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Bosh has never had the chance he deserves

Mar 25, 2010, 11:54 AM EDT

If last night’s 26-point loss to the Jazz (and seventh loss in their last ten games) didn’t make it painfully obvious, I’ll spell it out for you: the Toronto Raptors are not a particularly good basketball team. They have some talent at the top of their roster, but are painfully thin at some positions and flat-out ineffective at others.

Which is a damn shame, because Chris Bosh is one of the best players in the game today. Bosh has evolved into one of the most efficient and effective scorers in the league over the course of his career, carrying the offensive load for a depressing team in a very impressive way. This isn’t a Shareef Abdur-Rahim rouse that Bosh has pulled over our eyes; he’s very much the real deal, and is good enough offensively to be the centerpiece on offense…provided he can get some real help.

Bosh’s situation led Zach Harper, moonlighting at Raptor’s Republic, to invoke a very serious comparison for Bosh’s career arc: Kevin Garnett. Chris Bosh is Kevin Garnett…except, y’know, without the barking.

That’s certainly an interesting way to frame the Raptors’ 2010 plans. Bosh will have a pretty unique opportunity to know where he stands with this team, and that may no be a good thing for Toronto. As strong as the bond is between Bosh and the city or Bosh and the fans or even Bosh and the management or coaching staff, it all may not be enough to deter him from giving up on the neo-Troy Hudsons and neo-Wally Szczerbiaks that the Raps seem to be cultivating.

Andrea Bargnani could be a notable exception, and he has a lot of natural talent. But whether he’ll actually realize his potential is anyone’s guess, and in the meantime he’s still an odd frontcourt pairing with Bosh. Both of these guys should be playing power forward for an NBA team, but the circumstances with the Raptors have made things far too difficult for that.

Between Bargnani, Hedo Turkoglu, and Jose Calderon, the Raptors have a lot of salary locked up over the next 3-4 seasons. Only one of those players could possibly be dealt for market value. So at some point, doesn’t Chris have to ask himself if he wants to resign himself to five or six more years of the same? Early playoff exits and enduring Turkoglu’s fall from grace? A mismatched roster that seems a bit hard to shake up?

Of course he does. And while it wouldn’t seem quite right to see Bosh jet out of Toronto, to see him do so five years younger than when Garnett was able to jet out of Minnesota would be well worth it. Bosh deserves better, and if better can’t come to him in Toronto, then he should probably try to find it elsewhere.

  1. Fattie Acid - Mar 25, 2010 at 12:03 PM

    *sigh* i have to sadly say that you are right, bosh does deserve better and i wouldn’t blame him if he wants to leave. it is just like the Halladay story. he is one of the greatest pitchers in MLB and he was on Blue Jays, who, like the Raptors, can never reach the potential to even get to the playoffs….sad to say but whats true is whats true..

  2. Tony - Mar 25, 2010 at 2:42 PM

    He will look great in Miami alongside D Wade!

  3. Howard - Mar 25, 2010 at 3:52 PM

    He would fit in nicely in Sac with Tyreke Evans.

  4. SteventheG - Mar 25, 2010 at 6:07 PM

    The truth that you don’t see if you’re not watching the Toronto Raptors on a daily basis is that before the All Star break, they were not playing anything like the sad-sack team you make them out to be. Check their record before the break game-by-game and the momentum they had was obvious. Since the break? Pretty much a different team. Something changed dramatically … and it sure looks like it happened while Chris Bosh was in Dallas for the All Star game. Since then, he gets his stats, but there’s no fire … and the team knows is … and so does everybody else who follows them. Right from after the break, it looked like he had decided that he was leaving … and up until then, Raptors fans were quite convinced he was going to stay. Maybe LeBron got into his head … or maybe it was D Wade. But somebody or something did. ‘Cause before and after the break has been like day and night … and Chris Bosh is the biggest difference. By far.

  5. Joey - Mar 25, 2010 at 7:49 PM

    Bosh an elite scorer? Carrying the Raps? I got news for ya, he is a good scorer when he hsa to be but he is not anything remotely above “good”. When you factor in free throw shooting at his position, above average defense, reasonable rebound rate and his ability to play well as a part of the offense he is very effective. He is not, nor will he ever be a number one option. He is abit better then Amare but these 2 guys are the same player. Not worth max money. Bosh recently said he is not a 30-40 point a game scorer. He’s not that type of player. Well, atleast he knows it.
    The best I have ever seen Bosh play is on the 08 olympic team. He knew his role and he knew he didn’t have to be the man on that team. He was able to focus on everything but scoring without having to worry about “carrying” the team.
    The raps achilies is they have no one who can get to the hole. They have redundant parts. Why teams continue to pay for potential is beyond me. Why teams try and make players into something they are not is also just nuts. Bargs is like a Gallinari… on a good day.
    I wonder how Colangelo has built up such a solid rep over the years as a GM. He gave Turk that monstrous contract, overpaid Calderon and overpaid Bargs. The only contract that was remotely sensible has been the one given to Jack. Now i know its hard to get players who want to play in canada but over paying these players was clearly a mistake. Why not overpay Bosh too?
    The best thing the Raps could do is unload Bosh to NY and get Lee back in a sign and trade for under 10mil per. The raps also need to dump Bargs and Calderon. I don’t know why people keep clinging to this unrealistic hope that Bargs will be anything better then the player he is today. He is remarkably average across the board.
    Derozan was a wasted pick. He is another Beasley. I dont think he will ever get his head right to play his position. Best Case scenario is DeRozan turns into another antoine wright or sonny weems.
    This entire team is sad.

  6. Nick - Mar 26, 2010 at 10:01 AM

    You got it all wrong. The Raptors need more Derozans – they need more athletic players who can take the ball to the hole and can also play a bit of defense and actually show (and practice) some intensity once in awhile.
    The Raptors currently have too many slow, bad defenders who like jumpshots (see bargnani, turkoglu, calderon, belinelli, etc.). Theres nothing wrong with a turkoglu, but u shouldnt have more than 1 of them in your starting lineup, let alone 3!.
    The Raptors next draft pick should be focused completely on defense. If its a guard, get a tough defender who can drive. If its a forward or centre, make it a tall, rebounding machine who can also get 2-3 blocks/game.
    Just stop with the fascination of outside shooting.
    Theres no question the Raptors can score – they are one of the highest scoring teams in the league. They just have no ability to stop the opponent from scoring in the key moments of the game (or any other time).

  7. michael - Mar 26, 2010 at 4:20 PM

    nick – agreed 100%

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