The injury bug seems to be attracted to Raptors opponents this season.
San Antonio Spurs star forward Tim Duncan became the latest in a long line of top players to miss a game against the Raptors when he sat out last night because of flu-like symptoms.
Seven of the Raptors' wins this season have come against teams missing a standout player -- two over the Houston Rockets without Yao Ming, and one each against the Miami Heat (Shaquille O'Neal), the Indiana Pacers (Ron Artest), the New York Knicks (Stephon Marbury), the Charlotte Bobcats (Emeka Okafor) and the Orlando Magic (Grant Hill).
Even without Duncan, the defending champion Spurs remain an extremely tough foe. One of the big reasons for their success this season is the breakout year for point guard Tony Parker.
The 6-foot-2 Frenchman is second in the league in field-goal percentage and imposes his will in the paint, where the big bodies usually dominate.
"It's going to be difficult to stop Tony Parker from going where he wants to go," Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said.
"No one else has done it, so I wouldn't think we're going to do it."
Those rumours out of New York just never stop. The latest report has the Knicks already thinking about making a serious run at Raptors point guard Mike James in the summer ... The Raptors' game-operations staffers receive an A for effort. In the pre-player introduction video on the scoreboard, all shots of Jalen Rose have been removed and some old video footage of Antonio Davis as a Raptor was added for last night ... Oakville-born Indianapolis Colts kicker Mike Vanderjagt attended the game ... The Spurs had six players score in double digits (Parker, Manu Ginobili, Bruce Bowen, Michael Finley, Rasho Nesterovic and former Raptor Sean Marks).