There was a never a question in T.J. Ford's mind about who he would be working with to get back to the NBA.
It was John Lucas three years ago and it was John Lucas again this time around.
"He's the only trainer I trust, bottom line," Ford said yesterday. "He fulfils everything I need to get better and be the type of player that I want to be, mentally, physically, emotionally. He does it all. I've known him my whole life. Me and his son (John Jr. now playing for Bennetton Treviso in Italy) grew up together and we're also best friends so we're family and you always trust family. I'm just a loyal guy."
Head coach Sam Mitchell said it was a no-brainer to send Ford to Lucas.
"T.J. worked with him before in the summer," Mitchell said. "He's comfortable with him. Lucas helped T.J. come back from his injury before. It only made sense that he go down there where he needed to go. It was a good thing for him."
It's not exactly the type of stat you would expect from a Mitchell coached team, but the Raptors own the distinction of having been assessed the fewest technical fouls this season.
The Raps have just three, followed by Memphis with six. Tops in this department are the Boston Celtics, who have been whistled for 32, one more than the Denver Nuggets.
SUPER BOWL PLANS
The Raptors booked a meeting room at the Four Seasons in Miami Beach where they are staying so the team could watch the big game together.