Raps have chippy game


Mo Pete and T.J. Ford goof around during photo shoot at media day. (Fred Thornhill photo/Toronto...

Mo Pete and T.J. Ford goof around during photo shoot at media day. (Fred Thornhill photo/Toronto Sun)

WATERLOO -- The only ugliness that came out of yesterday's Raptors scrimmage at the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex was the welt above T.J. Ford's right eye, courtesy of a Fred Jones elbow.

No hard feelings, the new point guard would later say, just the result of some old-fashioned competitiveness, going hard to the hoop. The welt was a bit of a surprise, since these types of events typically boil down to glorified practices, a showcase for the fans, and the 3,500 or so that crammed into the building were shown a good time on the final day of Raptors camp in Waterloo yesterday.

There were a few other bumps and bruises. Point guard Jose Calderon cut his left knee stumbling toward the basket on another play with about a minute to go. Chris Bosh took a finger to the eye.

Still, a number of interesting storylines came out of the proceedings, besides all-star Bosh's sudden proclivity for the three-point shot, opening some interesting possibilities on offence for coach Sam Mitchell.

One was the smooth shooting stroke of rookie Andrea Bargnani, the seven-footer who started at centre, up against Rasho Nesterovic.

Bargnani's shot came as advertised, 21 points on the day, and he didn't come off as fatigued as he appeared during summer league play in Las Vegas.

"For sure, I've got more energy," said Bargnani, who has put on a bit more weight, up five pounds to 251.

Also of interest was the head-to-head competition between Anthony Parker and Jones, the 6-foot-2 guard and Indiana Pacers expatriate. Both showed some deft shooting -- Parker finished with 17 points, Jones with 18. Both came together hard a number of times in collisions.

"We were just competing hard, man," Parker said. "But at the end of the day I saw love."

Both are playing for a starting guard position. Mitchell wasn't willing to tip his hand when it came to questions about possible starting lineups going into the exhibition season, which gets going tomorrow in Washington against the Wizards. In fact, Mitchell got a little miffed when the topic was brought up yesterday.

And then there was Ford, showcasing a few circus shots for the locals, but also displaying some of the quickness and passing acumen people have talked about.

"We've been saying it all along," Parker said. "If you run and get into the right spot, he'll get you the ball."

AND THE FINAL SCORE ...

If you care about these things, yesterday's final was black team (also comprising P.J. Tucker, Uros Slokar, Cezary Trybanski) 98, white team (Darrick Martin, LaVell Blanchard, Kris Humphries, and a starting five of Bargnani, Calderon, Jorge Garbajosa, Jones, and Joey Graham), 89.


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