Martin enjoys big brother role

STEVE BUFFERY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:54 AM ET

The Raptors have one of the best 1-2, and perhaps 1-2-3, punches at the point guard position in the NBA.

Starter T.J. Ford is among the league leaders in assists per game with 7.6, while backup Jose Calderon, who is averaging 4.7 assists, has done an admirable job starting with Ford out with a sore right ankle. Calderon netted a career-high 24 points and a game-high 11 assists to lead the Raptors to a 119-109 victory over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday.

As for Darrick Martin, who is third on the team's depth chart at point guard, the 12-year NBA veteran has stepped up and played well when called upon.

Martin said he feels like a proud older brother at the way Ford, 23, and Calderon, 25, have developed this year.

"I love them because they work at their craft every day, and they're getting better every day," Martin said.

"That's something I talked to Jose about last year. And when T.J. got here this season, he and I spent some time away from the court, just talking about how I got my 12 years in the league, what it means to be a point guard in this league and the responsibility that comes with it."

Martin, who acts as an unofficial assistant coach with the Raptors, takes pride in the contributions he has made with the improved play of his two younger teammates.

"There's not a day that goes by when one, if not both, ask me a question," he said. "I'm like the big brother to both of them. We're the Three Amigos, we talk to each other during the game, at half time, all the time, just sharing information and trying to help each other get better. And to see those two blossom, I love it."

SARCASTIC SAM

Head coach Sam Mitchell was at his sarcastic best with the media following practice.

When reminded that his team has not lost two games in a row in the new year, heading into tonight's game against the Atlanta Hawks, Mitchell replied: "Well thank you for reminding us, and jinxing us."

He was also asked to comment on the fact that his two main point guards, Ford and Calderon, don't seem to argue over minutes.

"Last time I checked, on the first and 15th, all 14 of these guys get a cheque that says Toronto Raptors on it," he said. "They're just earning their money and doing their job."


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