A big month ahead

MIKE GANTER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:48 AM ET

December got off to a rough start with the Raps dropping a winnable game on the road in Washington on Saturday night.

Road wins are going to be key this month with tonight's game against Charlotte one of just five they'll have at the Air Canada Centre until the calendar year turns.

That means 11 road games, seven of them in another time zone, including three on the west coast.

The fact that the Raps begin the month already banged up does not bode well, although as head coach Sam Mitchell points out, his teams, since he came to Toronto, have always managed to hold their own when the injury bug bites.

"So far, since I've been here when we've had guys out, we've been able to hang around that .500 mark. We didn't go 1-10 or 1-12 or something like that. We've been about to go 5-5, 6-6. Then when you get your guys back and get them healthy, that's when you have to try and make your push."

NO TIME FOR REST

Having just played back-to-back games and with a growing injury list, there was some thought Mitchell might give his charges the day off. Mitchell never considered it.

"It was for all of us," Mitchell said. "We got guys who haven't played in a while and practice was scheduled anyway.

"We didn't kill them. We didn't run a lot. We just came in and got stretched out, got some weightlifting in, got some shots up, and went through our offence."

Without Chris Bosh, the offence has looked stagnant at times. Mitchell said he ran through all kinds of combinations, which suggests a few changes may be in the offing tonight.


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