Garbajosa is showing no ill effects from the injury--he averaged 7.8 points in
21�minutes per game at the European Championships-- Toronto will remain
cautious. The team has an insurance policy through November that covers the
remaining $8.5�million on Garbajosa's contract, and coach Sam Mitchell
declared an open competition at starting small forward between Garbajosa, Joey
Graham and Jason Kapono, a free agent who signed a four-year, $24�million
contract with the Raptors in the off-season.
Starter or not,
Garbajosa is happy he can get back on the floor. "I'm not worried about
starting," he says, "and I never think about minutes. I just want to be
team's scout sizes up the Raptors
identity as a team was founded on the strength of Chris Bosh and their two
excellent point guards, T.J. Ford and Jos� Calder�n. . . . Bosh is one of the
best young players in the league and also one of the best character guys. . . .
You pair him up front with Andrea Bargnani, and you're really on to something.
He and Bosh can complement each other offensively and space the floor, which
prevents opposing big men from playing centerfield around the basket. . . . I
don't trust coach Sam Mitchell as a tactician. His energy and passion are his
strengths, and it's to his benefit that he keeps things simple. . . . Adding
Euroleague veteran Anthony Parker was their most underrated move last year. He
helped change the team dynamic by bringing toughness and a winning attitude
that Toronto had lacked. . . . My only worry is that Bosh has suffered from
nagging injuries. If he goes down for an extended time, the Raptors will become
a cellar team.
The Raptors had
the best bench production in the East last season with a franchise-high
36.3�points per game. That output, second in the NBA behind the Spurs'
reserves, was an increase of seven points per game from '05-06.