Friday , Feb , 23 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

The Power of Juan

(Sports Network) – Actually, the addition of guard Juan Dixon does not give
the Toronto Raptors any power whatsoever.

In fact, the deal to send guard Fred Jones to the Portland Trail Blazers in
exchange for Dixon was much like trading baseball cards as a kid. The deal
reminds me of swapping an Eric Davis card for Andre Dawson. They’re both solid
players, but the need for a different card so to speak was apparently
what Toronto wanted to express.

Dixon will serve primarily as a backup to guards T.J. Ford and Anthony Parker,
and will share time with reserve guards Jose Calderon and Joey Graham. If only
the Raptors could have the Dixon of the 2002 era when he averaged 20.4 points,
2.8 assists and 2.6 steals during his senior season at Maryland. Dixon led the
Terrapins to their first NCAA title in 2002 and was named outstanding
player of the Final Four.

Unfortunately, those days are over and this is the NBA, not the NCAA.

Dixon, the 17th overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft, averaged 22:36 minutes,
8.9 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 55 games for the Trail Blazers
this season. Now he is blazing his own trail back to the Eastern Conference.

In 307 career games with Washington and Portland, Dixon has averaged 9.3
points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists.

Toronto, which hopes it bolstered its backcourt with the addition of Dixon,
owns a 4 1/2-game lead over the New Jersey Nets for the top spot in the
Atlantic Division. The Raptors will wrap up a three-game homestand on Friday
versus the Indiana Pacers and own a 19-8 record at the Air Canada Centre
this season.

The Raptors just had a two-game winning streak halted by Cleveland on
Wednesday, but are 7-2 over the last nine games.