Of the many flaws that plagued this year’s Raptors, one was the team’s obvious deficiency at the defensive end.
There was a stretch where they played well on defence, but it came only when players were knocking down shots with regularity.
Antoine Wright had his moments of defending the perimeter, but he’s a free agent this summer and it’s highly doubtful he will return.
Andrea Bargnani developed into a better man-to-man defender, but it’s well documented on how poorly he adopted as a help-side defender.
Sonny Weems has the length and athleticism to defend three positions, but he’s a work in progress.
Offensively, the Raptors have enough pieces to score, but defence separates teams and it clearly was an issue that never was cleaned up.
Whether it’s schemes, coaching, personnel, personality, something must change this coming season for the Raptors to change their fortunes.
As the team continues its soul-searching, one would have to think that every option is being considered.
Certainly, getting a point guard to defend the first line of attack is imperative.
Equally imperative is figuring out a sign-and-trade scenario involving Bosh in the event the face of the franchise does what many are predicting, which is to say that’s he’s leaving.
Bosh is the one asset who could fetch a piece capable of either defending the perimeter or the paint.
Chris Bosh tweets about his off-season possibilities and appears at a Lakers playoff game. Just what is going on with CB4?
As for that appearance courtside at the Staples Centre on Tuesday night, as the Lakers and Jazz met in an NBA playoff game, Bosh tweeted: “Sitting here watching the games wishing I was playing. I wonder if that MVP trophy is heavy?”
Could it be any plainer? Bosh is a technologically savvy fellow whose gift for self-promotion and attention-grabbing on the web has been as deliberate and well-orchestrated as his rise in basketball. Short of offering to wax Bryant’s Bentley with a balled-up Raptors jersey, it looks like a dead giveaway.
Bosh is a guy who waited until he was in his mid-20s to get a tattoo and then did a film about it: First Ink. It was a sad thing to see, because getting a tattoo in the NBA isn’t an “edgy” thing to do: it’s simply a way to join the rest of the sheep and shows a complete lack of originality. It’s a bit like the guy who waits until he’s 50 to get his ear pierced, which for most of us would be a cry for help. Bosh is a guy who has routinely tweeted his social plans, so it stands to reason he’d change his Twitter location to “Everywhere” and get rid of any mention of himself as Toronto Raptors captain even though he is technically under contract to the team. Same with the website – which, as Chris Young of The Star points out, is down for maintenance.
The fact is that Bosh’s days with the Raptors were numbered when it all went south for the club and when voices from inside the organization started claiming that Bosh was the conduit for “outside influences” contributing to the teams downfall. Behind Bosh’s affinity for Twitter and playfulness is a guy who realizes that his shelf-life as a Raptor has expired. He isn’t upset about it. Nor is he worried about it. He’s going to have some fun with it and if you take it all that seriously? Frankly, it says more about you than it does about Bosh.
The Nike Air Max Hyperize has become the shoe of choice for many NBA players, and the pair shown here definitely help to prove our point. This particular version was created specially for Chris Bosh of the Toronto Raptors. The shoe utilizes the colors of the Toronto Raptors, including white, black, and red. His initials and jersey number appear on the tongue in red. We don’t know if these will release to the public, so until any news arises, sit back and enjoy the pictures.
If Calipari, 51, has any interest in returning to the NBA, there might never be a better opportunity. He has ties with Derrick Rose, who played for him at Memphis, and the Bulls have roughly $20 million to spend in free agency this summer.
Calipari always has been regarded as an excellent recruiter and would have to think his presence would improve the Bulls’ chances of landing a big-time free agent. Calipari is close with the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James and is represented by the same agency as the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade and the Toronto Raptors’ Chris Bosh.
If the Bulls are interested and can find a way to meet with Calipari secretly (and are willing to meet his salary requirements, which would be in the $4 million to $5 million range), there’s a chance Calipari could be the one — despite the fact he already has said he’s not interested.
It’s pretty evident from Bosh’s rather public requests for affection that he’s looking to greener pastures. The hype that’s progressively grown about Bosh as the best available free agent on the market has gone nuclear since Dwyane Wade’s public comments about him likely returning to Miami. And that hype may have gone to his head, as his behavior lately has seemingly been geared specifically to garner more attention.
To some degree the Twitter changes are normal. He’s technically no longer going to be a Raptor during his free agency, and therefore, not a captain, and besides, captains are decided yearly.
But it’s the cumulative nature of the acts that leads you to believe he’s having fun with the attention, and loving the power he wields this summer, especially if options 1A and 1B (LeBron James and Dwyane Wade) opt to stay home. But it would be nice if he were to recognize that there are people who have loved him since he came to Toronto that are dying watching him laugh at the burning ashes of his time with them.
* No-Defense Player of the Year: Hedo Turkoglu, Toronto. Welcome to the instigator of this year’s Eyeball Test theme.
This season, I watched three or four Toronto games, almost from beginning to end. And each time that I saw a heavy, lead-footed, non-rotating large man dressed in a Raptors jersey, I thought, “When did Swen Nater get traded to Toronto and why is he playing at age 60?”
Oh, wait, that wasn’t Nater.
That was Turkoglu, who used to be a decent defensive player. And yet each time I saw him this year–his first in Toronto–I thought he was decidedly slower and more disinterested even than Andrea Bargnani, and that is saying something.
Turkoglu’s periphals aren’t good–Toronto gave up 116.1 points per 100 possessions when he played, and 111.9 when he didnt–but Bargnani’s are worse.
Still Turkoglu, to my eyes, was the foundation and personification of the Raptors’ defensive listness this season. He waddled around out there, let dribblers through, didn’t contest, stopped dead when he met a screen, didn’t get back in transition… he was awful.
The Raps have been bad on D for a while. It’s just that I thought Toronto stopped trying about mid-season, and my eyeballs tell me that Turkoglu was at the heart of that.
Bosh is only 26-years of age coming into his prime while Nowitzki is about to turn 32-years-old. Bosh has already played seven years in the league and already has three seasons where he averaged a double double while Nowitzki has never had a season averaging a double double.
Although, Bosh may not be considered an above average defender he’s still better than Nowitzki is.
The Raptors may have missed the playoffs, but Bosh nearly got them there. Part of the reason was that Bosh didn’t get much help from his teammates Jose Calderon struggled, Hedo Turkoglu was a major disappointment for the Raptors especially after he spurned the Trail Blazers to come to Toronto, Jarrett Jack was a nice pickup for the team, and Andrea Bargnani showed flashes of why he was taken as the number one pick.
Doug Smith joins Landry and Stellick to talk about Chris Bosh’s Tweeting addiction, Hedo Turkoglu’s future in Toronto, and the NBA playoffs.