Raps coach level-headed

Toronto Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell directs from the sideline during the first quarter of an...

Toronto Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell directs from the sideline during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game against Chicago Bulls, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2007.(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

MIKE GANTER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:24 PM ET

A two game-winning streak, on the road no less, one would think would have Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell doing cartwheels.

Instead, Mitchell is keeping his praise to a minimum while cautioning what happened the last time the Raps were on a two-game winning streak and had just thoroughly dominated one of their Eastern Conference rivals.

"Just some things we have to build on," Mitchell said immediately following the Raps' 101-71 romp over the hapless Chicago Bulls. "The team played hard. We played like this against New Jersey and then we came back and didn't play well against Milwaukee. We've got a couple of days to practice and get our feet back on the ground and continue to try and get better."

Maybe Mitchell was thinking about those 13 first-half turnovers his team committed that were completely masked by a dominant second half.

Or maybe he was taking into account the effort, or total lack thereof, the opponent had put up. It was eerily similar to New Jersey's complete indifference in the Raps second game of the season when the Nets managed a measly 69 points in the first real beat-down of the season.

Mitchell's boys actually put up a spirited effort against the Boston Celtics in an overtime loss immediately following the Jersey win, but then followed that up with an abomination in Milwaukee.

RECOGNITION

"The one thing we have to get better at doing is recognizing when people are open like we did last year and get them the ball a little quicker," Mitchell said. "We've got a lot of work to do. It's seven games into the season. We've got two days of practice coming up and we need it. We just need to build on this."

What not even Mitchell could deny, was that the Raptors appear to have regained their defensive legs. Yes, the Bulls were in poor form, very poor form, but the fact they shot just 33% from the field and just 24% from beyond the arc had as much to do with the Raptors defenders contesting shots as it did with the collective shooting funk that seems to have had a hold on the Bulls.

Mitchell is a firm believer in good defence leading to confident


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