All-star game breaks momentum

MIKE GANTER

, Last Updated: 10:58 AM ET

When you're running hot like the Raptors are right now, the last thing you want is a break. Or is it?

Since a three-game losing skid from Dec. 29 through January 3, the Raps have run off 16 wins in their past 21 games and are now being asked to cool their jets for four days. They will return to the court Monday for the first of two practice days before getting back into action Wednesday against Cleveland. That's a full week between games.

"In a way you wish the season could just keep going but this is going to help us in the long run," Mo Peterson said. "Everybody has to do it so hopefully it works in our favour."

Chris Bosh was of a similar mind but taking in the all-star weekend in Vegas as he will do along with Raptor rookies Andrea Bargnani and Jorge Garbajosa suggests he's thinking more of his mates than himself when he talks about the value of a rest.

Coach Sam Mitchell, for his part, only saw advantages in the break.

"We need it," Mitchell said. "T.J. (Ford) is still nicked up. Chris (Bosh) is nicked up. A.P.(Anthony Parker) is a little sore so we need it. It would be just hard without a little break in the middle to kind of rejuvenate your guys.

LOOKING AHEAD

It shouldn't come as any surprise that the consensus area of improvement for the Raptors following the all-star break is on defence.

"We have to turn the intensity up, continue to get off to good starts and pick up our defence a bit," Bosh said.


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