Raps looking for Christmas joy

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 9:53 AM ET

The Raptors have not hit the mid-point of their schedule, but in the mind of coach Jay Triano, the next two games are crucial.

"They always say there are four games -- the games before and after Christmas, and the games before and after the all-star break -- where you really need to stay focused," Triano said. "It's no use looking at the schedule at the end of the year and saying: 'We have three games left and we have to win two of these,' when you can take care of business in and around Christmas and all-star time."

The Raps are in Auburn Hills, Mich., tomorrow night to take on the Detroit Pistons. After three days off for Christmas, the same clubs hook up again at the Air Canada Centre on Sunday afternoon.

Go hard

Triano had a rare day yesterday to use for an all-out practice, with no concern of playing the next day.

"We did a lot of end-of-game stuff," Triano said. "You can talk about that and walk through it, but if you don't have it going at full-speed, you do not get a real feel for it. It was good. It was a controlled scrimmage almost the whole time."


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