Bosh Island Is A Lonely Place

I have mentioned it before in this blog about being a Hornets fan prior to the Raptors being around in the NBA. Along with Bogues one of my favourites on those Charlotte squads was Dell Curry. The irony that both would become Raptors made it exciting for me when they arrived on the scene in Toronto. Stephen Curry was seen out on the floor nailing jumpers at the ACC long before he ever wore a Davidson or Warriors jersey. Prior to the game he was a popular person with the media including me. He said that he really likes Toronto and that playing here was fun, just like playing in Charlotte was as his dad spent a ton of time there. He lived here in Toronto for the final season of his father's career in Toronto which lasted 3 years. Curry admitted this was a little more special than the average NBA game.. "There are a few arenas that my dad played like in Charlotte or here, or games that I play against some of his former teammates". He was asked of those former team mates of his dad who gave him the hardest time and his answer was Vince Carter. He as a kid use to play against Vince back in the day as well as T-Mac. Curry was not just the star of the pre-game he was one of the stars of the main event in the game itself.

Raptors came in off a game that never should have went to overtime. The extra work was going to make this one an even tougher task. Warriors have the awful record they do for a reason. Just 5-31 on the road this season heading into this game. However the Warriors do 2 things well....Run and shoot the 3 ball. The one thing the Raptors have struggled to do for the majority of the season is defend the 3 point shot. It is why the Warriors crushed the Raptors in Oakland and it would play a big factor in this game allowing the Warriors to build a lead. In total the Warriors would end the night 13 of 26 from behind the arc and the younger Curry making 5 of 11. He would end up having a big night as would Chris Bosh. However Curry had a lot of help and Bosh didn't. Especially early as the Warriors blitzed the Raptors to take a 37-24 1st quarter lead.

Bosh would lead a furious charge back. They say one man is not an island and even thought at times in the NBA that theory can be challenged by a Lebron or Kobe. Most nights guys need at least some help. Raptors as a team shot 39.1% which is horrible. However now let's take away what was an 11-19 performance by Bosh en route to a 42 point and 12 rebound effort. That leaves the Raptors 23 of 73 on the game for a pathetic 31.5%. which is even worse. That being said the Raptors fought hard and out scored the Warriors 30-20 in the second quarter to trail by just a 57-54 margin at the half.

The Warriors would answer the challenge lead by their rookie point guard along with Corey Maggette who had a team high 31 and Anthony Morrow. The 3 players combined 85 points of the Warriors eventually finishing total. Curry ended the night with a monster line and some other things involving a line will get to in a minute. But first the impressive final tallies for young Curry. He had 29 points, 12 dimes, 8 rebounds...just 2 shy of the Triple Double. If that is not enough how about 3 steals and 2 blocks as well.

The Raptors would be down 9 heading to the 3rd. However Chris Bosh was determined to not have his team lose. He drove like a demon and was rewarded with 23 trips to the line and he made 20 of them. This game in the end would come down to Curry and Bosh again. First when all hope looked lost..Curry would miss free throws to allow the Raptors to keep hope alive. Even with less than 3 seconds to go hope was not dead. Sonny Weems who did not enjoy the offensive success he had in the Sixers game, was able to save a ball and get it right into the hands of Bosh. Time was running down and Chris may have rushed the shot a little but it didn't fall and Bosh would hit the ground in pure agony. He played 41 minutes and averaged better that a point a minute what more can you do? Make that shot to make it 44 comes to mind. However this 113-112 loss is on the players around Bosh. Chris admitted in the post game that this loss given everything that goes into it will sting a little more than others.

Before I get to what Bosh said I want to say something. Chris Bosh regardless of what happens in Toronto with his free agency has earned my respect. I guess what sparks me to say this is Lebron James who after his team lost to Boston today. King James had decided to go watch the Yankees play against Red Sox to kick off the MLB season. Yeah, with his Yankees hat of course. Enough with the games already. The red shoes the Yankee hats and all. I am convinced the more James does this, the more he is likely NOT to become a Knick. Bosh has played no such games with his intentions. Leborn is going to be the MVP, He also has said he wants to win a title in Cleveland. The only people as mad as Knick fans next season when they don't land Lebron is the Cleveland Indians. They have the biggest star in their town cheering for the Yankees, is it just me or is something that seems wrong about that. Bosh made it to a Blue Jay game once and is likely the only close to 7 foot guy to throw out a first pitch. Bosh has handled the issue with class about 2010. Lebron has while not letting it impact him on the floor, off of it this all seems a big game to Lebron. Ironically the guy dropping the most hints about leaving is for me the least likely to move. O.K end of rant.

Back to Bosh and his thoughts on that miss to close the game...." Sonny made a fantastic play. Everything else just happened so fast, I really didn't have time to react. I just wanted to get a shot off. I guess I missed it. I didn't really get a good look at how it came off...it is a tough break"

Bosh was unclear on if Ronny Turiaf was able to get a piece of his shot. This Raptor team has lost a lot of close games and likely speaks to why they are battling for their playoff lives. Kobe Buzzer beater and Mello had one as well, those are 2 that jump out of my head at first thought. However, Bosh who I have always said is one of the more slick individuals when it comes to answering questions even admitted this one was especially painful. Bosh said the following " We have had some games where we have had some tough breaks. But this one stings a little bit. Given our situation and how we need every game. To have it come down to the wire like that. But that is what I love about the game. It is always different. But I am sure will get a chance next time".

Raptors are clearly running out of next times though, sitting only a game in front of the idle Bulls. Bosh has made it clear that he likes being the man and wants to be a franchise player in the past. Even Lebron James does not always come through as he failed to get the Cavs a win earlier in the day over Boston. The head that wears the crown for any team, be it King James or CB4 is a heavy burden. When you score 42 points and have the story be about the 2 that you never got at the end, that can be hard to deal with. Such is life when you are the guy that is tagged with the label of "Franchise Player".

Jarret Jack pointed out the fact that a few of the guys on this team including himself have never made the post season. Guys like him and Sonny and Demar. he said they were learning on the fly. When the tough sked that lies ahead for the next 3 games was mentioned, Jack said that this team had to take on everybody regardless and they are ready to put up a dog fight and are not afraid of anybody. He may not be, but it is safe to say based on this fan base's attitude, that most fear the Cavs and King James. That is what is up next and could be a playoff preview. However if the Raptors have any more disappointments, it may not be a preview of anything. Triano after the game just remarked on how the team shot the ball in a way that is out of character at rate below 40%. He didn't seem concerned about his team's effort or defense. I would suggest he should be about his defense. When you face a team that you know is going to shoot 3's and allow them to make 50% of them something is wrong.

Tonight reminded me of some games early in the season where Bosh played out of his mind, only to see the team around him crumble and not rally behind his great performance. Back then nights like that concerned me for Bosh's future here in Toronto. Now this late in the year, they give me cold sweats. I firmly believe this team to be successful needs Bosh to remain. Not just in the basketball sense but in the marketing sense. To have yet another star walk away and be forced into yet another re-construction is just not anything to look forward to with any really sense of hope. If this team does not at least make the post season the chances to keep Chris Bosh you have to figure go down to almost 0. Nights like tonight do not help matters.

Bosh in a lot of ways must feel like a man on an island. In part because he was not able to close the deal in this game. But also because his team around him did not exactly help him offensively and of course because of the decision that lies ahead for him. Chris Bosh if you ask him will tell you he focused on winning and getting this team to the post season. I have no doubt that is true. I also have no doubt that the thoughts I have just as an observer have entered his own mind as well. He would not be human if they hadn't. It can be lonely at the top and on a night like tonight, very lonely.

Raptors have till Tuesday to pick up the pieces before facing the near impossible task of beating the Cavs at home. Which as I touched on they will not be in a good mood after a loss to the Celtics. In addition likely want to sent a clear and direct message to a team that they very well could face in round 1. This game could be a true classic or an ugly beat down. In the end the Raptors will have a large say in which it is.


  1. Trailing by 16 at home to a team 30 games below .500? Blowing big lead in Philadelphia last time they played?

    And we are talking about playoffs... :)

  2. I'd say just have a fire sale this off-season. Keep Amir, DeMar, Sonny, and evaluate Dorsey in training camp. It's clear to me that this team has a horrible future if they stay together, a new direction would excite me more than this group of effortless players. As Stephen A Smith said about helping the Knicks in a similar situation a few seasons ago. "Anybody that could have been contaminated by the situation they were in, get rid of them"

  3. Anything Stephen A Smith has to say in general going in the opposite direction is always a good idea to me. The Knicks have never been close to the playoffs. As bad and as frustrating as the Raptors can be they are sure as hell not the Knicks.

    As for the other comment I hear ya I keep hearing Jim Mora and his playoffs rant in my head. Safe bet you will never see Jay Triano have a similar press conference.

  4. I don't know what to say anymore. Probably the most frustrating edition of the Raptors ball club in the past 5 years. Aside from CB4, consistency is nowhere to be found. They appear to have no sense of urgency at all, lack of desire to compete for 48 minutes is mind boggling. Now, when they need it the most (I am talking about all the games post All Star break) they seem to care the least. Just unbelievable.

  5. Oh James, forever the Bosh apologist.

    Make whatever excuse you want, but the Raptors have tried, more than once, to overall the entire roster around Chris to try to make things work. They even got the "traditional big man" (O'Neal), and it still didn't work. The one constant the past 7 years has been Chris. It should be obvious to everyone by now that he is not a winner. I can't see him ever leading a team past the first round of the playoffs. The only way I see him ever getting past the first round is if he hooks up with a Lebron or a Wade.

  6. first off I am not an apologist for Chris. I never liked the J.O move or the Hedo one for that matter. So yes they have tried to build around Chris but with the wrong pieces in my view.

    Raps were a Jose Calderon turnover away from going to 7 with the Nets and standing a good chance of winning. Did McGrady take the kind of abuse Bosh does in Toronto for his teams never advancing?

    All those that crave a Post Bosh Era will be the same ones that complain should he be gone and this team is not good. I am unconvinced the Raptors can be a good team with Bargnani as it's #1 player. If Bosh goes it will be a long process for this team to be good again. Calderon, Hedo and Turkoglu are all playing well below their contract values.

  7. I swear, if Bosh leaves for nothing, Bryan Colangelo better be out as well. Would you still say he did a great job if Bosh leaves? I would instantly hire Dennis Lindsey as his replacement.

  8. The raptors will not be good with Bargnani as the #1 option, he is the next Joe Smith, average player at best.

  9. I can almost bet my life Bosh is not going to walk for nothing. Chris if there is one thing we all should have learned by now is a very bright young man and is not a guy that just thinks about ball and that is all. He is also concerned with his life and career beyond that game. The entrepreneur in Chris Bosh would allow him to leave 30 million on the table.

  10. Chris has been classy player, played hard for the all these years, and should be remembered as the one of the top players who actually wanted to stay in TO.

    If he leaves, so be it. My only hope is that we can get some value in return. The bigger concern to me will be 1. Turkoglu, 2. Jose and (to some extent) 3. Andrea's contracts.

    That's some scary shit.

  11. Well he could still be traded for a bunch of scrubs like VC was though. Which is probably what is going to happen.

  12. close to 150 million of scary stuff. While I do not feel the Raptors can ever hope to get full value for Bosh. In other words an A talent for an A talent. I thinks it is both unfair and unrealistic to suggest or think B.C will make a deal anything close to the terrible deal Babcock made for Carter. Safe to say Bryan has had over a year to prepare for this eventuality should it happen. Unlike Babcock who felt pressured to move V.C by his actions and his checking out on the team.

  13. Yeah, I know that we'll never get full value for him. If we somehow manage to include Hedo in any deal that would be unreal. Jose and Andrea may have suitors, you never know. Especially Andrea.

    I read somewhere that Bulls would consider taking Bosh and Hedo :) and shipping out Noah, Deng and Hinrich. If that's true, that should be no brainer for us IMO. We could at least break even in this case.

  14. "first off I am not an apologist for Chris."

    How can you say you're not a Chris Bosh apologist? You never criticize him, even when he's playing terribly like he did for about 2-3 weeks after the all-star break. And you never put the blame for the Raptors failure on him. That is, by definition, an apologist.

    I'm pretty sure if the Raptors had won 50 games this season, you'd be praising him and giving him all kinds of credit. Yet with their failures, you don't put the blame on him. If you're going to give him credit when things go well, you have to give him blame when things go poorly. That's part of being a "franchise player". Instead you make excuses for him.

    "I never liked the J.O move or the Hedo one for that matter. So yes they have tried to build around Chris but with the wrong pieces in my view."

    I never liked either of those moves either. But it's not always the other players/coaches/GM that is to blame for the Raptors failures. The "franchise player" is largely to blame as well, just as he would deserve a lot of the credit if the Raptors had actually been successful the last 7 years. I'm not saying Bosh is solely to blame, but he is partly to blame. You don't seem to feel the same. You apologize for him instead of blaming him. Then you claim you're not an apologist.

    "Did McGrady take the kind of abuse Bosh does in Toronto for his teams never advancing?"

    I'm not sure what that has to do with Bosh. It sounds like you're saying McGrady didn't get the blame, so Bosh shouldn't either. Making apologies for the "franchise player".

    "All those that crave a Post Bosh Era will be the same ones that complain should he be gone and this team is not good. I am unconvinced the Raptors can be a good team with Bargnani as it's #1 player. If Bosh goes it will be a long process for this team to be good again. Calderon, Hedo and Turkoglu are all playing well below their contract values."

    I agree with all of that. And I never said I want Bosh gone. Having said that, as the franchise player, Bosh has to get much of the blame for the team's failures. This is three straight years that the Raptors have failed to meet most of our expectations. You can't go blaming Calderon, Hedo, Bargnani, Triano, Colangelo et al. without putting some of the blame on Bosh as well. Bosh recently had a string of mostly terrible games. If he plays better in those games, the Raptors win a couple more games, and they would be a lock to make the playoffs right now.

  15. When a guy scores 42 and you lose...I am thinking it is hard to blame that guy. That being said I have made mention of Bosh's turnover issues since returning from injury and in the past.

    If I don't blame him or find him responsible that does not mean I am an apologist. I just don't think he is root of the issues. I would personally write off the first 2 or 3 years of Bosh's career. He was not ready to be the Franchise Player and it was the Organization failure to deal with the whole exit of Vince Carter in a proper manner.

    I think Bosh has been a solid citizen for this franchise for 7 years and has earned my respect. More importantly he has earned respect from people around the league and his inclusion on team U.S speaks to where he sits in terms of the NBA Landscape in some respects.

    Bottom line hate on the guy all people want. Can anyone honestly suggest this team would have totally sucked with out him. Most nights he is miles ahead of any other player on this roster in terms of talent and effort over his time here.

    You can not blame him for bad choices made in Management. To which he has always publicly and I only assume privately endorsed. J.O was old and trading Ford was a mistake. clear both Ford and Calderon were better off with each other than without. Not to mention giving up Roy Hibbert for Nathan Jawai.

    Nothing in life is a 100>0 situation but in terms of Bosh I think he has done far more good than bad in terms of his part and his role on this team.

    If there is anything that I personally would like to have seen more of it is for him to have been a more vocal leader and challenge some of the people not bring effort to do it. Get in folks faces more.

  16. Even if Chris stays, can we say Colangelo did good job by resigning him? Colangelo had pretty good situation when he started his job in TO, but after that first year his moves have been disaster. Huge long term contracts to Hedo, Andrea and Jose are on the top of the list.

  17. To use a baseball terms with signings Conlangelo has hit a lot of singles and doubles. On his swings for the fences he has a lot of fly ball outs. Yes those 3 contracts and what happens with Bosh should define Bryan legacy with Toronto.