Before Toronto’s game against the New York Knicks, I was transfixed while watching Gary Forbes shoot jumpers.


While working out before the game with assistant coach Eric Hughes, it seemed as if Forbes was shooting into an ocean and couldn’t miss.

However, less than an hour later, that ocean had shrunk to the size of a puddle. Forbes started out the game shooting 1-4 from the field in the first half.

“There’s an old saying that you’ve got to do it when the popcorn’s popping,” Dwane Casey told me through a smirk before the game. “That’s something that Gary Payton used to say all of the time. (Forbes) will. It’s just a matter of getting in there, getting in a rhythm and getting on the floor because he does the same things in practice. He knocks them down.

“He’s a rhythm shooter and he has got to get that rhythm going. Maybe if he just sees one go down early it could help him a lot because he’s a scorer at heart. It does take away a bit of his game when he has to distribute the basketball.”

The reason Forbes has been asked to play point guard is because injuries have cut into Toronto’s depth at the position. Jose Calderon and Jerry Bayless have missed key stretches of games due to injuries and Anthony Carter was recently waived because he wasn’t as effective on the court a the team needed him to be.

But, even though Forbes has been thrust into that role, the team clearly sees him as a scoring option, not as a primary ballhandler.

“He has been asked to do a lot of things,” Casey admitted to me. “Play the point. Play the two. Play the three. He’s tried that. He’s done a good job for us of playing the point which is what we asked him to do in as far as. In no means are we trying to convert him to being a point guard, but just enough so that he can help us treading water with some of our injuries.”

Tonight Forbes had to play extended minutes at the point for the first three quarters, but he also got a chance in the fourth quarter to hit some big shots and went 7-10 from the field.

He started to gain some confidence at the free throw line by seeing the ball go through the net and then hit a couple of big jumpers including a jumper in the grill of Carmelo Anthony.

Was it a case of building off of a strong shooting session with Hughes before the game? Not according to Forbes.

“I missed my first two three’s so it didn’t really,” Forbes told me while laughing. “But, as the game kept going I started to feel out the game and playing against former teammates is always something that you get revved up for.”

Here’s to hoping that Forbes’ 14 points in the fourth quarter helped to shake loose and get confidence shooting the ball during games.

Written by Ryan McNeill via FeedCrossing, Content News Source

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