Just another game

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:19 AM ET

Raptors coach Sam Mitchell didn't circle tonight on his calendar when he took his first glance at the 2004-05 NBA schedule.

The Milwaukee Bucks, who employed Mitchell as an assistant coach the past two seasons, visit the Air Canada Centre tonight to face the Raptors. But Mitchell insists the game holds no added personal significance."

"Another basketball game," Mitchell said. "Why would I want to beat (Bucks coach Terry Porter) more than I wanted to beat Sacramento (on Wednesday). That wouldn't make sense. Besides, he's my friend. Why is it more important to beat your friend than it is to beat (somebody else)?"

DO NOT DROP GLOVES

Hockey enforcers looking for work shouldn't bother calling Mitchell.

When asked about rookie centre Rafael Araujo's toughness yesterday, Mitchell switched gears.

"There is no room in our league for guys who just want to go out fighting," Mitchell said. "This is not hockey. We don't have a guy sitting on our bench to do those type of things. You do have to have basketball skills. (Araujo) can shoot the ball and pass the ball."

EARNING HIS KEEP

Jalen Rose is sometimes a target for criticism because of his rich contract. But the veteran wants to make one thing clear.

"I wasn't standing with a gun to somebody's head asking for a deal," Rose said. "I actually had teams willing to sign me."

Rose doesn't mind taking heat from outside observers.

"I've got as many critics and cynics as anybody here," Rose said. "When you hear what's good about the Raptors and what's not good about the Raptors, a lot of times my name is mentioned for whatever reason in what's not good about the Raptors. When you talk about what's going to happen with the Raptors tomorrow, my name is probably not going to be included. But when you toss that ball up, I'm going to be a factor."

BREAK UP THE RAPTORS

With a victory tonight, the Raptors would match their season-high winning streak of three games.


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