Raps forced to scramble

MIKE GANTER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:53 AM ET

For the second game in a row, Sam Mitchell got some unwanted and unexpected news prior to tipoff.

Friday's news that T.J. Ford wasn't going to be available was by no means a surprise to Mitchell, but it was apparent last night that Andrea Bargnani's unavailabilty caught the head coach off guard.

Bargnani did not attend the morning shootaround, but it was still believed he would be in attendance for last night's game. Flu-like symptoms stayed with him through the day, and when the lineups were posted Bargnani was a scratch.

"What else is new?" Mitchell said when asked for his first reaction to the news.

Bargnani, Mitchell's first guy off the bench most nights, has been seeing more and more court time. On the season, he is averaging 23.1 minutes a game. Over his past five games he has been on the court almost 26 minutes a game.

Mitchell said he had not even had time to consider the ramifications of Bargnani's absence.

Kris Humphries, who rarely sees floor time until the fourth quarter, was the first man off the bench 7 1/2 minutes into the game. Ford also sat out his second game in a row.

Uros Slokar, who has been on the inactive list since Jan. 7, was activated to take Bargnani's place on the roster.

OFF TO VEGAS

For those interested, Minerva has been chosen to represent the Raptors Dance Pak at the NBA all-star game in Las Vegas in mid-February.

Raps forward Chris Bosh could be joining her -- tonight the starters for the all-star game, as voted on by the fans, are announced.

The remainder of the team, selected by the league's coaches, will be announced Feb. 1.

NOT BAD AT ALL

The Raptors' 7-4 record for the month of January coming into last night's game marked the second-best mark in franchise hitory. The franchise record for wins in the month of January was set in 2002 when the team went 11-5. Three previous years --2005, 2002 and 2001 -- the Raps have reached seven wins. After last night they still had three games left in the month.


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