Guards feeling a chill

MARK KEAST -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:37 AM ET

This should have been a showcase game for Raptors guard Fred Jones, when taking into account he was going up against his former team, the Indiana Pacers.

Yet, when asked how he felt he played in the Raps' victory yesterday at the Air Canada Centre, the frustration he showed after the game as he quietly changed was obvious.

"Not well," he said. "I'm not knocking down shots. I get to the right spots in the right situation, but I'm just not knocking them down. I don't think I've taken a step back. I haven't consistently been making them."

Yesterday, as the Raptors were holding off a resilient Pacers team that made it close in the third quarter, Jones was 3-for-11 for seven points.

His athleticism did impact other areas positively, which coach Sam Mitchell pointed out after the game. At one point Mitchell countered Indiana's decision to throw three point guards -- Darrell Armstrong, Jamal Tinsley and Sarunas Jasikevicius -- on the floor with Jones, T.J. Ford and Jose Calderon.

TELLTALE STATISTICS

But the stats don't lie. Jones is shooting less than his career averages in field-goal and three-point percentages.

Across the room, another Raptors guard, Anthony Parker, said he could sympathize with his teammate.

"I think we are going through the same kind of struggles," said Parker, who also seemed tentative, going went just 3-for-6 for six points in close to 25 minutes.

"In our situation, a lot of times our first couple of shots are threes," he said. "It's tough. I don't think either of us, in our past situations, were accustomed to those being our first few shots. Sometimes you like free throws or layups to get it going, so we have to find those situations. It's a cycle. But you have to do everything you can do to get your confidence up, the right mentality, to take the shot.

"We're both professionals. We've been on the highs and the lows," he said. "We both know how to deal with it."


Videos

Photos