Raps' D gets an A

STEVE BUFFERY

, Last Updated: 9:21 AM ET

The Raptors defence continues to lead the NBA over the last five games, holding opponents to an average of 86.0 points. The Raptors held the New York Knicks to 95 points on Friday night, marking the fifth time in the past six games an opponent has been held under triple digits.

"Just wanting to do it," said Chris Bosh yesterday, when asked to explain the club's improved defensive play of late. "That's all it really is, just wanting to do it. You have to will yourself to bring the energy. You can talk about it all day, but at the end of the day you have to move your feet, you have to talk on defence and you have to put a body on somebody to get a rebound."

Bosh also credits the play of veteran centre Rasho Nesterovic, who has been a force on defence and offence in the last few games. Nesterovic has recorded 10 or more points in 10 of his last 11 games.

AROUND THE RIM

There are rumblings out of New York that the woeful Knicks might push the Raptors for a trade in the off-season, and that point guard T.J. Ford would be the player they would covet the most. One prominent blogger in the Big Apple suggested that the Raptors would be interested in wingmen Renaldo Balkman or Jared Jeffries, or perhaps try to upgrade at the shooting guard spot by trading for Jamal Crawford ... The ESPN website released its list of the top 30 international players in the NBA, and two Canadians made the list -- Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash and Philadelphia 76ers centre Samuel Dalembert. The only problem is, Nash is listed as a South African and Dalembert as a Haitian. Both were born in those nations, but Nash moved to Canada as a wee lad and learned the game here, as did Dalembert, who was raised in Montreal and has become a fixture for Canada's national team after getting his Canadian passport last year.


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