The Raptors are excited about the shot blocking ability that Jermaine O'Neal will bring to the paint after they felt as though teams drove easily against them last season.
"You know those times last year, when we'd play excellent defense for 22 seconds, and they'd get the ball and lay it in?" guard Anthony Parker said. "It's like getting hit in the stomach, you know?"
"Having him there with Chris [Bosh] saves those moments, those setbacks, when you do all the right things and but don't secure the ball."
Toronto can rely on playing into his strength often, so he can help some of their weaker defenders.
"He can block shots, for sure," guard Jose Calderon said. "The good thing about it, you know you can force a bit more, and he can help you."
However, coach Sam Mitchell doesn't want his players taking O'Neal for granted.
"It makes guys want to be better defensively," Mitchell said. "Because even if [O'Neal] blocks shots and stuff like that, it only takes someone getting beat so many times before he's going to go ‘Wait a minute, I'm back here to help you, but you have to do your job, too. I'm just in case, not all day long. You've still got to guard your guy.' So if he's back there doing his job, then you have to do your job."