Marshall is feeling fresh

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:10 AM ET

A lot of guys at the Raptors training camp have talked about how hard they worked out during the off-season and how much strength they gained or weight they lost.

Not veteran forward Donyell Marshall.

The former Connecticut star admitted he took it easy over the summer. Not because he decided to become a slug. By his way of thinking, relaxing will enable him to have another strong season in a Raptors uniform.

"It was difficult (last season), especially when Vince (Carter) and Jalen (Rose) were both out with injuries and I was counted on to do a lot more," Marshall said yesterday. "By the end of the season, I was down. I rested a lot this summer and I think that's why I'm ready to go now."

Marshall was a pleasant surprise after being acquired from the Chicago Bulls along with Rose and Lonny Baxter on Dec. 1 for Antonio Davis, Jerome Williams and Chris Jefferies.

He responded by putting up career numbers, averaging 16.2 points, 10.7 rebounds and 39.1 minutes in 66 games for Toronto. He led the Raptors in rebounding, blocks and three-pointers and was the only player in the NBA to rank in the top 25 in boards, blocks and three-point field goal percentage. He also recorded an impressive 38 double-doubles.

Still, Marshall has challenged himself to play even better this season (he becomes a free agent next summer), although not necessarily on the stats sheet.

"Definitely I'd like to put up the same numbers or even get better," he said.

"But I also want to pick up my defence and pick up my intensity and help this team win."

AROUND THE GYM

Forward Morris Peterson left practice yesterday after jamming a thumb. He should be all right for today ... An interested bystander at camp was former NBA great Kermit Washington, who tutored rookie forward Ousmane Cisse during the off-season.


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