Forgive and forget

MIKE GANTER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:43 AM ET

On the eve of the Raptors first extended trip of the regular season -- three games in Atlanta, Charlotte and Boston over five days -- Sam Mitchell was in a glass is half full mood.

The Raps head coach seemed willing to forgive and forget all the defensive lapses his team committed, particularly in a game-changing second quarter that led to the first loss of the season Wednesday night against the Detroit Pistons.

"You learn from it," Mitchell said. "We're disappointed in the game. We had a lot of people who didn't play well and we still had a chance to win the game. There's a lot of positive things to take from last night even though we didn't win."

Mitchell liked the fact his team didn't quit, coming back from a 16-point deficit to get to within one point of tying.

He even liked their effort, although there were a number of lapses on the defensive end.

"Atlanta is good," Mitchell said of the first stop on the trip. "Charlotte has a good coach and they're playing hard and Boston is the defending world champs. We looked at our schedule early and we knew early on it would be extremely tough with more games on the road than at home but so far we have played pretty decent on the road. We know we can win on the road."

BEWARE THE HAWKS

The Hawks, particularly when they play host to the Raps, have given Mitchell's team fits in the past. An athletic team with plenty of scoring on the wings is the anti-Raptors formula and the Hawks have plenty of both. On top of that the Hawks happen to be the second best defensive team in the NBA in the early going.

"They keep everyone in the paint and force everyone to shoot outside shots." The Hawks held the New Orleans Hornets, a pretty decent shooting team, to 7-of-20 threes on Wednesday night.


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