No finger-pointing here

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:15 AM ET

Sam Mitchell was beaming with pride after a reporter asked him about an interesting series of events yesterday.

The Raptors coach was pleased with what transpired in the dressing room in the aftermath of a 98-97 loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday. Point guard Mike James immediately took the blame for the loss after leaving Damon Jones open for the game-winning shot and then Morris Peterson came to his teammate's defence.

"People take shots at us, they've been taking shots at us as a team all year," Mitchell said. "But we continue to fight, we continue to walk out on the court with our heads held up. That's what we're going to do, we're going to stay together. We didn't point fingers when we were 1-15 and we're definitely not going to point fingers when we lose another tough game."

"That's the thing I like about my basketball team. They're good guys that care about each other and they try to do the right things every night. We are getting better, we're a lot better than the people on the outside want to give us credit for. The people in the basketball community the things they say to me and say to my players, they're very encouraging and very thoughtful."

HEAD COACHING ASPIRATIONS

Raptors assistant coach and ex-Denver Nuggets star Alex English told the Rocky Mountain News this week that he hopes to become a head coach.

"My goal is to become a head coach," English, 52, said. "Hopefully, if there is something (this summer), I will be considered. But I'm a patient man."

"I'm a people person. I think I know how to get the best out of players. I think I'm a good teacher.

"I know what players need to succeed in this league. I think I would manage them well."

GOING TO THE 'PEN

With Raptors play-by-play man Chuck Swirsky on the inactive list with a virus, ex-national teamer Sherman Hamilton was pressed into duty as an analyst.

Regular analyst Leo Rautins switched to the play-by-play chair.


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