Raptors easy prey?

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:24 AM ET

Listen carefully around the Air Canada Centre yesterday and you could hear the strains of Indiana Wants Me drifting in from the midwest.

The Indiana Pacers are no doubt licking their chops at the prospect of playing the road-kill Raptors, who are a dismal 3-20 away from the ACC.

"Everyone knows what kind of team they have on their home floor," Raptors' points-per-game leader Jalen Rose said. "The Pacers have everyone but (the suspended) Ron Artest back. They have a dominant player in Jermaine O'Neal, who is an MVP candidate, they've got Stephen Jackson back from suspension. Jamaal Tinsley, if he plays (he has a foot injury), is playing well and Reggie Miller is always up for the task and the big shot.

"It's not an easy win, but one we can go and get if we play our game. Regardless of what they're doing, we have to go in there and play our game and try to keep their crowd out of it."

Rose knows his Pacers, as he spent some quality seasons there.

"I was there five years and anytime you win, there will be some fine memories with the fans. It's definitely a situation I'll embrace."

PACING JAMAAL

Raptors coach Sam Mitchell is basing a lot of his pre-game plan on Indiana point guard Tinsley.

"The key is when he doesn't play well, they normally don't win," Mitchell said. "Milt (Palacio) and Mo (Peterson) have to do a good job of controlling him and keeping him out of the paint. We just have to do a good job, go up and down the court and compete."

NO ONE IS THE SHOW

Mitchell says he's trying not to get overly excited at the progress of Chris Bosh this year.

"He's doing fine. But I don't look at the individual, I look at how the team is doing and we haven't won the past three games. I'm more concerned about that. If Chris doesn't score and we win the game, then it's a good thing. We need his scoring and his rebounding and his defence to win. He's doing a lot of good things."


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