James shoots from lip

STEVE BUFFERY

, Last Updated: 7:54 AM ET

Mike James will not let his critics shoot him down about his shot, or his shot selection.

Increasingly, the Raptors starting point guard has been questioned about his shot selection, particularly late in games when he often adopts a shoot-first, pass-second attitude.

After shooting 5-for-25 from the field last night, James had his guard up when the media swarmed him following Toronto's 120-113 loss to the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets at the Air Canada Centre. But he wouldn't give in.

"I shot bad. It happens," a defiant James said. "Every night is not going to be a great night, but the main thing is perseverance. They say you miss 100% of the shots you don't take. And so if I have an open shot, as hard as I work, I'm going to continue to believe in myself. No matter if the shot goes down or not, if I feel in my heart it's a good shot, I'm going to shoot it."

Of course, one tends to attract attention when one shoots 2-for-8 in overtime, as James did last night. But he insisted that he will not change the way he plays. James said he feels that he can win any game for his team late with his shooting.

"When you put yourself on the line like that to win games, people are going to say things about you.

'FANS LOVE ME'

"Normally, the fans love me. It's the critics that have the biggest problems with me," he said. "I can't worry about what the critics, the media, say. The only thing I can worry about is, when I step on the court, I give my heart for my team.

"I missed a big one in the first overtime that went in and out. These are shots that I normally make, so I'm going to continue to live or die with what I do on the court," he said.


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