Bored with boards

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:37 AM ET

The question of how many Raptors are watching the out-of-town scoreboard in these critical times brought some amusing responses last night.

Toronto won't get in the playoffs without a lot of help, but that's not to say a decent winning streak and the dominoes ahead of them falling the right way won't open a narrow road to the post-season.

"I don't look at the (scoreboard), I couldn't even tell you where it is in our arena," insisted coach Sam Mitchell. "If you're looking at that...it's just one more thing we don't need to be worried about."

Morris Peterson, on the other hand, knew exactly where to look to see what rival clubs such as New Jersey and Boston were up to last evening.

"I'm definitely watching what other teams do because I'm a basketball fan," Peterson said. "I'm doing what I'd be doing if I wasn't an NBA player. "We've definitely been keeping up with other teams, but the thing we can only control is ourselves. We can't be sitting back just waiting for someone to lose or win, we want to go out and win ourselves."

The compacted standings have made Rafer Alston brush up on his math skills the past few weeks.

"You have to stay within what you can capture." he said. "If you can catch the eighth place team (Indiana), they're 30-30 now. We have 35 losses so all we neeed is a six-game winning streak and we're eighth or even close to first (in the Atlantic Division, now held by Boston, with the conference's third playoff seed). You have to think about reasonable goals and we can catch eighth or third (seed)."

IRON MAN MO

Peterson has become the NBA's reigning iron man after Washington Wizards' forward Antawn Jamison missed Tuesday's game at New York with right knee tendinitis. With last night's appearance, Peterson is at 258 games, a streak that began on Feb. 12, 2002. Kevin Garnett of Minnesota is second at 254.

"We have to talk to (general manager Rob Babcock) about giving (Peterson) a 13-year extension so he can catch A.C. Green," said Alston.

Green holds the NBA record of 1,192 straight games between 1986 and 2001, with four teams.


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