Raptors 'need a game'

FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:01 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- The onus remains on defence, but the focus will soon shift to the pre-season, a much-needed break from the routine as the raptors gear up for games that matter.

More than figure out who plays well with whom, who will be asked to assume whatever role and how minutes will get distributed, head coach Jay Triano admitted on Monday that he needs to see his team in a game situation, even if it is an exhibition tip.

"We need a game," Triano began. "We need to figure out what we need to work on."

He'll get the opportunity on Wednesday when the Raptors will dress as the home side against the Phoenix Suns and Victoria's own Steve Nash.

In games against the suns, followed by games in Boston and Chicago, Triano plans to mix up the combinations he features on the floor.

"They may not necessarily be the best guys, but what combinations work best," Triano added.

Leandro Barbosa (ankle) was back at practice Monday, a day after he missed Sunday's intra-squad game.

Barbosa is good enough to start on the Raptors, but he looms as the team's sixth man, a role he refined when he played in Phoenix.


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