No easy wins for Raps

STEVE BUFFERY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:03 AM ET

Raptors coach Sam Mitchell took offence yesterday to suggestions by the media that his club, which sits five games ahead of the New Jersey Nets for the Atlantic Division title and a playoff spot, is in the driver's seat because they have a "favourable" schedule the rest of the way.

The Raptors have 15 games remaining, starting with the visiting Orlando Magic at the Air Canada Centre tomorrow night, and eight of those are against losing teams. The majority are also at home.

"Guys, listen," Mitchell growled. "There's no such thing as a favourable schedule. We have to play the games and we have to play good basketball because everybody's playing for something.

"You're never supposed to win, you have to go out and earn it," he added. "Just because there's a home game, you're supposed to win? Doesn't work that way. You have to go out and earn it."

Mitchell certainly isn't taking the Magic for granted tomorrow night, despite the fact they have a unimpressive 31-37 record.

"They have some confidence. They're a good basketball team," Mitchell said. "Remember, at one time, they had the best record in the East. They're starting to right the ship. They've won two out of their last three and they're playing better."

The Magic marched into Miami on Sunday and defeated the Heat, 97-83.

RAPS GET NOTICED

A crew from NBA Entertainment will be in Toronto over the next few days filming a feature on the Raptors for ESPN ... There has been a lot said this season about how Toronto's T.J. Ford and Jose Calderon are one of the best 1-2 point guard tandems now in the NBA. Here's some interesting stats from 82games.com, a great site that keeps track on stats that are not official NBA stats: Canada's Steve Nash has picked up an assist in 46.8% of the Phoenix Suns baskets while he's on the court, leading the NBA in that regard. Ford (43.7%) and Calderon are third and seventh respectively ... From the same source: The Raptors are sixth in the NBA in drawing offensive fouls, while, individually, Jorge Garbajosa and Anthony Parker are 16th and 22nd respectively.


Videos

Photos