Nash MVP: Rose

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:13 AM ET

If Jalen Rose had a vote, he would pick Canadian Steve Nash in NBA MVP balloting.

"Hands down (it's the Phoenix Suns point guard)," the Raptors swingman said. "They've got the best record in the league.

While Nash has raised some eyebrows with his play, Rose has not been caught off guard.

"I'm not surprised," Rose said. "I knew he had game. "I played against him when he was in Phoenix the first time and I always felt like he had game. He's averaging (11.5) assists, nobody else in the league is even averaging 10. That's saying something."

GIVE HOFFA TIME

Raptors general manager Rob Babcock said he'll be able to make a much better evaluation of rookie centre Rafael Araujo after his third season.

"Generally, for rookies, you give them three years," Babcock said. "At the end of three years, you should have a very good feel of whether he'll be able to contribute to your team or not."

Araujo hasn't contributed much this season.

"If Hoffa doesn't make it in this league, I'll be the first to admit we made a mistake," Babcock said. "But I'm not giving up on the guy. If he's not making progress each year and he starts regressing ... he hasn't made it."

PAPE IS REFRESHING

Babcock would not compare the developments of Araujo and fellow rookie Pape Sow, but he has been more than satisfied with the recent play of the latter player.

"I think Pape has done a great job the last 10 days," Babcock said. "The thing he's been able to show is he can get out there and compete at the defensive end of the court right now. He's getting some time to prove that and he's done very well. I'm very pleased and happy for him because, like Hoffa, he has absolutely worked his tail off. Sitting all those games, I never heard a complaint or a whine or anything from Pape Sow. He has jut been a true professional and he is working his tail off."


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