a push to win the 2018 NBA Finals?

NBA Headlines

  • ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Free agent guard Arron Afflalo is rejoining the Orlando Magic.
    The Magic announced the signing Thursday but didn't disclose terms. The 11-year NBA veteran who shot 41 perce...
  • INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert spent more than 30 minutes presenting a positive portrait of his franchise.
    The reality is that the Cavs are troubled.
    In his first pu...
  • WASHINGTON (AP) The Washington Wizards have signed John Wall to a $170 million, four-year contract extension that begins in 2019-20.
    Team President Ernie Grunfeld announced the completion of ...
  • INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is refusing to confirm that All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving has demanded a trade.
    In his first public comments since Irving asked to be d...
  • PHOENIX (AP) The Phoenix Suns have signed big man Alan Williams to a three-year, $17 million contract.
    The restricted free agent agreed to the deal earlier this month and the Suns announced h...

NBA Team Pages