Big chance for Aaron Williams

Toronto Raptors coach Sam Mitchell will likely give more minutes to Aaron Williams. (Toronto Sun...

Toronto Raptors coach Sam Mitchell will likely give more minutes to Aaron Williams. (Toronto Sun File/Fred Thornhill)

MIKE GANTER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:06 AM ET

Sam Mitchell is looking for some answers for the Raptors' inability to compete and the even money odds on his first solution appears to be Aaron Williams.

Williams, a big body if not a long one, "probably" will see more time in the coming games, according to Mitchell.

There have been plenty of areas of concern with this club, but the glaring one is the lack of toughness under the basket.

Loren Woods, and to a lesser degree Rafael Araujo, have quite simply not been doing the job against the opposition's big men, which creates an opportunity for Williams, a little-used 6-foot-9 centre/forward, to play.

Mitchell was not ready yesterday to discuss specific changes to his lineup in detail but when asked about Williams the Raptors coach seemed to tip his hand.

"I want to get him more minutes," Mitchell said of Williams, who has seen far more time on the bench than he has on the court since arriving in Toronto last December in the Vince Carter trade with New Jersey.

"We need that size and that presence and that strength. He has played pretty good the past couple of games. I thought he started out well against Detroit and then he jammed two fingers.

"(Monday) he gave us some good minutes. We were able to throw the ball down to him and take advantage of some things and get some baskets. His defence -- he came in and took a charge, he got some rebounds and played some tough defence. I have to find a way to get him some more minutes."

At whose expense those minutes come, Mitchell did not specify, but the likelihood is Mitchell will work him in more at centre and give up the two to five inches in height he loses by taking out a Woods or an Araujo for a tougher inside game.

Mitchell made a point of saying he wasn't just singling out his centres for criticism.

CONCERNED

"I'm concerned with the overall play of all (his players)," Mitchell said. "We have a lot of guys not playing well."

Mitchell was hopeful that a three-day break, with practices scheduled all three days, would help his team get moving in the other direction.

"Three days of practice should be good for us," he said.

If a busier role is in Williams' future, he wasn't about to confirm anything.

"Really I just try to be ready when coach calls my name," Williams said.


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