Raps stand united

MIKE GANTER

, Last Updated: 7:22 AM ET

Perhaps the biggest danger of any losing streak for any team is a rift forming among team members.

There's no question the Raptors are going through a tough time right now so the question was asked: Is this rough patch causing any friction among the players?

Head coach Sam Mitchell couldn't get the denials out fast enough.

"We have never done that before and remember, we have been through some tough times the past two years," Mitchell said.

Guard Anthony Parker said the character in the Raptors locker room is strongest when things get a little rocky, like they are right now.

"Everyone knows the type of team we have and the kind of guys we have on the team and the chemistry we do have," Parker said. "That really helps out in times like this. It's easy, when things aren't going well, to turn on each other and start dividing each other but that hasn't happened."

DEFENSIVE FREE FALL

Mitchell wasn't entirely accurate when he ranted about his team slipping to 17th overall defensively among NBA clubs. Turns out he underestimated. The Raps actually have fallen from 11th overall on Feb. 29, when Chris Bosh went out with a knee injury, to 20th through Friday's game in opponents' field goal percentage. Raps opponents now are shooting just under 46% from the field for the season. In the past 10 games, 81/2 of them without Bosh, the Raps' opponents are hitting just under 51% from the field. Only the Memphis Grizzlies have a worse mark over the past 10 days ... Here's an anomaly: The Nuggets blow the Raptors out of the building Friday night with 138 points and become the first team in five games to shoot under 50% from the field against them.


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