Rafer won't be shunned by mates

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:00 AM ET

Raptors point guard Rafer Alston does not have to worry about his teammates turning on him when he returns from suspension on Thursday.

So says Jalen Rose, who predicts Alston will receive a warm welcome after his team-mandated two-game suspension ends.

"We're a team, we're a family and we can lean on each other if need be," Rose said. "I think it's something we'll deal with internally. Once he comes back from suspension, we'll move forward. We do need him out there on court. He's a productive player for us, he's our starting point guard and he's having a career year. I think when he comes back, it's going to be open arms."

While there have been suggestions some Raptors do not see eye-to-eye with Alston, Rose said team chemistry is just fine.

"We've probably all been in a work situation or a family situation where we may not get along with a brother, a cousin, a co-worker or a teammate," Rose said. "Fortunately for us, we don't have that on our team. We've got guys who really get along on and off the court."

TROUBLE BREWING

A trip to Indianapolis is not normally the best place for the Raptors to snap a losing streak.

They'll attempt to end a three-game skid tomorrow night against the Indiana Pacers, a team that has beaten the Raptors in their past five games.

While those numbers may not be good, the Raptors have some reasons for optimism. The game tomorrow is the first of only four contests on the road this month. The Raptors are 3-20 away from the Air Canada Centre.

Meanwhile, Raptors opponents are shooting a league-low .721 from the free throw line this season.


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