Raptors look to limit Arenas

DEAN McNULTY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:12 AM ET

Washington Wizards star Gilbert Arenas has shown this season that he can single-handedly win a game if he gets the room and looks he likes from opponents.

Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said yesterday that when his team faces Arenas and the Wizards tonight at the Verizon Center he knows he can't completely shut down the all-star guard.

"Those guys (like Arenas) don't shoot a lot so you've got to make it so the shots they do get are low percentage shots," he said.

Arenas is coming off a 32-point night in a 107-106 win over the Golden State Warriors on Sunday.

"Arenas is going to get his 20 plus shots a game, no matter what you do, so you have to force him into junk shots," Mitchell said.

"We just have to limit the number of good shots he gets."

UPPING THE ANTE

The Raptors are in unfamiliar territory as they enter the final 22 games of the NBA season with a solid hold on first place in their division and a first round playoff date clearly within their reach.

The question remains, however, whether the young team can handle the pressure of a stretch run.

Mitchell said that players such as Cleveland's LeBron James have shown in the past week that they have another gear to help push his team toward a playoff run, but he's waiting to see if that kind of determination can come out of his locker room.

"Well we are going to have to find out," he said. "We've got a lot of young guys ... guys who haven't been in this position before."

TUCKER SENT DOWN

Raptors forward P.J. Tucker was demoted to the team's Development League affiliate, Arkansas RimRockers, for the second time this season.


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