Toronto almost gave away yet another 10 point fourth quarter lead but held on for a 111 to 105 victory. The story of the game was the emergence of Matt Bonner. The Red Rocket went 5 for 6 from behind the arc and at one point scored 9 straight points for the Raptors off his bomb from long distance. Bonner had been mired in a shooting slump but he broke out of that in a big way this weekend with 14 points yesterday and 15 today. Does anyone else think Rob Babcock deserves a thank you from Raps fans for re-signing Bonner this summer? There was talk about the Celtics signing the Red Rocket but for reasons I can’t grasp Boston decided to ink Brian Scalabrine - someone should tell Celtics GM Danny Ainge that he signed the wrong white stiff.

Sam Mitchell was singing the praise of Bonner following the game while adding some of his trademark humor into the praise. Mitchell joked with reporters about Bonner when he said that, “I think Matt played well. We just talked about wanting him to shoot the ball when he’s open. I’ve never in my life had to beg a guy to shoot before in my life. People are like calm down coach but I’m having to yell at a guy to shoot when he’s open. I’ve never in my life thought I’d have to ask a guy to shoot the basketball. They say if you live long enough you’ll experience a lot of things. I haven’t lived long enough but in my short 42 years I never thought I would experience needing to beg a guy to shoot the basketball. That’s what he does for us. Make or miss, teams are going to respect his outside shooting.”

What’s with Sam Mitchell running his vets into the ground? Yesterday Morris Peterson played 49 minutes and tonight he played 48 minutes. Are you kidding me Sam? You gotta’ give these players some sort of a break during games or they will break down. It’s not like we’re in a late season rush for the playoffs so there’s no reason to be giving Peterson extended minutes like this.

Following the game Mitchell addressed this issue when he told the media scrum that, “guys complain that they are tired but if you play them 30 minutes they are knocking on your door asking why they only played 30 minutes. I played in the NBA and you get a little fatigued but you gotta’ take care of yourself and just play. A lot of guys play a lot of minutes and you just gotta’ play.”

Following the game Norma Wick asked Peterson if he was tired from playing extended minutes and Peterson laughed and said, “I’m not tired. Right now I don’t have time to be tired. Coach put me out there and told me to play basketball. He asked me if I felt good and I told him yes.”

A concern for Raptors fans must be the teams reliance on the outside shot. Tonight 24 of their 63 field goal attempts were from behind the arc - that number is way too high. With post players like Chris Bosh and Charlie Villanueva the coaching staff needs to find a way to get these players the ball. Luckily the Raptors won the game but you’ll lose more games than you win when you get out-scored in the paint like the Raptors have been doing.

It doesn’t get any better than this for me. A win by my Raptors over Justin’s Celtics - what more could I ask for today? Make sure you tune into Killer Crossover later this week to hear me brag about this win by my Raps.



Mon 03/06/06, 10:30 am EST


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