Over the last 13 games, the Raptors have gone 3-10, and their defense has been just as bad as it was back in November, allowing 114.8 points per 100 possessions. They've slipped back down to eighth place, and if it weren't for injuries to Chicago's Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose, they would probably be lottery bound right now.
A trip to Secaucus on May 18 may still be their destiny. The Raptors are currently 2 ½ games ahead of the Bulls for eighth, but both Noah and Rose made their returns for the Bulls on Saturday and Chicago's remaining schedule is slightly easier (they play the Nets twice more and have just five road games remaining) than Toronto's.
The Raptors' recent struggles will do nothing to quiet any speculation that Chris Bosh will want to leave Toronto this summer via free agency. The All-Star went on a post-game rant after last Saturday's 124-112 loss at Golden State, lamenting his team's inability to practice what they preach.
"For some reason, we just don't like to secure leads and win basketball games," Bosh said. "That's the only thing I can think of. We come out here, we talk about it. We have a billion meetings, but we can talk all we want. Unless we do something about it really doesn't matter."
Grit and toughness are certainly lacking in Toronto. A starting lineup of Jose Calderon, DeMar DeRozan, Hedo Turkoglu, Bosh and Andrea Bargnani just doesn't have the collective DNA to be a very good defensive team. And as Bosh weighs his options this summer, he might come to the realization that, as a finesse power forward, he's a better fit with a team that isn't so soft at the other four positions.
At this point, the Raptors have pretty much clinched the Worst Defensive Team in the League title for the 2009-10 season. The question is: Does that devalue Bosh in the free agent market? Can he be nearly on the same level as LeBron James and Dwyane Wade if he can't make an impact on both ends of the floor?