Hard work key: Triano

FRANK ZICARELLI

, Last Updated: 7:56 AM ET

The late great Jack Donohue always found something positive when things weren't going well on the court.

Donohue touched many lives during his distinguished run as coach of Canada's national team, including Jay Triano, who yesterday borrowed a page from his mentor.

"The harder you work through the tough times is going to determine how good you're going to be when you bounce out of it," Triano said of his reeling Raptors following practice.

"These guys want to work. I don't know any other way but to work hard."

Despite the three-game losing streak and the 10-15 overall record, Triano sees improvement.

They still can't rebound, but the Raptors are moving the ball better on offence and are defending better.

"I like the way we're playing,'' Triano said "We're making strides in what we're trying to do. I'd be concerned if we had quarters where we didn't show what we can do. We have to find a way to maintain it."

Toronto led after the opening quarter against the New Orleans Hornets, New Jersey Nets and Dallas Mavericks, only to self-destruct as the game wore on.

"I like the process," Triano said. "We're not getting the outcome yet, but the outcomes aren't that far away.

"And the outcomes will take care of themselves. We have to maintain the course."

THUNDER STRUCK

The Raptors won't have to worry about Chris Wilcox, one of the few who actually can play at the NBA level with Oklahoma City. The athletic power forward netted 28 points when the team played out of Seattle against the Raptors last season, but remains sidelined with a dislocated ring finger.

About the only player who can put pressure on the Raps is sophomore Kevin Durant.


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