Coach puts spin on rotation

BILL HARRIS -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:05 AM ET

Raptors coach Sam Mitchell was asked last night if he's close to deciding upon a rotation for the club's regular-season opener next week.

"Yeah, I am," Mitchell said. "The top seven are pretty easy. And I'm pretty sure on eight and nine, but not completely."

So the top seven are easy, huh? Well, we presume Mitchell was talking about Vince Carter, Chris Bosh, Rafer Alston, Jalen Rose and Loren Woods as the starters, with Donyell Marshall and Morris Peterson coming off the bench.

Rounding out the top nine would be the winner of the backup point guard battle between Roger Mason Jr., and Milt Palacio and probably Lamond Murray.

Completing the 12-man roster would be two rookie forwards, Matt Bonner and Rafael Araujo, and the loser of the Mason-Palacio sweepstakes. If the club decides the keep the maximum three players on the injured list, those spots would be reserved for Alvin Williams, Jerome Moiso and Pape Sow.

"Can someone jump in and surprise me? Yes," said Mitchell, whose club played the Portland Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden last night and will close out the pre-season at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers tomorrow. "But we're getting close. I think I've been fair with the guys who have been available."

RED SOX NATION

Who possibly could concentrate on pre-season basketball when the sports world is talkin' Red Sox?

Raptors general manager Rob Babcock and his brother Pete, who is the club's director of NBA player personnel, grew up rabid Red Sox fans. So they were keeping a close eye on the World Series TV broadcast last night, despite the fact the Raptors were playing.

"My dad was in the Air Force so we moved around a lot, but our roots are in New England and we all grew up Red Sox and Celtics fans," Rob Babcock said.

Raptors rookie forward Matt Bonner also is a big Red Sox supporter.

"Make that a huge Red Sox supporter," Bonner corrected.


Videos

Photos