Matt primed for Raps

MIKE GANTER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:39 AM ET

In the matter of three days all the principals involved in one of Bryan Colangelo's key off-season moves have been linked to the Raptors.

Last June 6, Colangelo sent forward Eric Williams and Matt Bonner to the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for Slovenian centre Rasho Nesterovic.

Williams was recently dealt to Charlotte from San Antonio in exchange for Melvin Ely. Williams had not seen any court time with his new team until Saturday night in the Raps' 93-76 win over the Bobcats.

Tonight the Raps will get reacquainted with Bonner, who is just back from a knee injury. Bonner already was thinking ahead to the showdown with his old team on Saturday following the Spurs' 102-71 win over the Seattle SuperSonics.

"Hopefully they're running a lot of the same plays from last year so I'll know what's coming," Bonner told reporters after the game. That sound you just heard was Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell falling to the floor in a fit of giggles.

SPURS' SECRET WEAPON

In the first meeting between San Antonio and Toronto this year at the Air Canada Centre it was a second-half surge from Tim Duncan that eventually turned the tide and gave the Spurs a 103-94 win.

Backup centre Fabricio Oberto, Raps fans may remember, also had himself a bit of a game that afternoon hitting career highs with 12 points and nine boards. It will be interesting to see how he fares against the Raps a second time. This is clearly not the same team that lost to the Spurs the first time around.

DIXON GETS HIS FEET WET

Early foul trouble for the Raptors meant an earlier-than-expected debut for Raps newcomer Juan Dixon. Dixon, less than 36 hours into his indoctrination in all things Raptor, wound up playing 16 minutes in Saturday's win over Charlotte. Dixon and the Raptors coaches actually taped out a court in one of the ballrooms of their Charlotte hotel and went over as many plays as possible.

Because of the Raps hectic schedule, Dixon has yet to take part in a practice and probably won't until tomorrow in Houston. The Raps were given the day off yesterday in San Antonio before tonight's game.

Coming from the Portland Trail Blazers, Dixon was asked the obligatory comparison question about the atmosphere there compared to his new surroundings.

"Here everyone is having fun. They're relaxed," Dixon said. "In Portland things are getting a lot better too. Guys are out there playing hard and playing well. Everyone has each other's back. I get that same vibe here."


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