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Media Watch for March 19, 2006

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The Raptors recent "winning ways," three wins in the last four games, can partly be attributed to team chemistry according to reserve point guard Darrick Martin. Sam Mitchell gave the team a much deserved day-off yesterday after Friday night's surprising comeback win over the Bucks.

The win however was no surprise to Sam Mitchell. Mitchell had a premonition of the Raptors close near-buzzer-beating victory prior to the game. Bucks coach Terry Stotts apparently lacks this same psychic ability.

Impressive as the comeback win was, more impressive perhaps has been the Raptor's continued improvement even as the season draws to an obvious "non-playoff" close. Toronto has been playing the role of spoiler as of late and is slowly showing signs of defence at key moments. Sam Mitchell is also finally discarding the notion of leaving the Raps' young players on the bench and as a result, Matt Bonner and Joey Graham are playing the most consistent ball of the season. If Sam Mitchell can keep this young squad on track and end the season in strong fashion, it definitely bodes well for his future with this club.

And if Sam Mitchell doesn't continue on with the club after this season? Perhaps Darrick Martin would be a good replacement? While it's tough to tell from a fans perspective what a player's contribution is off the court, it seems that Martin has done a great job in helping this young team along. However Martin still feels that he's got a few years left of playing in him. It appears that his teammates appreciate his tutelage and it may be a good idea, depending on the Raptors' draft, for Toronto to keep him around next season.

Martin has fans outside of the Raps organization as well. Marc Stein of ESPN.com recently mentioned Martin's stellar numbers against Philly in his Daily Dime's "A Fine Line" Section. Stein apparently still holds slightly a grudge against Martin for his play back in the day with UCLA but appreciates how Martin seems to "catch-on" with a team every season. The combination of this and the Raptors' recent play may even be enough to see them garner a significant rise in Stein's power rankings released tomorrow.

The Raptors now have a few days off until their next matchup against the incomparable New York Knicks. No links needed here...this article would be the longest ever published on our site if we began linking every Larry Brown, Isiah Thomas and Starbury story. Nope, back to Bradley vs. Pittsburgh for this HQ correspondent...or as my girlfriend just pointed out...BRAD vs. PITT...

FRANCHISE