Asked yesterday about the possibility of Phoenix Suns all-star Amare Stoudemire jumping over to the Eastern Conference in a deal, Bosh was well aware of all the likely destinations and what it would mean from a Raptors standpoint.
"I think it will be interesting," Bosh said before rhyming off the potential landing spots for Stoudemire.
"We play Cleveland twice. We play Miami once. I think those are the teams that are being mentioned most. There’s Philly and we play them twice."
Bosh reiterated his previous statement that the Raptors don’t need to do much of anything. As for a conference rival bulking up? Bosh believes standing pat is in the Raptors’ best interests.
"You can’t make moves just because of what another team does," he said. "I think Dallas succumbed to that when they traded for (Jason) Kidd (two years ago) and then the Hornets got the best of them in that series. You have to believe in your team and believe in yourself. If you are making a move regardless of what happens, then that’s different. But you should be proactive, not reactive."
The Grizzlies entered Tuesday’s home tip against Phoenix as the surprise story in the NBA, despite losing four in a row and six of their last seven. The team’s starting five of Marc Gasol, Randolph, Rudy Gay, O.J. Mayo and Mike Conley can match up against any team. The bench, though, is suspect. Given its youth, it’s not surprising that Memphis has only gone 8-17 on the road. But the Grizzlies can score, averaging 102.5 points a night, and at 26-25 they would be the sixth seed in the East if the playoffs were to start now. Teams like to slow down the Grizzles and Toronto catches a break because of the back-to-back scenario.
Colangelo is trying to be as proactive as he can as the deadline approaches, but only within reason. While league sources say he’s working as diligently as ever tying to see if there’s a move to be made, he categorized talks now as quiet.
"It’s been really quiet because people know we like what we have right now, they know that the conversation with Chris (Bosh) is a non-issue and the other moving parts, if you will, are pieces that are all contributing and part of a growth pattern for this team right now and this organization," he says.
"If there’s something to move us forward significantly, fine; we’ll certainly look at that. But if it’s something that we would perceive as a lateral move, it doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense."
“Things tighten up now after the all-star break, teams start to really focus in,” Raptors head coach Jay Triano said after practice yesterday. “There’s no surprises on what teams are going to do. It’s a matter of execution, it’s a matter of getting stops.”
Triano’s primary hope is that the Raptors continue the roll they’ve been on for more than two months, winning 22 of their last 32 games to make up for a tepid 7-13 start.
“I’d like to just see us continue playing the way we were before the break,” said Triano, whose Raptors have not played since last Wednesday. “We had a nice little run going and, hopefully, we get back, we’re a little bit rested and take care of our bodies and finish off the final 30.”
just because you strive for success does not mean you attain it. And this is where Chris Bosh comes in. The Raptors star has played in just two playoff series in his seven years, despite being a five-time all-star. Personal success, in his case, has not resulted in team success.
Right about now, however, is not the time to pity Bosh. In fact, not having success come easily has its upside.
"I don’t take it for granted. I don’t take this situation for granted because I remember that feeling, how much I missed it," Bosh said Tuesday as his team prepared for Wednesday’s game against Memphis. "Sitting home early in May, I was bored. I didn’t have anything to do when the season was over. Just watching the playoffs, it’s the best season in basketball. That’s what we play 82 games for. Yeah, I missed it last year, I remember that feeling, so this year just make sure I seize the opportunity and seize the moment and make sure I work as hard as possible."
There are 30 games before the post-season, and Bosh is certainly not looking past them. However, there is a reason Bosh is reveling in the Raptors’ relative salad days. He is not altogether familiar with it.
Chris Bosh, just back from another all-star weekend where he has established himself as a regular and a member of the NBA’s core elite, says the onus is on the players to take advantage when the schedule appears to be in their favour.
“At least we had a practice and a half,” Bosh said referring to Tuesday’s full practice and the brief get-together the team had Monday night following the break.
“Usually you only get that half and then you have to play,” Bosh said. “Our schedule was tough at first but now it’s more accommodating. We just have to take advantage of it. We have an extra day of rest and we have to make sure we come out (Wednesday) with that energy.”
The Toronto Raptors went into the All-Star break feeling good about the way they’ve been playing. The Memphis Grizzlies had the opposite state of mind, and their first performance after a week off didn’t provide any sort of relief.
The Raptors look to match a single-season franchise record with a ninth consecutive home victory Wednesday night with a visit from the reeling Grizzlies, whose playoff chances are fading after five straight losses.
Toronto (29-23) was six games below .500 and out of the Eastern Conference playoff picture in mid-December, but since Dec. 18 its 18-6 record is the second-best in the NBA.
The Raptors were especially hot heading into the All-Star break, winning eight of nine with Chris Bosh leading the way as usual. The five-time All-Star has averaged 27.0 points and 12.7 rebounds in Toronto’s last 10 games, and he had 23 and 12 in a 104-93 win over Philadelphia last Wednesday.
Toronto has a three-game lead for the East’s fifth seed and is within 4 1/2 games of Atlantic Division-leading Boston.
"After you come back from the All-Star game, it’s business," said Bosh, who had 23 points and 10 boards off the bench in Sunday’s game in Dallas, his hometown. "We only have (30) games left. It’s good to be rolling and have some kind of momentum and confidence going into the last part of the season because that’s when the picture starts looking a little bit clearer for the playoffs. We’re trying to get home court."
Toronto. The Raptors already go 10 deep, and they believe they’ve smoothed out some of the defensive problems that plagued the team early this year. They’re comfortably over .500 trying to crack into the top four in the East and hoping they can persuade Chris Bosh to stay this offseason. While most trade buzz has centered around expiring contracts, the Raptors have (after Bosh, of course) only one expiring deal worth more than $3 million—that of Amir Johnson.
"We’ve had some injuries and we’ve had some ups and downs," Bosh said. "But I think the team we put on the floor is good enough to be one of the better teams in the East as it is."
While we know him here in Southern California, and watched him do some incredible things on the court while wearing the Cardinal and Gold, Demar Derozan was wearing raptors Purple, and outside of the aforementioned Vince “Air Canada” Carter, even Chris Bosh has had a hard time getting us to care about anything that team has going on unless, of course, it’s Bosh being traded to the Lakers because Phil Jackson “likes his game”. Quick, in which province is Toronto located? Not trying to make you feel stupid, simply pointing out these days we have little use for all things Canadian. Sadly just ask the NHL or Pam Anderson.
For the first time since the NBA came to Canada, Ontarians are about to be able bet on the league on Pro-Line.
For those of you who don’t know what proline is. it is canada’s government regulated sports lottery.
A Toronto Raptors executive said Tuesday morning that the league’s games will be available on the province’s parlay wagering service (Point Spread).
“It’s not done yet but it will probably be done for next year, maybe this year’s playoffs,” Tom Anselmi, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment’s vice-president and chief operating officer, said.
The NBA insisted that the league’s games be taken off the ticket upon the Raptors coming into existence in 1995. It was not a stumbling block for the Raptors, but a brief point of contention.
Thus my first move would be trading Turkoglu for Trevor Ariza. Though Turkoglu is more talented offensively, the Raptors need defense. Ariza also brings a more experienced slasher and a solid three point shooter. Though some may say his percentages are not good this season, this is because he plays on a Houston team with little star power which results him doing more than he can. On the Lakers he played a perfect role, spot-up threes, energy man, defense. All things the Raptors need. On top of those positives he is also younger than Turkoglu, showing Bosh a brighter future. And lets be honest, Turkoglu hasn’t really produced this season.
So now many would say, what about the things we needed and somewhat got from Turkoglu. Offense, clutch play, a wing ball-handler, playoff experience. This is where the free-agency comes in. By trading for Ariza the Raptors would save money as Turkoglu was paid more, and with a few other Raptors coming off the books at the end of the season, the Raps will have the option to not only resign Bosh, but add another name. The name that will fill all those needs named above, and replace Turkoglu- Manu Ginobili!
American guard Quincy Douby, currently playing in Turkey for Darufassaka, is the first choice for Unicaja to replace suspended Juan Dixon. Douby is the league-leading scorer in TBL, while his team is in the last place of the Turkish competition. 25-year-old player arrives to Turkey in November, after being waived by Toronto Raptors.
Got some tidbits about what they are going to do for the playoffs from sales rep. Should be exciting.
Would you trade your depth away?
I am not starting a rumor here, just a hypothesis.
If you are Bryan Colangelo and a team (let’s say Philly) offers you Andre Igoudala, but you have to give up DeRozan, Amir Johnson, Antonie Wright and probably another piece to match the salary. Would you do it?
I ask the question to a couple of friends, and a lot of them seems very reluctant to trade away the depth which has been so good for us, and probably the biggest reason why we are winning right now.
Thus, to bring it back to Barkley … he’s somewhat right … in a round about way. His employers – TNT – don’t appreciate Bosh enough. They underrate his talent and lure. Ditto for the Raptors as a whole. And ditto for other major U.S. networks like ESPN and big-time publications and websites like ESPN.com/ESPN The Magazine, SI.com/Sports Illustrated, etc.
Let’s be honest … the last few seasons haven’t been glorious for Toronto — two first-round playoff exits and then last year’s post-season no-show. So TNT and ESPN, et al can’t be skewered too harshly for turning a blind eye to the Raps. However, ignoring Bosh is a different story. He has been the constant. To let him fly under the radar and not respect his game is akin to simply not doing your job. CB4 is one of the top big men in the league – arguably a top 3 power forward – and he’s a 5-time All Star. He has nearly 40 double-doubles this year and he was one of the best players on the USA’s gold-medal-winning team at the Beijing Olympics. Plus, he has helped Toronto to the second best record in the LEAGUE since early December; vaulting into the Top 5 overall in the East.
If he’s still “underrated” after compiling those credentials, then folks south of the border simply aren’t doing their homework. In today’s day and age of satellite/digital TV and every kind of access available ONLINE with the click of a mouse, there’s no reason to not know or value one of the best players in the NBA – whether he’s on TNT’s Thursday night sked (or EPSN’s Monday or Friday night games) or not.
This next week it’s important that the Raptors try to win every game, because as easy as their schedule has been recently, March’s schedule makes Novembers look like a cakewalk. They have 9 away games (as opposed to 10 in November) and FOUR back to back games (including every second game of the back to backs on the road). On the plus side, 10 of the 16 games are against teams that are below the Raptors in the standings. Still, the Raptors are going to have to learn how to win on the road next month, or they might very well see themselves drop below Miami, Chicago and Charlotte.