Nesterovic a big relief

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:27 AM ET

Other than a sore foot, Chris Bosh is feeling pretty good about himself these days. And his team.

The Raptors are 2-0 in pre-season play, the depth off the bench has been greatly upgraded, and the pressure of being the one legitimate big man on the team has been alleviated with the arrival of centre Rasho Nesterovic.

"He's going to take a lot (of pressure) off," Bosh said. "We're going to run a few plays for him, maybe a lot of plays if he gets going and he might have a lot of nights where he's the low-post scorer. We want to take advantage of having a big body (who has experience) down low.

"He knows how to play defence, he talks, he does a lot of little things that will help us," Bosh said.

Head coach Sam Mitchell said there were numerous times last season when Bosh ran out of gas late in games simply because he had to carry too much of the load in the low post.

"Having Rasho give us some options," Mitchell said. "There are going to be some nights when we're going to play against, not necessarily a dominating centre, but just a big body, and in the past we didn't have that guy with the experience that knows how to play that can go out and play that guy."

Mitchell said that while the 7-foot, 270-pound Nesterovic is not flashy, he is a good passer and rarely out of position.

NEW PLACE TO PLAY

The Raptors unveiled a new outdoor basketball court in Cornell Park at Markham Rd. and Lawrence Ave. yesterday. The court was funded by the Raptors Foundation and Rogers Communications.


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