Mitchell will miss playoffs

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:09 AM ET

Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell admits that he is getting worn down physically and mentally as the long season comes to a close.

But that doesn't mean he wants the season to end. Indeed, Mitchell looks longingly towards the future when his team someday will qualify for the playoffs.

"That's the fun part. Yeah, you don't get any sleep (this time of year), you don't eat right, you're tired all the time, but it's fun sitting up all night watching tape, trying to figure out how you can beat somebody in the playoffs," he said.

"I don't want it to end," he added. "Sure, you get tired, but what do you do with yourself? I don't want to watch other teams play in the playoffs and not be a part of it. That's tough. As coaches, that's what you want to do, be a part of it."

Last night's game marked the return of guard Jose Calderon, who has missed the last 10 games because of left Achilles tendonitis. Mitchell said almost all players are hurting this time of year.

"It would be very doubtful if you find one guy who is playing over 25 minutes a game who feels 100%," he said. "Everybody has aches and pains, and a little tendonitis on their knee. That's just part of it."

AROUND THE RIM

Mitchell was asked this week why certain players like Chris Paul of New Orleans and Charlie Villanueva of the Raptors can adjust to the NBA so quickly, while it takes other star players, such as his old teammate, Kevin Garnett, more time.

"If I knew the answer to that, I wouldn't be standing here," he said after a recent practice. "I'd have a big office on Park Ave., with you sitting across from me, charging you guys $600 an hour, listening to you cry about your troubles."

FUN WITH STATS

The Raptors have gone with 24 different starting lineups this year and only one -- Charlie Villanueva, Chris Bosh, Pape Sow, Morris Peterson and Mike James -- has a winning record (6-4) ... Not only are the Raptors 1-8 in overtime, they are 5-11 in games decided by three points or less ... The Raptors have had a fourth-quarter lead in eight of their last 14 losses.


Videos

Photos