Raps have chemistry on their side

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:49 AM ET

The pundits might not be predicting a lot of wins for the 2010/11 edition of the Raptors, but the team projects to be near the top of the NBA in at least one category -- chemistry.

The NBA might have barred them from using the catchy Young Guns moniker, but DeMar DeRozan, Sonny Weems, Amir Johnson, Joey Dorsey, rookie Ed Davis and veteran leader Jarrett Jack remain a tight-knit bunch.

DeRozan and Weems spent much of media day Monday goofing around like siblings and joking about figuring out where Davis lives so that they can mess up his place.

"I feel like it's a family, everyone just takes you in and if you need anything you can call anytime of the night," said Davis, the newest member of the group.

And that, they all agree, should come in handy on the floor.

"It's very, very rare when you have a team where everybody likes each other," Weems said. "If you have that relationship, it carries onto the court."

Jack, the elder statesman, agreed. "It's never a bad thing when you take a liking to someone," he said. "I know a lot of guys during the season we talk, after the season we don't. If you are close, you will go that extra mile for each other."

DeRozan and Weems complemented each other very well in dominant Las Vegas Summer League performances this off-season, while Johnson spent time playing with DeRozan in their native Los Angeles.

Davis said he has known DeRozan for a few years, dating back to high school AAU ball.

For Johnson, being tight off the court makes it easier to communicate at the defensive end and to absorb criticism better, leading to in-game improvements.

As for not being allowed to roll with Young Guns in the wake of the Gilbert Arenas firearm fiasco?

"It's cool," said DeRozan. "Everybody in Toronto knows it's our trademark (anyways)."


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