Reaping the benefits

MIKE GANTER

, Last Updated: 7:29 AM ET

Having withstood three consecutive games without the services of point guard Jose Calderon, the Raptors find themselves in much better shape than just about anyone could have imagined. Not only did they win three of the four -- many would make the point that it should have been a perfect four-for-four -- Calderon's absence meant valuable playing time for both Will Solomon and Roko Ukic. The duo took advantage of the extra work to improve their games.

"Obviously a little bit more time gives them more experience out there but the more you get to run the plays and be out there guarding, when the lights are on and it's not just a practice situation, I think that's when you start to feel comfortable and figure out what you can and can't do," Raptors head coach Jay Triano said.

Triano felt the extra time helped Solomon with his shot selection, which particularly improved in the game in Washington on Wednesday.

"Will is a scoring point guard and sometimes it's tough for those guys to understand that there are other guys out there that need to get the basketball as well," Triano said. "I think his choices and his decision making is better."

Moon's a fighter

Jamario Moon didn't have a whole lot of time to get a read on his baby daughter before his job called him back to Toronto, but he did learn one thing.

"I think she's going to be a fighter," Moon said of daughter Taylin prior to last night's game with Memphis. "When she came out, she had both hands balled up into fists."

Moon's standard reply to teammates and a few of the Grizzlies who stopped by to congratulate him on the arrival of his newborn daughter was: "Now it's your turn." Rudy Gay's reaction to that was to laugh and walk away.

Battling hunger

Fans attending tomorrow's game against Boston are being encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item or a cash donation to take part in the Purolator Boxes Out Hunger Food Drive at the Air Canada Centre.

A donation of either kind will earn the generous fan a photo taken with the best mascot in sports - the Raptor - in addition to entry into a draw for Raptors and Leaf prizes.

All proceeds from the food drive will help support Toronto's Daily Bread Food Bank.


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