Magic recovery

BILL HARRIS -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 1:35 PM ET

Raptors forward Eric Williams predicted yesterday he should be fine for the club's next game, at home against the Orlando Magic on Monday. Williams, who sprained his left ankle during the Raptors' loss to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, did not participate in yesterday's practice. However, he received some vigourous treatment from the training staff and remains optimistic about Monday.

"I'm doing good," Williams said. "I just sprained my ankle a little. I did a lot of work on it (yesterday) with the trainers. I'll be ready before the next game, though."

The Raptors will take today off and will reconvene for a late-afternoon practice tomorrow.

REFRESHER COURSE

Raptors coach Sam Mitchell understands he does not have a team filled with natural defensive stoppers. However, Mitchell said much of yesterday's practice was spent going over defensive techniques, since the club simply has to be better on the defensive end than it has been lately.

"If defence is not your forte, that's fine," Mitchell said. "But you still have to give the effort and the concentration, and you still have to go out and make it a priority."

Mitchell acknowledged that some of the things he focused on yesterday were things that, in an earlier era, players had drilled into them in college.

"Some of these guys didn't play college basketball," Mitchell said. "Chris (Bosh) played one year.

"They're trying to speed up development, because they know if they have a good player, chances are they're going to have him for two years, maximum.

"I remember when I was going to school, (legendary North Carolina coach) Dean Smith would take a 6-foot-11 guy and teach him one position a year. The guy would grow from that. But these days, you just have to put them in a system where they can win now."

UGLY NUMBERS

In the calendar year 2004, the Raptors went 27-56.


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