Behind Door No. 2...

MIKE GANTER

, Last Updated: 7:35 AM ET

Raptors practice is closed to the media on a daily basis. Normally when the doors open and the various newspaper, television and radio types are let in, all that is left to witness are a bunch of grown men practising foul shooting.

But yesterday when the doors to the Rbk Court swung open, there was Andrea Bargnani knocking down shot after shot from various three-point spots on the floor. Following that Bargnani was pushed and leaned on by guard Darrick Martin as he took passes from assistant coach Jay Triano. More often than not he drained those too.

Bargnani has not been in a game since March 18, He has missed nine games following an emergency appendectomy.

Bargnani said the operation has cost him about seven pounds but he slowly is getting that back. Bargnani said yesterday he didn't have a definite timetable for a return, but the most likely scenario would see him continue to practise with the team for a few days and then, barring any setbacks, return to the court Friday when the Raptors play host to the Detroit Pistons.

PLANNING FOR THE BULLS

Raptors coach Sam Mitchell knows what to expect from the Chicago Bulls this evening at the Air Canada Centre. He also has a good handle on what his team must do to stop them.

"(Ben) Gordon, (Kirk) Hinrich and (Luol) Deng are their scorers," Mitchell said. "Some way we have to control two of the three. It's fine (if one has a good game). But all three guys have to score most nights for them to win."

AROUND THE RIM

Expected back tonight (solely as a spectator) for his first taste of Raptors basketball since a scary ankle injury ended his season almost two weeks ago is forward Jorge Garbajosa .... The Raptors own as many division titles (one) in their 11 seasons as the Leafs have won in the past 43 years. The Maple Leafs' most recent division title came in 1999-2000 when they went on to lose in the conference sem-finals. For their previous division title before that, one has to go back to 1962-63, one of their four Stanley Cup years in the 1960s.


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