Raptors in better mood

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:29 AM ET

Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell admitted that the mood on the club has been decidedly more upbeat the past couple of days, since the team captured its first win of the season on Sunday against the Miami Heat (107-94).

"The fact that we started off 0-9, the guys were getting a little antsy, a little tense. Which is natural," he said.

Mitchell added that the feeling inside the locker room during the losing streak was pretty tense, but that was fine with him.

"We want to win," he said. "I don't want guys on my team who are okay with losing. You want guys to be upset. But you also want guys who can stay focused and understand that the next game is another opportunity. You don't want guys on your team that are happy when you're losing, and we don't have those type of guys."

BABCOCK GETTING AROUND

General manager Rob Babcock made the trip to Phoenix yesterday but leaves the team today to travel to a university game in Iowa followed by a six-day trip to Europe next week where he will check out the team's two 2005 second-round draft picks Roko Ukic, who is playing in Spain and Uros Slokar, who is playing in Italy. Babcock also plans to scout some players who are eligible for next year's draft.

AROUND THE RIM

Toronto's opponents have averaged a whopping 29.4 points in the opening quarter this season ... Morris Peterson remains the current NBA ironman, having played 279 consecutive games (including last night's game against Phoenix). Joe Johnson of the Atlantic Hawks and Kevin Garnett of the Minnesota Timberwolves are second with 275.

FROM CHARLIE V

When asked if he and Chris Bosh were a lot alike, Raptors rookie Charlie Villanueva replied: "I think so. He's a quiet kid, I'm quiet kid. He's 21, I'm 21. I have a championship ring, he doesn't."

That response was met with much laugher.

Villanueva won his NCAA championship with Connecticut in 2004.


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