Shaq invites Delgado

MIKE KOREEN and STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:18 AM ET

Carlos Delgado has a dinner invitation from Shaquille O'Neal.

The Miami Heat centre said he'll open his door for the ex-Blue Jays first baseman, who signed with the Florida Marlins on Tuesday.

"I welcome (Delgado) down there. He could come by the house where I live and eat some dinner," O'Neal said before his Heat faced the Raptors last night at the Air Canada Centre.

Delgado doesn't have to worry about playing second fiddle to Shaq in Miami.

"I don't have to share the spotlight because I don't have any spotlight," O'Neal said. "Nobody knows who I am down there. I'm just another pretty Latin face in Miami."

SAME OLD RAPTORS

Vince Carter was injured when the Raptors previously played the Heat in December, so Miami coach Stan Van Gundy didn't have to plan for a completely different offence last night.

"They're not a whole lot different," Van Gundy said. "They're just playing the game a lot better ... at a very high energy level. They've shot the ball well and they probably spread us out as much as any team other than Phoenix in the league."

AROUND THE RIM

What a difference a year makes. Last season, the Raptors' bench ranked last in the NBA in scoring at 18.65 points per game. This year, the bench is pitching in with 39.2 points per game ... The Raps are now second in the league in offensive turnaround. In the 2003-04 campaign, Toronto averaged an NBA low 85.4 points per game. This year, that number is 98.6, an improvement of 13.2, less than one point behind the Phoenix Suns ... Toronto is 0-19 when opponents score 100 or more points ... The Raps hold the current NBA streak of consecutive games with a three-pointer at 493. The last time Toronto failed to record a triple was Feb.24, 1999 at Indiana. The league record is 594 straight games, set by the Miami Heat ... The Raps rank fifth in the NBA in lowest turnover average (13.6) ... Toronto is 8-0 when Morris Peterson nabs 19 or more points.


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