Sam has faith in AP

STEVE BUFFERY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:54 AM ET

The Raptors rely on starting shooting guard Anthony Parker for his defence as much as his offence.

Even so, he has not exactly set the NBA on fire this season After five regular season games, Parker is averaging seven points, after averaging 12.4 in his first season with the Raptors last year.

In Toronto's 105-96 loss to Orlando on Wednesday night, Parker shot 1-for-6 from the floor.

But head coach Sam Mitchell said Parker is too good of a player to struggle for very long.

"I haven't specifically talked to AP about it because I'm not worried about it," Mitchell said.

"He's an important part of what we're doing. We've got confidence that whatever it is, a little funk or whatever, he's going to bounce back. It happens to all players at different times during the season, it's just his time right now. But he's been working.

"I tell him every day, be aggressive and don't hesitate."

Parker said it's just a matter of confidence.

"I think both individually and collectively as a team, we'll get that confidence when we see the ball go through (the net) a few times," Parker said.

"But until then, we have to find a way to get it done and we can't let what happens on the offensive end affect the defensive end, and a lot of that is getting back in transition and buckling down and playing defence."

NO PANIC

The Raptors are 2-3 and have lost their last three, but Mitchell said they have still played, overall, pretty good.

"Except for the Milwaukee game (a 112-85 loss on Tuesday) and probably the first quarter in the game last night against Orlando (a 105-96 loss) we haven't played bad," he said.

"The Milwaukee game, you just throw it away."


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