Mo says "No" to slump

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:00 AM ET

Morris Peterson rejects the notion that he was struggling before missing the past seven games with an elbow injury.

The Raptors swingman was shooting 40% from the field, well down from his 43.6% mark last season and was averaging 12.3 points, down from 16.8 last season. But Peterson said he usually plays his best basketball later in the season.

"In my mind, if you look at how I started the season off ... my average (for the beginning of the season) was better than I have (had) my whole career," said Peterson, who is hoping to return tomorrow night in Cleveland against the Cavaliers. "If you're saying it was up and down, that's your opinion. I felt like I was getting into my rhythm when my elbow started bothering me. I don't feel like I was in a slump, I don't feel like I was having ups and downs."

SHOOT THE BALL

T.J. Ford is a pass- first point guard, but Raptors coach Sam Mitchell would not mind if the little floor general takes a few more shots.

Ford, whose shot isn't the strong point of his game, had a productive shooting night Wednesday against the New York Knicks, making five of 11shots, including two rare threepointers.

" He's working on it (his shot) every day," M itchell said. "If you work on it, you start making some in a game. T.J . can shoot the ball. He's not as bad a shooter as people think. We try to encourage him to shoot the ball a little more because he can get pretty much where he wants to get on the court. Sometimes it's better for him to take that pull-up jump shot than to try to go all the way to the basket."

If Ford can start knocking down his shot consistently, Mitchell feels the team will be that much better.

"The consequence is we probably win more games," Mitchell said. "It will open up the offence a little bit."

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

For the first time this season, the Raptors will practise two days in a row -- yesterday and today. Having a little bit of teaching time can't hurt, Mitchell said.

"It's a chance to work on some of our stuff and practise," Mitchell said. " We haven't got much practice time lately. It's hard to do it on the road ... To get these two days in was crucial because we don't know how much time we're going to get once we get on the road."


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