Raptors get experts' nod

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:01 AM ET

In a recent article at ESPN. com, six of the site's experts discussed the first half of the season and what to expect in the second.

Five out of the six experts predicted that the Raptors would hold on to first place in the weak Atlantic Division, mainly because they are a team on the rise, as well as the fact that the New Jersey Nets have serious injury issues (Richard Jefferson, Nenad Krstic), while the New York Knicks are just too inconsistent.

Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics apparently are one of the teams hoping to land Pau Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Celtics reportedly are willing to give up the promising Al Jefferson and another player or pick for the Spanish star.

That would make the Atlantic Division even more interesting.

BIG CAT STUFF

According to his website, Toronto native Jamaal Magloire was surprised that a book about him is being published.

The book is titled Jamaal Magloire: A Biography and is written by Toronto lawyer David Goldstein. Reportedly, Goldstein will be donating the profits from the book to Marion Magloire's Youth Deserve a Chance to Dream Foundation. Marion is Jamaal's mother.

Magloire, a member of the Portland Trail Blazers, is a Toronto high school legend, who also starred at the University of Kentucky and went on to become an NBA all-star. The only thing he really hasn't done yet is represent Canada at a major international tournament, such as this summer's Olympic qualifier in Las Vegas. An appearance there is doubtful.

AROUND THE RIM

The Raptors will make their annual visit to the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto today, and event that brings out all the players, as well as the coaching staff ... After playing at home against the Celtics on Friday and playing the Pacers in Indianapolis on Saturday night, the Raptors rested yesterday, but will practise today ... Rookie forward Andrea Bargnani played 22 minutes in the club's 102-84 loss to the Pacers, but did not bring any energy to the game. He scored two points and pulled in one rebound. It turns out, he is still feeling the effects of flu-like symptoms, which kept him out of last Wednesday's game against the New Orleans Hornets ... Vince Carter, who is likely to be traded by the Nets before the deadline next month, turned 30 on Friday.


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