Bonner told to shoot more

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:34 AM ET

Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell has a peculiar and rare problem in dealing with forward Matt Bonner.

The problem is Mitchell can't get Bonner to shoot the ball enough, which is sort of the opposite problem coaches have with most players.

A big part of Bonner's game is his three-point range. Yesterday in the second quarter against the Boston Celtics at the Air Canada Centre, the Red Rocket went 3-for-3 from beyond the arc, but, on occasion, passed up an open look.

Bonner, actually, does that quite a bit, and it drives Mitchell batty.

"They say if you live long enough, you experience a lot of things," Mitchell said. "In my short 42 years, I never thought I would experience having to beg a guy to shoot a basketball."

Bonner said that he understands his coach's frustrations, but being selfish, if you will, goes against his nature.

"I've always tried to be a team player and if someone else has a better shot, I get him the ball," Bonner said. "(But) I'm going to do what the coach says and that's something I've been working on and I'll continue to work on."

A LITTLE JOB SECURITY

A big deal hasn't been made of this, but according to published reports, Raptors' new president and general manager Bryan Colangelo has agreed not to hire any member of the Phoenix Suns organization until the end of the 2006-07 season, which was part of his agreement to get out of the final year of his Suns contract. Colangelo would love to hire former Phoenix assists Marc Iavorni, but can't right now, which is probably good news for Mitchell.

AROUND THE RIM

The Raptor played in major pain yesterday. The team's well-loved mascot carried on entertaining the crowd, despite having to vomit four times during last night's game. Off court, of course ... Referee Ron Olesiak threw an amazing long bomb into the crowd yesterday (with a football), hitting the target, carried by the Raptor, about 30 rows up the stands from centre court.


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