Check out today’s Opening Tip for tips on dating Stephen Graham. There’s also a new poll about tonight’s game.

*******

We’ve all been looking forward to this one.

It started so well, two players working in symbiotic harmony. Touted as the best 1-2 punch in the game at their position, it looked to be the beginning of something special. But injuries, differences of opinion, and meddling management started to change history’s course, until it finally ended early last off-season, with one of them discharged quicker than Sgt. Lance Rainbowfabulous in Vietnam, traded for a injury prone big man 6 seasons past his prime.

Just like that, the JoJay Forderon era was over.

Love him or hate him, former Raptors starting PG TJ Ford steps onto the ACC hardwood tonight to battle resident Raptor PG – and the player TJ refused to share top billing with – Jose Calderon. Most die-hard Raptors fans will forget the team’s recent troubles for one night, as all eyes will be on the homecoming of Toronto’s most notorious shot-chucker (sorry Mike James).

Expect an emotional back-and-forth between two proud ballers. Both have distinctly different styles and attitudes. Both have had their struggles of late. Both will look to come out on top in tonight’s:

FEATURED HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT!!!


TJ FORD
vs

JOSE “OCHO” CALDERON
Undercard
Rasho v. O’Neal
Parker v. Granger
FEATURED FIGHT BREAKDOWN
Category #5 Terrance Jerod Ford #8 Jose Manuel Calderon
Hometown Houston, Texas, USA Villanueva de la Serena, Badajoz, Spain
D.O.B. March 24, 1983 Sept 28, 1981
Height 6 feet, 0 inches 6 feet, 3 inches
Weight 165 lbs. 210 lbs.
W/L (career) 135-138 (.494) 111-129 (.462)
W/L (season) 7-11 (.388) 8-11 (.421)
Stats (career) 30mpg, 11.8ppg, 6.7apg, 3.3rpg, 42%FG, 81%FT 26mpg, 9.0ppg, 6.3apg, 3.3rpg, 37%FG, 87%FT
Stats (season) 32mpg, 14.3ppg, 5.3apg, 4.5rpg, 42%FG, 92%FT 36mpg, 12.8ppg, 9.6apg, 3.1rpg, 42%FG, 100%FT
Drafted #8 overall in 2003, same draft class as Lebron, Wade, and Bosh Undrafted, signed as FA before 2005-2006 season
Trademark Gesture The TJ Scowl Three Fingers High… after every…freakin’…three.
Strengths Speed, ballhandling, headbands Ball control, jumpshot
Weaknesses Spine, shotaholic Man-to-man defence, team defence, help defence, sideburns
Accolades Voted Fastest Player in the NBA, “Sports Illustrated 2007″, almost filled up his Booster Juice “Frequent Juicer” card 2007-08 NBA Assist-to-Turnover leader, 2006 World Champion, 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist, 2007 & 2003 European Championship Silver Medalist
Nicknames TJ, Me J, Hoggie the Hoggiest Ballhog Ocho, The Spanish Fly, The Hamstring Hombre
Entourage John Lucas, Spinal Surgeon, guy who carries his ego on charter flights Jorge Garbajosa, Rudy Fernandez, Paul Gasol, Antonio Banderas, Paella the Panda

KEYS TO VICTORY: TJ FORD

On offence: TJ must play the entire game aggressively instead of defaulting to his jumper, driving the ball at Jose and looking to draw fouls that send Calderon to the bench.

On defence: TJ should pressure Jose whenever he’s got the ball in his hand, using his quickness to bother the slower guard.

KEYS TO VICTORY: JOSE CALDERON

On offence: Jose has to make TJ fight around screens all night long, tiring him out for the 4th quarter, where he likes to make his runs.

On defence: Jose must lay off TJ and allow him to fall into ‘auto shoot’ mode, relying on his height advantage to close out on the jumper.

LETS GET READY TO RUMMBBBBLLLLEEE!

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