Healthy Raps ready for Sonics

MIKE GANTER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:41 AM ET

With 20 games remaining, Sam Mitchell's Raptors are back to full strength, if not full health.

Anthony Parker, out five games with a sprained ankle, got through a second full practice yesterday and while there still is some discomfort, he will make his return to the starting lineup today against the Seattle SuperSonics.

Unlike T.J. Ford's return from ankle problems a few week's back when the Raptors' starting point guard went to Mitchell and insisted Calderon continue to start until Ford was back to 100%, Parker will go right back into the starting unit Mitchell said.

"He said he felt fine," Mitchell said of Parker. "T.J. was still hurt. He was just trying to play. Parker said he was a little sore but he practised. Unless he walks in (today) and says something different has happened, I expect he will start."

The Raptors will have had three full days since their last game and Mitchell used the time to get the team back into some old habits.

It seems the Raps had altered their scheme a bit to deal with the likes of Tracy McGrady, LeBron James and Gilbert Arenas over the past week and a half. The slight alterations worked so successfully against McGrady in a win over Houston, Mitchell feels the team got tricked into believing it was the solution.

"There was some fool's gold in there, because we did it against Houston and it worked so well against McGrady but it didn't work so well against LeBron and Arenas," Mitchell said.

So with their top defender (Parker) back, expect to see more of the old Raptors and less of the one that was giving up 120-plus games to the likes of Cleveland and Washington.

Despite not having seen the Sonics since December, a game they played without Chris Bosh, Mitchell believes he has a pretty good idea what to expect.

"You know Ray (Allen) and Rashard (Lewis), even though he only got 11 shots the other night, are going to shoot the ball so we know the plays they normally run for them," Mitchell said.


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