Bonner is no goner

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:44 AM ET

The bad boys of the NBA can expect to bump into noted enforcer Matt Bonner tonight. The Raptors forward, who endeared himself to hockey-starved Toronto fans with his hard foul on Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Garnett on Wednesday, isn't expected to face suspension.

An NBA spokesman indicated yesterday that Bonner and his teammates likely will not be punished for their actions at the Air Canada Centre, meaning the Raptors could have a full roster for their road game tonight against the brawl-toughened Indiana Pacers at the Conseco Fieldhouse.

While nothing was announced yesterday, it is possible the NBA could do something this morning. But the Raptors are anticipating having everybody available -- aside from the injured Vince Carter -- as they attempt to win two games in a row for the first time since starting the season with three consecutive victories.

"We don't want our guys having a reputation of getting flagrant fouls," Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said. "I don't think it was a flagrant foul at all, not even a Flagrant Foul 1.

"I can understand the referees trying to control the game. We just want our guys to come out and play hard and play with some enthusiasm and Matt did that."

Bonner was ejected on Wednesday night after being handed a controversial Flagrant Foul 2. There was some concern several other Raptors would face punishment for leaving the bench after the incident to help protect the Red Rocket from Garnett.

Bonner, for his part, said he won't change his attitude in the wake of the melee.

"I don't have tattoos, earrings, fancy things or anything like that," he said. "I come in and work hard and try to help the team win."

Other Raptors can learn a thing or two from Bonner, swingman Morris Peterson said.

"One of the things the coach talked about is some of the guys' personalities on the team, not to knock them, aren't the toughest," he said. "But when we're out there on the floor, we have to play tough. You have to do whatever you have to do to win. We need more guys to play harder and show some toughness."

Grit could come in handy against the suspension/injury-riddled Pacers. The Raptors, who beat Minnesota 96-90, are a lowly 2-12 on the road.

The Pacers will face a revitalized Chris Bosh, who is coming off his best game of the season (24 points and 14 rebounds).

"(Bosh) had one of his best practices of the year (yesterday) and he played extremely well (Wednesday)," Peterson said. "That guy keeps getting better and better. He is the future of this team and I think we're going to build around him."

Meanwhile, the Raptors yesterday released guard Roger Mason Jr., who was on the injured list.


Videos

Photos