A new face and voice everywhere you cared to turn on Raptors Media Day. However the big question for the this franchise remains the same. Chris Bosh and his future are still at the top of the list. Bosh on the fan made a point to make it clear he likes Toronto and is happy here. Some in the U.S media have tried to paint a picture of Chris crossing off days on a calender till he is free of the city. That I think is a total misrepresentation of reality. Bosh like Carter before him wants to win. That is first on the list for him. Money a close second I would imagine. Bosh unlike V.C does see that he needs to play a part in that winning. When the topic of the idea of an extension came up Bosh did not flat out say no. Which is progress because in July he had pretty much when asked. What he said is it would have to make more sense then the original plan he had when he signed his current contract. If that does not happen the elephant in the room all year will be Bosh's upcoming free agency and if the Raptors are part of that mix.
What seems pretty clear is Bosh is happy with all that Bryan has done in rebuilding this team. It is also clear that Bosh plans on having a huge year. He was put in a ton of work for this season looking to cash in. I still think that deep down Bosh would like to have success here as opposed to elsewhere. I think Bosh takes a lot of pride in the fact that he is "the Franchise" player in Toronto. People who have covered the team for years were commenting that Bosh looks bigger. He says himself that he has added 15 to 20 pounds and it is all muscle according to media folks. That is a change from a few years ago when Bosh had seemed to be resigned to the fact he could not get bigger. A change in training and promise of a max contract can be motivating to say the least.
The hamstring injury that Bosh suffered back in Texas doing wind sprints is said to be minor. However as it has always been both Bosh and the Raptors are being very careful about making sure he is 100% before he hits the floor. It is not ideal that he misses this time. The Raptors need to gel together rather quickly as the schedule that they will see early on is challenging to say the least. However if everything sticks to the schedule we have been told Bosh should be ready to roll in a week or two and in the time he is not on the floor it allows Jay Triano to get to know some of the toys he has on his roster. Amir Johnson is likely the guy that gets the most out of this in terms of extra floor time.
Raptors are already have on practice in the books up in Ottawa and Matt Devlin Twittered that defense was the major focus. I think everyone feels pretty confident this team can score the basketball. Jay Triano's task will be to improve it defensively and get this team to battle on the boards. These are things that have been lacking in Toronto not just last year but for many years. Not since the K.O era has this team played defense to a high level. The problem was they did it at a cost to having any offense at all. The personal on paper seem like a group that can answer the challenge defensively and that will be a major key. Bosh himself showed he can be a solid defender in playing for team U.S.A last summer.
Raps will be bringing in a guy on a one day contract with a possible extension to a two day contract. He use to be a high school football player and has size but he is only 6 feet tall. However he likely will not be playing anyway so it really doesn't matter.
The Dino Nation Blog is GOING TO TRAINING CAMP. I am that 6ft ex-football player and will be heading up for training camp on Friday for both sessions. Not sure if I will be around for the scrimmage on Saturday will see. I thank the Raptors for the opportunity. As you may have figured they do not just let anyone come to cover the team. So I see it as a privilege and one I hope to take it advantage of. Hopefully this can be a start of working with the Raptors more. But like everything with the Dino Nation Blog we will take it a step at a time and enjoy the journey. So if the blog is a bit screwed up this week that is the reason why. I have a lot of personal things to take care of in order to make this trip possible. But also a thanks to all of you that read the Dino Nation Blog...I work hard to do more for all of the great folks that read this thing as much as I do for myself.