Point guard, not fingers

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:58 AM ET

Two years ago, the Raptors won the NBA's Atlantic Division, but departed point guard T.J. Ford was at a loss as to why they couldn't build on it last season -- and into this season.

"We didn't have the same chemistry for some strange reason," Ford said of the '07-'08 team. "I don't think everybody took ownership when we weren't being successful, when we weren't playing at our highest level as a team.

"But I'm not one to point fingers. Hey, I might end up with these guys again. This is the NBA. It recycles. Sam (Mitchell) might be my coach again, you never know."

KEEPING PACE IN INDY

The Pacers are in rebuilding mode, with a record of 7-13 before last night's game, but have still pulled off a couple of big wins over the Boston Celtics and L.A. Lakers.

"It's a challenge with all the things that have gone on in the past few years with this team, the brawl, the guys getting in trouble off of the court," Ford said. "We're just trying to get the energy back in the arena and bring the fans back."

Former Raptor Rasho Nesterovic, who spelled off a young Andrea Bargnani in Toronto last year, said the Pacers are a work in progress like the home team.

"We have seven or eight new guys on our team so we're still trying to adjust," Nesterovic said. "We're still trying to figure out what everybody is like."

He said the off-season trade which brought himself, Ford and Maceo Baston to the Pacers has worked out for the best.

"I was sad, I had two great years here," he said. "I didn't see (the trade) coming, but I know this is part of a business and I took it that way. It's a fun year, We have a lot of young guys.

"I think (Ford) is relaxed because he doesn't feel as much pressure here. As time goes on, he's going to be even better."


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