Bosh caught in middle?

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:37 AM ET

The number on his jersey matches the position Chris Bosh wants to play, but No. 4 may have to be No. 5 on the floor.

Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said yesterday that the impressive NBA sophomore may have to spend some time as the team's centre, something Bosh was forced to do last season.

BEST OPTION

First-round draft pick Rafael Araujo, Jerome Moiso and Loren Woods have been competing for playing time at centre, but none resembles Shaquille O'Neal.

Having the 6-foot-10, 230-pound Bosh at centre is not an ideal scenario for the Raptors, who watched the Georgia Tech product take a beating at that spot as the season dragged on last season. But it may be the Raptors' best option.

"We're going to try to keep (Bosh) away (from centre), but in case of emergency break glass," said Mitchell, who plans to shuffle his lineup for a pre-season game tomorrow night against Italian League club Benetton Treviso at the Air Canada Centre.

"We're going to try to win games. We don't want to play him there but we'll see how things go early."

That's not exactly a glowing endorsement for Araujo, Moiso or Woods, though Mitchell said all three have made progress.

For his part, Bosh promises to be a team player. He makes no secret of his desire to be a regular power forward, but Bosh won't complain if he's the centre of attention.

"It's more of a preference thing," Bosh said. "If (Mitchell) needs me to play at (centre), I'll go out there and play it.

"But I would like to stay at the four spot (power forward). That's something I really enjoy."

As for the other three big men, Woods probably has made the best impression. The 7-foot-1 Woods, signed during the off-season after playing 38 games with the Miami Heat, had 11 points and five rebounds Sunday in a 108-103 loss against the Philadelphia 76ers in London, Ont.

"I'm just trying to do everything the coaches are telling me to do," Woods said. "I feel comfortable, but it's still so early. It's premature to think anything great is going to happen for me or the team. We're trying to work through things."

The Raptors are 0-2 in pre-season play.


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