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8 Toronto Raptors
Chris Mannix
October 29, 2007
If the Euro vet has a good leg to stand on, playoff hopes will be just as strong
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October 29, 2007

8 Toronto Raptors

If the Euro vet has a good leg to stand on, playoff hopes will be just as strong

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RPG: 10.7

APG: 2.5

SPG: 0.57

BPG: 1.30

FG%: 49.6

FT%: 78.5


KEY BENCH PLAYERS: G Jos� Calder�n, F Jorge Garbajosa, G Carlos Delfino*, C Rasho Nesterovic, F Joey Graham *New acquisition

Record: 47-35 (4th in East) Points scored: 99.5 (11th in NBA) Points allowed: 98.5 (16th) Coach: Sam Mitchell (fourth season with Raptors)


Raptors forward Jorge Garbajosa is a man of few words, at least when it comes to his healing left leg. When asked how his wheel, which he broke in a gruesome fall while trying to defend a breakaway dunk against Boston last March, felt going into training camp, Garbajosa responded, "Pain-free." And at last month's European Championships, at which he helped Spain to a second-place finish? "Pain-free," he said. And as for why he decided against having surgery, an option Toronto encouraged him to take in August? "Because I'm pain-free," insisted Garbajosa. "I feel completely healthy."

The Raptors certainly hope so. Before his injury the 29-year-old former Euroleague standout was a Rookie of the Year candidate, averaging 8.5�points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.9�assists at small forward. More important, Toronto--the surprise winner of the Atlantic Division--missed his toughness and interior muscle in the postseason, when the Raptors were bounced in the first round by the Nets. "We had worked for a long time to do well," says Garbajosa. "It was tough to watch because I knew we were good enough to go to the next round."

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