Raptors loving Bosh's progress

DEAN McNULTY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:20 AM ET

Raptors coach Sam Mitchell had his defensive game in gear yesterday trying to deflect the growing pressure to make 20-year-old Chris Bosh the centre of attention on this year's team.

Since the departure of Vince Carter to the New Jersey Nets, fan and media attention has focused on Bosh's slight frame.

And back-to-back 20-point-plus games against the Orlando Magic and the Sacramento Kings by the sophomore power forward have added to the hope that he will take this Raptors squad to the next level.

But Mitchell is adamant that Bosh is still a work in progress.

"I don't consider (Bosh's progress) to be the result of Vince leaving," Mitchell said. "It has nothing to do with Vince being here or not being here. I'm just trying to get him to play consistently."

The coach said that the youngster is being treated the same as every other player on the Raptors

"We know he has the talent to play at a high level,"Mitchell said. "But it's the same for all our guys."

When asked what it would take for Bosh to assume the mantle of team leader, Mitchell said it's a learning process

"It means a lot of extra work for him," he said. "There's nothing we can tell him that's going to make him play better. He just has to put in the time on the court."

Mitchell would not be drawn in to comparing Bosh to a young Kevin Garnett, whom the coach tutored in Minnesota.

"I have never thought about it,"Mitchell said. "I have too many things going on in my day to think back 10 years.

"The only similarity is that they are both willing to come to the gym and work hard."

For his part, Bosh says he has a way to go before he can assume the saviour's role for Toronto basketball.

"I am just growing into the game," Bosh said. "I am getting a little bit more experience, learning as I go along.

"I really don't see it (that the Raptors are becoming his team) just yet. I still have to learn how to be a big part of the team."


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