No amount of chanting was going to get Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell to deviate from his game plan.
Late in the pre-season game against the Philadelphia 76ers yesterday, with the Raptors trailing by a couple of points, the 7,619 fans at the John Labatt Centre began to chant: "We Want Carter! We Want Carter!" Seconds later, it was "Vince! Vince! Vince!"
Carter played 18 minutes in the team's 108-103 loss, scoring seven points and recording three assists. But he never saw the floor in the fourth quarter.
For the second pre-season game in a row (the Raps are now 0-2), Mitchell stayed the course and kept his stars, namely Carter and Jalen Rose, on the bench with the game on the line. Mitchell's primary concern is to see how his lesser lights are developing and said as the pre-season schedule evolves, Carter and Rose will get more meaningful minutes.
Carter, for his part, heard the chanting and seemed to appreciate it, particularly after Friday's lukewarm reception at the Air Canada Centre.
"If I didn't hear that, I'd need a hearing aid," he said. "But I thought they we're saying: 'We want Matt Bonner.'
"But I knew it wasn't going to happen," he added, when asked if he would have liked to have played in the fourth. "That would have been wishful thinking."
Morris Peterson led the Raptors with 26 points. Chris Bosh had 12 points and nine rebounds, while Donyell Marshall contributed 12 points, eight rebounds and five assists in his pre-season debut.
Mitchell, however, was not impressed with the defence.
"I think the effort's there, but I just think our guys have to concentrate more," he said. "It's got to mean more to them to do those defensive things the right way. That's why there's the pre-season.
"You need to find out who can do it," he said. "And you need to find out for the guys who can't do it, is it the way you're teaching it? And then you need to find out if they can't do it, who can?
"We're giving the guys every opportunity, so when Nov. 3 (the start of the regular season) comes, everyone can look in the mirror and understand why he is not playing."