Speedy Calderon returns

STEVE BUFFERY and MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:35 AM ET

Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell said yesterday that point guard Jose Calderon may be activated for tonight's game at the Air Canada Centre against Phoenix.

Calderon, who is averaging 4.6 assists per game (third among NBA rookies), has missed the last nine games because of left Achilles tendonitis.

"We're going to need some small guys to run up and down the court against Phoenix," said Mitchell.

SPEAKING OUT

The club's other point guard, Mike James, understands that it may be politically correct to go with Canadian Steve Nash as MVP this season (Nash is averaging 19.5 points and a league-best 10.5 assists), but he's not giving the award to Nash yet.

"I understand you guys (reporters) want a fellow Canadian to win MVP back-to-back, but, hey, I'm only giving an opinion," James said. "If he gets it he deserves it. He's had a heckuva season.

"(But) I look at someone like Allen Iverson and what he's doing for the Philadelphia 76ers (32.6 points per game). They have basically no one except him and Chris Webber. But his team is still in the playoffs. And I look at someone like Shawn Marion (averaging 21.3 points and 12.2 rebounds). There's a lot of guys you can have an argument for. Kobe Bryant (NBA-leading 34.8 points per game) wasn't supposed to be in the playoffs (with the Los Angeles Lakers)."

A HELPING HAND

Steve Nash is taking his charity basketball game on the road.

After taking over for Vince Carter as the point man for the annual charity game at the Air Canada Centre last year, the Phoenix Suns' Canadian point guard said yesterday his game will be held in Vancouver this year, with festivities July 21-22. Nash was raised in nearby Victoria.

Raptors star forward Chris Bosh has an interest in taking over hosting duties down the road, but not this summer with the U.S. national team training camp on his agenda.

Therefore, it seems there is a good chance no charity game will take place in Toronto this summer. But the door is open for Toronto-born Milwaukee Bucks centre Jamaal Magloire to step up to the plate.


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