Good chemistry — Donyell

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:50 AM ET

Bidding adieu to Vinsanity seems to have brought sanity to the Toronto Raptors dressing room.

No more distractions surrounding the disgruntled Vince Carter.

No more questions concerning trade rumours involving Air Canada.

Instead, team chemisty seems to have improved after Carter was shipped to the New JerseyNets last month.

To that point Carter and controversy had gone hand and hand, especially after he publicly came out with a trade demand last summer.

"Everybody knows the situation at the beginning of the year," forward Donyell Marshall said. "It was difficult. As much as we loved Vince and liked him as a teammate, he wanted to be out.

"It was probably difficult on us on the court, whereas now you have a bunch of guys who are willing to play and just go out there and stick it out.

"We're doing the things we have to do to help this team win, doing the small things like diving on the floor and helping each other on defence, blocking shots, talking," said Marshall.

ROAD WARRIOR?

Sam Mitchell could have laid it on thick.

There he was, standing on the Target Center Floor Monday after watching his Raptors post a 100-91 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

It was the Raps first-ever win in Minny.

It was just their third road triumph of the season.

And it came at the expense of the T-Wolves, the organization that used to sign the pay cheques of Mitchell and Raps GM Rob Babcock.

"It would have been just as special if we had beat Golden State," Mitchell explained yesterday.

"Why would I want to beat my friends more than anyone else? There are a lot of people out there who I don't really know, and they are the ones I would rather beat."

MO PUBLICITY

Morris Peterson's fine play of late was acknowledged by the NBA bigwigs in New York.Peterson was one of the finalists for the EasternConference player of the week award, an honour that went to Washington's Larry Hughes.


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