Raptors coach Sam Mitchell was full of beans in Beantown yesterday when asked if all-star Chris Bosh as well as starting shooting guard Anthony Parker were ready to play.
Bosh left in third quarter during Friday's 121-94 win over the Denver Nuggets with a sprained right ankle, but practised on Sunday and was good to go last night against the Boston Celtics at the TD Banknorth Garden.
Parker, who has missed three of the last five games, also with a sprained right ankle, also practised and was ready to play.
Mitchell, however, pretended that he was in the dark when asked about his two players during the team's shootaround yesterday morning.
"Turn to your left and make a b-line straight for Chris," he said when asked if Bosh was ready to play.
When asked about Parker, Mitchell turned to his player and yelled, 'AP? You playing tonight?' "
"It's a game-time decision," Parker yelled back in response.
There really was no doubt and both played.
Rookie forward Andrea Bargnani stayed in Toronto this week to recuperate after having his appendix removed last week, and guard Juan Dixon, who was a scratch last night because of a stiff neck.
But just as it looked like the injury woes were lifting, Jorge Garbajosa went down with a nasty leg injury in the fourth quarter of the Raptors' 95-87 loss to the Celtics last night.
GEARING FOR THE PLAYOFFS
The Raptors are close to securing a playoff spot (the magic number is seven), but Mitchell already wants his players acting as if their next game is a post-season affair.
"If you think once you get in, you're going to flip a switch ... No," the coach said of his club's playoff mindset.
"It's focus and concentration and trying to play as perfect basketball as you can play. That's the thing I've been telling these guys, and we did that against Denver. Now, how often can we duplicate that?
"It has nothing to do with, 'Are you going to make the shot?' It has everything to do with, 'Are you going to make the right decisions and be in the right place?' You're not always going to shoot 68%. We know that.
"But are you going to keep getting wide open shot, because if you keep getting wide open shots, you're still going shoot a good percentage on a bad night."
NO SLAP ON RASHO'S WRIST
The NBA has decided not to take any additional action against the Raptors' Rasho Nesterovic for a flagrant foul when he hit the Nuggets' Reggie Evans in the face on Friday night. Evans, who said the foul was intentional, believed Nesterovic should have been fined. Nesterovic said that he did not mean to hurt Evans, who was cut on the play.
This is how far the Celtics have fallen off the radar in Boston: Their game stories were on page 31 of the local sports section.