The Raptors' active roster features three rookie big men -- Matt Bonner, Rafael Araujo and Pape Sow -- which complicates coach Sam Mitchell's rotation. After all, how many inexperienced players can be on the court at the same time?
"Our big guys can't bang without getting a foul," Mitchell said after his team's 105-102 loss in Portland on Saturday. "They can't remember a play. But what do you do? All our big guys are young guys."
As for the Raptors' big men who aren't such young guys, starting centre Loren Woods has hit the wall (zero points, three rebounds in 16 minutes Saturday) and forward Jerome Moiso doesn't seem ready for prime-time (five skittish minutes in Seattle Friday, no court time in Portland).
WIZARD FOR HIRE
The Raptors stayed in Portland last night and were scheduled to fly to Los Angeles this morning. This afternoon legendary former UCLA coach John Wooden will stop by the hotel to address the team. The visit from Wooden was arranged by Raptors executive Pete Babcock.
BLESS THIS MESS
Star guard Ray Allen of the Seattle SuperSonics knows Mitchell fairly well not only from their years of playing against each other, but also from the short time they spent together in Milwaukee. Allen still was playing in Milwaukee when Mitchell was an assistant coach there.
Allen was asked if he looked at Mitchell back then and thought, "There's a future head coach."
"Sometimes guys surprise you by changing it around and they end up being a good coach when you didn't expect it,"Allen said. "Like, my room used to be dirty when I was a younger, and my sister always told me, 'You're going to have a dirty house when you get older.' But it flip-flopped. I never cleaned up when I was younger, but I saw what others were doing, and now I like to keep my things tidy.
"But Sam always had a basketball mind. He was ready to put it on paper and lead his own team someday. I didn't think it would be this early, but it happened and I'm happy for him."