Raptors fight on

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:02 AM ET

While it can be argued that the Raptors haven't had their heads in the game recently -- the botched timeout Sunday was a good example -- the undermanned team tends to keep fighting until the end of games against any foe.

General manager Bryan Colangelo credited the coaching staff for keeping the team focused at the tail end of a bad season earlier this week, but coach Sam Mitchell said it hasn't been a difficult task.

"We've got good guys that are trying to learn and play hard," Mitchell said. "All coaching staffs, you've got to stay on the guys and push them, but we do have a pretty good group of guys. We've got to stay on them, they're young guys and their minds wander sometimes. But they're not bad guys. If you've good people to work with, you've got a chance and we've got good guys. I like my guys.

"None of us are perfect, myself included. But at the end of the day, they try to do what we ask them to do."

At least most of the time.

FITTING OPPONENT

The Miami Heat, fittingly, had a chance for a little payback last night against the Raptors.

It was the Heat which allowed the Raptors to win their first game of the season after Toronto opened the season with nine consecutive losses. Last night, the Heat was the Raptors' opponent as Toronto attempted not to extend its losing streak to that same season-tying high nine-game amount.

STOPPING SHAQ

Mitchell was at a bit of a loss for answers when he was asked how the team planned to slow down Heat centre Shaquille O'Neal yesterday. In fact, with Chris Bosh out and no real centre on the roster, Mitchell even floated the possibility of putting a reporter out there to guard the Big Fella.

"If I call two timeouts quick, obviously we're going to plan C and D," Mitchell said.

VERSATILE STAR

Heat guard Dwyane Wade is one of two players in the league -- the other is Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson -- to be ranked in the top 10 in the NBA in scoring, assists and steals.


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