Rose's shot not hot

There are plenty of questions yet few answers for Jalen Rose and the struggling Toronto Raptors as...

There are plenty of questions yet few answers for Jalen Rose and the struggling Toronto Raptors as they figure out how to end their season-opening six-game losing streak. (Toronto Sun/Craig Robertson)

MIKE GANTER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:46 AM ET

"Can I borrow your shot, man?"

Jalen Rose was kidding, of course, but those were words he spoke to Mike James, a career back-up guard who was in the middle of his own post-practice scrum with reporters yesterday.

The query brought laughter from those who heard it, Rose included, but there has been nothing funny about the lack of offensive production the Raptors have been getting from Rose thus far this season.

James is coming off the best shooting performance of his career, with 36 points in an overtime loss to the Seattle Supersonics Sunday afternoon.

Rose on the other hand, and he admitted this moments earlier in his own chat with the media, is not playing close to the level he expects of himself or, for that matter, those around him expect of him.

In Sunday's game, Rose was a journeyman-like 3-for-12 from the floor for a seven-point game in 271/2 minutes.

This from a guy who led the team in scoring last year with 39 games of 20 or more points.

In six games this season, Rose has hit the 20-plus mark in exactly one-third of his games.

"For me personally, when you are losing all of the cliches work, but if we're not winning, I have to play better," Rose said. "That's the bottom line. I'm pretty sure most of the guys feel that way, but I take just as much pride in my performance as anyone and I haven't been playing up to my capabilities."

In the fourth quarter Sunday, when the Raptors made their run to overcome an 18-point deficit and force overtime, Rose's ineffectiveness left him glued to Sam Mitchell's bench.

Granted, there were some extenuating circumstances that might explain such a subpar afternoon from Rose.

He spent Saturday in Detroit dealing with the death of a very good friend and arrived back in Toronto Sunday morning in time for the game.

"I would hope (that didn't play into an ability to score)," Rose said.

"I would hope that would make me come out and play like gangbusters and we win the game, but that didn't happen. I guess everyone (is affected differently) when things happen in their life. This is the professional ranks though, and nobody cares what's going on in your personal life. It's all about what is going on the lights come on."

Rose knows all too well that under those bright lights his lack of performance has contributed to the Raptors' six-game losing streak.

"I'm getting my touches, the shots just aren't going in," Rose said. "I'm a guy that has been a versatile scorer, whether it's posting up or driving to the basket. In (Sunday's) game I didn't get to the line any and I didn't post up any and I shouldn't allow that to happen. I should find a way to mix up my game more and shoot mid-range shots, shots off the dribble and three point shots. It's all good when they're going in but right now they're not going in."

Not to put it all on Rose, but the sooner those shots start finding their mark, the better chance the Raptors have of getting that winless monkey off their back.


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