Raps prepare for Nash

MIKE GANTER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:53 AM ET

Preparing for Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns is never easy, but doing so with one of your floor generals ailing only makes things tougher.

Now take your top two big men out of the equation and you begin to understand the Raptors' predicament.

Whether it's Jose Calderon or the tandem of T.J. Ford and Calderon that takes the court tonight, the Raptors are going to be short-handed.

Ford is a game-time decision with that left thumb -- the after effects of a stinger -- still bothering him. Bosh and Bargnani are not expected to play.

"It all depends on how he (Ford) feels," coach Sam Mitchell said. "It's like that New Jersey game (last year in the playoffs). He woke up that morning (of Game 6) and he was sensitive to the touch. He came in that night and said he felt fine and played. For him it's just a day to day thing to see how he feels."

If he is able to play it gives the Raps a better chance at limiting the damage Nash is capable of doing.

"It would be (nice to have both) so our guys could pick him up and wear him down a bit," Mitchell said.

Mitchell said the key to defending Nash is getting the ball out of his hands and forcing the other Suns to make plays.

"He's capable of scoring 30 points so you can't say make him score because he's smart enough to understand that the nights he needs to score, he scores," Mitchell said.

LUKE'S BACK PLAYING

Luke Jackson got bumped when the Raptors chose Jamario Moon over him for the last spot on the roster. Jackson has since rejoined the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League.

Jackson spent a good portion of last season with the Stampede before getting a look-see form the Los Angeles Clippers.


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