Ankle keeps O'Neal out

LANCE HORNBY AND MIKE GANTER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:39 AM ET

Having declared it a mistake to have tried to play on Sunday against Boston with a knee strain and then hurting his ankle, a cautious Jermaine O'Neal spent last night's game getting treatment for both with an eye to playing tomorrow against Atlanta.

O'Neal said the knee was coming along "spectacularly well" and that it's the ankle that kept him out last night.

BAD, BAD LARRY BROWN

Sam Mitchell knows Larry Brown the way only a handful of people in the world know him.

The Raptors head coach played for Brown for two of his three seasons when he was in Indiana and is forever using Brown as an example of a coach who was very demanding of his players but got results. Of all the positions, according to Mitchell, no one felt the pressure as much as Brown's point guards. D.J. Augustin, a rookie with Charlotte this year, is wearing those shoes, playing both behind Raymond Felton and lately alongside him at the shooting guard position.

"He's tough, but he's tough on everyone," Augustin said before last night's game against the Raptors. "The only thing is, if he tells you to do something once, you've got to do it that one time, because if he has to repeat himself, then he's really rough on you."

Augustin, who is averaging 12.5 points and 4.3 assists a game, gets plenty of mentoring, both from Felton and Brown as well as fellow University of Texas alumnus and former Raptor T.J. Ford.

"Me and T.J. are real close," Augustin said. "We talk every other day. We play there (in Indiana tomorrow) so I'll be spending some time with him. He's been like a mentor for the past two years."

BUZZER BEATERS

The Raptors entered last night's game leading the NBA with an .835 free-throw percentage.


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