Arroyo loves T.O.

BILL HARRIS -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:30 AM ET

Detroit Pistons guard Carlos Arroyo still has fond memories of the brief time he spent in Toronto. He played 17 games for the Raptors in 2001-02. "I love Toronto, man," Arroyo said yesterday. "I spent so much time inside back then because it was snowing so much and I rarely went out. But I remember great restaurants, great people, great fans. Toronto has the best fans."

When asked casually about the current Raptors players who date back to Arroyo's time with the team, he said, "I don't think there's anybody."

Hopefully Morris Peterson won't take offence to that.

Anyway, Arroyo still is getting his feet wet with the defending-champion Pistons after a mid-season trade from the Utah Jazz.

"I would love to play more and start on a team, which I believe I can do, and I've shown I can do," Arroyo said. "But that's not to take anything away from the opportunity I have now. The starting five is set here and I understand my role is coming off the bench."

MAGIC TOUCH

Raptors coach Sam Mitchell stuck up for the coaching fraternity when asked about the recent firing of Johnny Davis by the Orlando Magic.

"What makes him a bad coach all of a sudden?" Mitchell asked. "They lost some games? All teams go through stretches where they lose. Plus, you're on a West Coast trip. A lot of teams don't do well out there.

"Johnny is a good guy, but that's the deal. The players never get the blame when they don't play up to their potential. I guess for some reason as coaches, it's our job to try to make them play to their potential."

STATE OF MIND

Peterson, a Michigan State alumnus, and Jalen Rose, a Michigan alumnus, took part in a vigorous halfcourt shooting competition at the end of the Raptors' shootaround yesterday. "I'd like to say I'm representing Michigan well," Rose said. "But from halfcourt Mo-Pete busts my butt every day."


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