Thinning ranks

FRANK ZICARELLI

, Last Updated: 7:51 AM ET

The Raptors have many flaws, but none is as obvious as the team's lack of depth.

With Jermaine O'Neal unavailable (right knee contusion) and Jason Kapono nursing a sore right quad, Toronto's already suspect bench was depleted.

Consider the way last night's opening quarter ended for the home side.

Interim head coach Jay Triano went with the unlikeliest five we'll ever see, barring more injuries and foul problems.

The group included Will Solomon, Joey Graham, Jamario Moon, Kris Humphries and Jake Voskuhl, who was making his home debut as a Raptor.

Solomon picked up two fouls in 16 seconds.

Triano had to use Solomon, who is more a scoring guard than a point guard, when Jose Calderon picked up two fouls.

To his credit, Solomon drained a three-pointer in helping to stake the Raptors to a 31-29 advantage after the opening quarter.

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

The team's three-game homestand will give Triano some much-needed practice time.

The Raptors will gather at their ACC practice court today in preparation for tomorrow night's visit by Houston.

The team's recent schedule has resulted in very little practice time.

The Raptors haven't practised since Christmas.

HISTORY LESSON

Chauncey Billups was back in Toronto last night.

Billups was a Raptor during the team's regrettable 16-win third season.

Billups went on to play for the Detroit Pistons, leading the team to an NBA title and winning MVP final honours.

Billups and Hakeem Olajuwon are the two players in Raptors' franchise history to cop NBA final MVP.


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