The Raptors faced the Charlotte Bobcats last night with three of their biggest guns out of commission.
All-star forward Chris Bosh missed his third consecutive game because of a strained right groin. Also out of the lineup was second-year forward Andrea Bargnani, who is out with a hyper-extended left knee. Bargnani has played in Toronto's past two games, but was able to play only 25 minutes in the Raptors' 101-97 loss to the Wizards in Washington on Saturday. He also has suffered a bruised right knee this season.
Head coach Sam Mitchell was forced to start Jose Calderon at the point guard position again last night in place of T.J. Ford, who did not dress, even though he had played limited minutes in the past two games after suffering an arm stinger on Nov.20 at Dallas. The new face in the starting lineup last night was forward Joey Graham, who did not play in the past two games, despite being fully recovered from a strained left quad suffered earlier this season.
Mitchell said the key now is to try not to put too much pressure on the guys who haven't played much this year and not tighten the reigns too much, just let them play.
The Raptors rank first in the NBA in three-point shooting (43%) and free-throw shooting (84%). Toronto has three players ranked among the NBA's top-15 three-point shooters. Heading into last night's game against Charlotte, Anthony Parker is third (51%, 27-for-57), Jason Kapono is tied for fourth (50%, 26-for-52) and Bargnani is 15th (45%, 28-for-62). No other team in the NBA has three players in the top 15.
AROUND THE RIM
Former Raptors Muggsy Bogues and Dell Curry now are broadcasters for Charlotte.