First Bosh. Then Hedo. Then Johnson. Really? As if the Raptors needed anymore hoops to jump through. Chris Bosh stayed in Cleveland today to have surgeons repair a displaced nasal fracture. He will remain in Cleveland overnight and arrangements are being made to bring him home to Toronto as soon as possible. Once he's home, he'll be assessed for 7 to 10 days and then a decision will be made as to when he'll be back in the Raptors line-up. But it's safe to say he'll be out for the rest of the regular season. Eighth place is still up for grabs and if the Raptors continue down this road, Bosh's game against Cleveland may have been his last of this season, possibly as a Raptor.
Hedo Turkoglu's injury came in the first quarter after butting heads with Boston's Tony Allen. Hedo left late in the first quarter and never returned to the game. He was taken to Mount Sinai hospital for a C-T scan to assess the extent of his injury or nasal contusion as officials are calling it. Another hit to the face like this is no good for a guy who is trying to get back in the good books with fans. Plus, repeated blows to the head are no laughing matter either. This is serious business. There's nothing I can't handle but when people use terms like "just a little concussion", it really bothers me. No one is saying that Hedo has a concussion yet but it is quite possible considering the way he collided with Allen. And remember, concussion symptoms can show up weeks after the injury. I am just stating my observations based on experience. He just didn't look right going off court. The Raptors were counting on a few key players to step up tonight with Bosh out and Hedo was one of them.
The third Raptors injury as of late was suffered by Amir Johnson in the second half. Glen Davis of the Celtics fell to the ground hitting Johnson's leg in the process - it looked like it bent back. I was surprised to see him limping around at first as if he was going to walk that off. He eventually hobbled off to the sidelines and off to the dressing room. No word yet on the extent of his injury.
Right off the bat, Sonny Weems was playing confident and was really being patient with his shots. He scored a career-high 21 points for the Raptors on the night. Eventually, Ray Allen would take over as the stand out for Boston, but in the first half, Sonny Weems was averaging about as much playing time and points as Paul Pierce of the Celtics. At the half, both had 17 points and had played about 18 minutes. You could see Weems was playing with confidence.
Antoine Wright as you know twisted his ankle and was a game time decision going into tonight's contest. You would never have known it though. He worked hard tonight. At one point, Wright hits one from beyond the arc, ball goes to Boston and Wright gets it back. You know, the Raptors have pulled off wins without Chris Bosh before and based on how Wright and the others were playing in the first half, I thought this one would end in their favour. Late in the half, Bargnani hits one to get the Raptors up by one and this was where the turning point should have been. But alas, no dice. I also thought it may have been a good time to see what they can do without Bosh and multiple injuries say if Chris Bosh flies the coop this summer. Look what happened in the NHL when Gretzky left for the Kings? Mark Messier stepped up and the Oilers eventually got over it. I'm just saying.
I wasn't really impressed with the Celtics in the first half. They were not playing as fluid as they normally do. But the decision to give extra rest to Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins and Kevin Garnet paid off in the second half because much to the Raptors demise, the Celtics took over. You could see the frustrations start to come out when Jose Calderon starts arguing with officials thinking he should have been going to the line but he made the mistake of stopping to do this while the clock was still running. He was really lucky that Wright got that basket or his little outburst with the officials may have been a bigger deal. Not that it really mattered since Boston ended up with the score in their favor, 115 - 104. Boston just seemed to be making all the important shots and were playing more relaxed in the second half. Ray Allen had a beautiful around the back move and makes the basket. This just highlighted how in control of the game they were at this point and how nervous the Raptors were playing. I hate to say it but the Raptors were not as consistent as their opponents in green and their defence seem to suffer as a result. They just didn't have enough stamina to sustain themselves to the end of the fourth quarter. A real shame, too. Now they are REALLY fighting for their playoff lives.