Sam Mitchell is keeping his cards close to his vest during the NBA pre-season.
"The stuff we're running now, we are not going to run in the regular season," the Raptors rookie coach said yesterday after putting his charges through a three-plus hour practice at the Air Canada Centre.
The stuff Mitchell plans to use when the real games start is being worked on behind closed doors during practice, not pre-season games. Mitchell has adopted that strategy to prevent scouts from discovering his methods before the season opener on Nov. 3
"Our only advantage for a short time is that I don't have a track record and people don't have an idea of what we're going to run," he said.
Mitchell wants to keep scouts guessing.
"A lot of teams are coming here scouting us and they keep walking away trying to figure out what we're going to do," he said. "That's the only edge we have the first (few games). People don't really know what we're going to do. We've got to try to keep that little edge for as long as we can."
Raptors general manager Rob Babcock does not expect Italian League club Benetton Treviso to roll over during its pre-season game against Toronto tomorrow at the ACC.
"They'll give us a good game," Babcock said. "They are a different style of team, but it will be a productive game for us and they can beat us if we're not ready ... Exhibition games against international teams are not a gimme at all."
It's the second year in a row the Raptors are playing host to a European team. Last year, the Raptors beat Panathinaikos A.O. Athens 100-76 in a game that was called with 59.4 seconds left because of a power outage at the ACC.