Taking it slow Raptors' goal

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:13 AM ET

Here's one idea on how to stop Steve Nash and the high-flying Phoenix Suns from lighting up the Air Canada Centre scoreboard like a pinball machine this afternoon. It seems a young lady wearing a see-through top was spotted in one of the private boxes at the Raptors-Miami Heat game Wednesday night, a sultry sight that still had tongues wagging at the Raptors' practice facility yesterday.

If the suits running the Raptors organization had any street smarts, they would invite the fair damsel to put on that same wardrobe and sit under the Toronto basket for the matchup against the 35-10 Suns. (And yes, she would change ends at half time).

If that doesn't rattle an opponent's shooting eye, nothing will.

Whatever they do, the Raptors definitely must find a way to somehow derail a Suns team that is averaging 120 points per outing in its past three games, all road victories.

Not good news for Toronto, which is 0-21 when allowing at least 100 points this season.

So, what measures must they take to negate Nash, the Canadian point guard who is being trumpeted for league MVP honours?

"Push him down, step on him, kick him," Jalen Rose suggested.

In other words, just mug the Suns' mop-haired floor leader.

"It's not like the old days when you could put a bounty out on a player," Rose said with a big laugh. "Those are known as flagrant fouls, now."

Matt Bonner figures he has a more realistic solution.

"I do kind of back (Jalen's) idea, so long as it is not too dirty," he said. "But what we need to find is the best genetically altered super athlete and have him guard Nash."

Sorry, Matt, but Michael Jordan retired years ago.

Joking aside, coach Sam Mitchell does feel his team has a shot to upset the visitors and their star guard if the Raptors stick to one specific game plan.

"We have to slow the game down," Mitchell said.

"We won't be running with them. They've shown on this road trip that they can play anywhere. Right now, (Nash) is the best guy in the league at running the show for his team."

Rose agreed with his coach, adding that he feels Nash and LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers are the frontrunners for the NBA's MVP award this season.

"People always ask me who my favourite player is in the league, and my answer is always Steve Nash," Bonner said. "This guy always makes good decisions."

That's not a claim the Raptors could make, especially after suffering back-to-back losses to the Heat and expansion Charlotte Bobcats.

"We have to stick to our game plan and slow it up," forward Chris Bosh said. "If you try to run with them, they'll kill you."


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