A certain Spanish player showed up at the Air Canada Centre to greet the Raptors in their locker room prior to last night's game against the Chicago Bulls.
Jorge Garbajosa, who was lost to the Raptors for the season when he dislocated his left ankle joint on March 26 in Boston in a game against the Celtics, felt well enough yesterday to finally visit his mates, though not well enough to greet the crowd or talk to the media.
"I think it's good for Garbo," coach Sam Mitchell said of the visit.
"He's an important part of what we've accomplished up to this point and he should be proud of not only what he's done, but what the team's done. I think it will be good for him and for the players to see him."
WALKING A FINE LINE
Even though the Raptors still are playing for home-court advantage heading into the final 10 days of the regular season, Mitchell plans to let up a bit in practice as to keep his key players fresh for the playoffs.
But Mitchell will not totally shut down.
"You want to be healthy and as rested as you possibly can but you still want to be sharp (going into the playoffs)," Mitchell said. "We'll manage that as it goes. But we still have a lot to play for.
"(But) we have young guys and we're not killing them in practice."
All-star forward Chris Bosh, who is averaging over 38 minutes this season, isn't worried about becoming fatigued before the post-season.
"Right now, it really doesn't matter. All that matters is winning basketball games," Bosh said. "I've never been in a position where I need to limit my minutes. Anyway, the adrenalin is different in the playoffs, I'm sure. Even if you are tired, you're still going to get up for the games."
The Raptors are in a fight with the Miami Heat for third in the Eastern Conference and home court in the first round of the playoff. Mitchell acknowledged the Raps have the toughest go in the final days of the regular season with games left against Detroit (two), New York, Minnesota and a weak Philadelphia team.
"It's tough (but) the good thing about it is, we have an opportunity and that's all you can ask for regardless of your schedule," he said.
AROUND THE RIM
There were a number of red T-shirts in the locker room and in the Centre Sports store at the ACC yesterday with the division champions logo on the front.