Raptors get much-needed rest

BILL HARRIS -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:23 AM ET

The Raptors flew home from Houston yesterday and did not practise. Coach Sam Mitchell regularly has lamented the lack of practice time for his club, but coming off back-to-back games, he didn't think having a session yesterday would have been productive or fair to his players.

This despite the fact the Raptors are trying to work two new players -- Eric Williams and Aaron Williams -- into the lineup following the big Vince Carter trade with the New Jersey Nets last Friday.

"Unless we're punishing somebody, it wouldn't do any good to schedule extra practices for the benefit of two guys, and then 10 guys can't play (because they're too tired)," Mitchell said.

The Raptors will play host to the Utah Jazz tonight. The Raptors probably will take Thursday and Friday off, then practise on Christmas day, before they fly to Phoenix. They'll visit the red-hot Suns on Boxing Day.

T-MAC ON CARTER

Tracy McGrady, whose Houston Rockets defeated the Raptors 114-102 at the Toyota Center on Monday, said it's weird to think of his former club without thinking of Carter.

"It was quite obvious my cousin (Carter) didn't want to be there (in Toronto)," McGrady told The Houston Chronicle. "Just his whole demeanour and attitude.

"Vince Carter averaging 16 points? That's not my cousin."

McGrady said he hopes the trade brings back the Carter of old. However, the two have not spoken since the deal, so McGrady does not have an accurate gauge on Carter's current mood.

"I am so used to seeing Mr. Excitement every night, him bringing it to the table every night," McGrady said. "I just wasn't seeing that and I don't know why."


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