Jose sees brighter future

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:39 AM ET

A frustrated Jose Calderon hopes to return to action next week.

The first-year Raptors point guard has not been right for the past couple of months because of a sore right heel and a sore left Achilles.

But Calderon said yesterday that treatment, rest and new orthotics in his shoes have resulted in his feet feeling much better.

"For me it's very important (to get back). I want to play without pain because I played a lot of games with pain, and I want to play like I know I can play, like the first part of the season," said Calderon, who is averaging 5.6 points and 4.6 assists, despite struggling in his past 10 games.

Calderon is shooting 44% from the field, but has been working on his jump shot everyday with the help of Raptors assistant coach Jay Triano. His goal is to return to Toronto next season and establish himself as a high-end point guard in the NBA.

Indeed, if the Raptors fail to sign starting point guard Mike James this summer, the team may lean on Calderon to be the main man.

"I'm not Mike James. I don't score 38 points a game," said Calderon, adding that he hopes James stays. "I'm another type of point guard. I want to pass the ball to my teammates.

"I know what my role is on this team," he added. "I don't need to play 40 minutes, I need to play 15, 10, whatever. But I can help this team better than I have the past month and a half."

WORLD WAR III

Tonight's matchup at the Air Canada Centre pits Matt Bonner against Minnesota Timberwolves' Kevin Garnett.

"We might have to break the glass in case of emergency," Toronto's Chris Bosh said of the matchup.

Bonner forever endeared himself to the Raptors' faithful at the ACC back on Dec.15, 2004, when he fouled Garnett under the basket, sending him crashing to the floor, prompting a near riot. After being ejected, Bonner ran out of the arena with his arms in the air, while the fans cheered wildly.

Coach Sam Mitchell, who played with Garnett in Minnesota, was one of the first guys on the court when the ruckus began, attempting more than anything to prevent Garnett from crushing Bonner.


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