Mitchell wants heart

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:20 AM ET

PHILADELPHIA -- Raptors coach Sam Mitchell is not advocating a mutiny by any means, but he would like to see his players openly express whatever anger and frustration they have inside.

Following the team's morning shootaround yesterday at the Wachovia Center, Mitchell suggested the team has been too accepting of lackadaisical play, missed assignments, and generally poor performance during its 0-6 start.

What the coach wants is a little more emotion, which was finally exhibited late in the team's 126-121 loss to the Seattle SuperSonics on Sunday.

"The guys got p----- off in the second half against Seattle (and) it was the first time this season we had guys coming to the bench, getting on each other, challenging each other," Mitchell said. "If we do that at the beginning of the game, it could make a difference. That's what we have to do, make each other accountable and push each other."

It's almost as if there are too many nice guys inside the Raptors locker room. The team's primary leader, third-year forward Chris Bosh, certainly falls into that category, and Mitchell would like to see his young star step up more and go after guys, as he did late in the game against Seattle.

"The other night when Chris came to the bench he was upset, he felt our guys weren't taking individual challenges. So he got on some guys, so they kind of picked it up," Mitchell said. "Emotion is good, if it's challenged in the right direction."

One veteran player who has been criticized for not displaying enough emotion at times this season is veteran Jalen Rose. Rose, however, brushed aside suggestions that he and the team are lacking in that regard. Rose is averaging four points fewer per game this season compared with 2004-05 (14.5 versus 18.5) but believes that the media are searching for excuses as to why the club is losing, hence the questions about emotion.

"You guys can overanalyze anything," he said. "If we were too emotional or too down on each other, it would be the team's not getting along, or we're stifling the growth of the young players, or we're not believing in the movement.

"We're just not getting it done," he said.


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