Coach a steady hand

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:45 AM ET

Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell said his two priorities during the early part of the season is getting to know his players and having his players understand him as a coach.

The first-year head coach said he is striving to become a model of consistency as a bench leader, much like his mentor Larry Brown.

"At the end of the day, players want to know what kind of coach you are, and the things that you expect from them," he said. "At the end of the day, those are the things that make it easier to play for a coach. When I played for Larry, we knew what to expect. We knew he wasn't going to change. The difficult thing for players is when you have a coach who goes back and forth -- for a week he's like this, for another three days he's like that. You don't know your boundaries (as a player)."

NOTES

Peter Gibson, the Raptors head of security, will be honored with a retirement banquet tonight for his 30 years of service with Toronto Police, much of it spent with homicide and the drug squad ... As Vince Carter dressed and packed up his belongings after Tuesday's brutal 101-89 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, he placed his IPod to the side of the locker stall and mumbled: "Well, I guess I won't be needing this no more." The NBA recently ruled that Carter is not allowed to wear the IPod during warmups on the court. Carter said the music prepared him for games. Carter hurt a finger crashing to the floor in Los Angeles on Tuesday, but was fine last night ... Mitchell backtracked a bit yesterday after threatening to call plays from the bench if the players didn't start running more, on the fast break. "Yes (I said that)," he said. "But I'd rather keep pushing, because I think that can be a strength of ours. I talked to Vince (yesterday) and he said, 'the few times I ran (against L.A.), Jalen got wide open shots and the times I didn't run, we didn't get wide open shots. That just dawned on me. I thought we had been running. But just watching the tape, I realized I hadn't been running.' That's good."


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