Woods optimistic about new approach

MIKE GANTER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:26 AM ET

A quick start to last season for centre Loren Woods didn't exactly amount to much, so this season he's trying a different approach.

Woods started the first two games of the 2004/05 season on a high note. His work against Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets and Ben Wallace of the then-defending world champion Detroit Pistons, two of the tougher centres in the league, helped the Raptors to back-to-back wins.

Woods had nine points and seven rebounds in the game against the Rockets and followed that up with another 17 points and 14 boards against the Pistons.

But by January Woods was relegated to bench duty, leaving the four-year pro again searching for the elusive formula that will help him be the player he believes he can be in he NBA.

Woods, this season, has decided to not put any pressure on himself.

"I'm not really going to have any expectations," he said yesterday. "Every year I've been in the league I've tried to set goals for myself and I've always failed. This year, I'm just going to go out there and take it day by day. Who knows if I'm even going to be here tomorrow. I'm going to play hard every chance I get to go out there on the floor and hopefully good things will happen."

Woods says he can't control playing time from game to game so he's going to focus solely on that day's game and hope it works out.

"Nothing is promised to anybody," Woods said. "My main objective is to wake up (today), figure out how I can play as well as I possibly can against Washington and help us beat them."

Woods, who is expected to start at centre tonight for the Raptors in their season opener, is coming off a career high season for points, rebounds and blocks per game, but says his approach has not changed.

"My confidence has always been the same," he said. "It has always been my attitude that has kept me from being the type of player that I want to be. That and setting lofty goals. I'm not doing that anymore. I'm just going to play hard. That's all I can expect of myself."


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