Raps reserves in spotlight

FRANK ZICARELLI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:33 AM ET

In a sign of the times in Raptorland, Quincy Douby and Patrick O'Bryant were on the floor when the fourth quarter began last night in a one possession game.

Had the Raptors been playing for something meaningful other than pride, both would have been buried on the bench.

For the first time in three years, the Raptors aren't making the playoffs, making life difficult for interim head coach Jay Triano.

On one hand, Triano wants nothing more than to win as many games as possible and in turn help GM Bryan Colangelo's decision to retain Triano for next season and beyond.

On the other hand, Triano needs to give meaningful minutes to players whose minutes have been limited.

Douby, whose 10-day deal has been extended for another look-see, and O'Bryant, who came to Toronto in a deadline deal involving Boston and Sacramento, fall into that category.

Get used to this picture as the Raptors close out their season with five games remaining, including tonight's tip in Indiana.

O'Bryant has the length to contribute, but he began last night by picking up two fouls in seven minutes.

In 18 minutes, O'Bryant scored four points, had four rebounds and picked up four fouls.

For the record, the Hawks defeated the Raptors 118-110.

Douby is the ultimate backcourt tweener who isn't afraid to look to score or attack the basket.

When Douby made his exit with the Hawks leading 105-98, he contributed to Toronto's cause by scoring nine points in nine minutes on 4-of-5 shooting.

"There were a few mistakes, but overall I thought I played well,'' Douby said.

Douby did admit to being winded, a natural by product of not playing in clutch moments.

In contrast to the Raptors, there's plenty on the line for the high-flying Hawks, who came into Toronto having lost five of six games and five consecutive on the road.

Atlanta's Achilles heel is its bench, but the team's starting five can give any team problems.

At least Flip Murray and Zaza Pachulia provided some impact off the bench against the Raptors, combining for all of Atlanta's 23 points among reserves.

No matter who comes off Atlanta's bench, they will go as far as Joe Johnson takes them.

Johnson and Smith each scored 25 points, while Chris Bosh led the Raptors with 21 points in posting his eighth consecutive double-double.

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REPLAY

GRIZZ AT HEARTS

Jay Triano was employed by the Grizzlies when Vancouver used the second overall pick in the 1998 NBA draft to select Mike Bibby. Triano remains a huge fan. "He's lost a little quickness, but ... he can still play at a high level."

TODD RETURNS

One of the assistants on Mike Woodson's staff with the Hawks is former Raptors assistant Jim Todd. Todd left the Raptors following their 47-win season three years ago, but he remains a favourite of the holdover players in Toronto.

SUNS RISE

Shawn Marion and Joe Johnson were teammates in Phoenix, where Steve Nash's presence and skills helped both Marion and Johnson earn mega contracts. Marion was matched up against Johnson on Atlanta's first possession last night and partially blocked Johnson's shot.


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