Raps facing big task

MIKE GANTER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:35 AM ET

A new game, a new challenge only this time the challenge is one the Raptors are at least familiar with.

Orlando big man Dwight Howard has faced the Raptors twice this season. The first time they owned the young centre, or more precisely Rasho Nesterovic neutralized him. The next, Howard owned the Raptors having a near flawless night but it still wasn't enough to get a win.

Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell doesn't like his club's chances if they allow Howard to go 13-for-14 from the field a second time as he did in Toronto on Feb. 7.

Only a huge game from Chris Bosh who had 42 points that evening and five different Raptors in double figures in scoring overcame Howard's season high.

"The main thing is we win the game," Mitchell said. "I thought we did a good job on him the first time."

INJURY UPDATE

Looks like a possibility of a Jose Calderon return and perhaps another night off for Anthony Parker tonight.

Calderon, who sprained his ankle last Wednesday against the New York Knicks, has sat out the past two games but was feeling a little better yesterday.

"It's getting better but we'll see how it is today," Calderon said. "I wanted to play two games ago so for me there's always a chance I will play, but I don't know how I'll feel when I wake up (today). I can't be sure."

Calderon said he felt discomfort when he pushed off hard or tried to go side to side and was hoping that would subside by today.

Parker was still a little sore yesterday after suffering a little setback with his own sprained ankle in practice on Monday. Parker played in Sunday's loss in New York but certainly was not at full strength or mobility.

Of the two, Mitchell said his gut was telling him Calderon was more likely to play today.

DIXON PUTS A FINGER ON IT

Juan Dixon is approaching his one-month anniversary with the Raptors but he's already noticed a common element in the Raptors losses.

"It has been a pattern since I've been here," Dixon said. "The times we don't share the basketball as well, we don't play as well. As long as we're moving the ball from side to side, getting the ball inside and making the extra pass, we're fine."


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