Andrea the healer

STEVE BUFFERY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:30 AM ET

Raptors rookie Andrea Bargnani seems to be a quick healer.

The 21-year underwent emergency surgery early Wednesday morning to remove his appendix, but general manager Bryan Colangelo said yesterday that Bargnani already was up and walking Wednesday night and was expected to be released from Mt. Sinai Hospital yesterday afternoon.

Still, it is uncertain how long Bargnani will be lost to the Raptors, probably two to three weeks.

PROTECTING THE BALL

The Raptors have been outstanding this season protecting the ball.

They currently are second in the NBA in turnovers, averaging only 13.58 per game. Not surprisingly, it's the veteran Detroit Pistons who lead the NBA in the least turnovers per game with 12.33. Individually, the Raptors also have done a good job in terms of protecting the ball this season.

The website 82games.com recently listed seven turnover categories and only one Raptor, point guard T.J. Ford, landed in the top 10 in any category. Ford was seventh overall in bad-pass turnovers, with 103. But it should be noted that the league's top point guards generally give the ball up a lot. Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns, the two-time defending MVP, leads the league in bad-pass turnovers with 177.

KIND WORDS

There was a big feature on Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell in USA Today this week, with an interesting quote from Colangelo.

Colangelo will not reveal his hand as to whether he intends to offer Mitchell a contract after this season. There has been rampant speculation that Colangelo wants to bring in Marc Iavaroni, an assistant with the Phoenix Suns, to coach the Raptors next season. However, Colangelo did have some good things to say about the Toronto coach when talking about the club's struggles last season.

"The one thing that stood out more than anything else was he had the team ready to play every night," Colangelo said. "They wanted to go out and play hard. For a large part of that period, (star forward) Chris Bosh was out, yet the effort displayed was impressive. ... Sam has a unique way of dealing with these guys. Call it tough love, and it's equally distributed. That gains respect among players."


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