GM to Bosh: Get your rest

Raptors GM Rob Babcock wants to see forward Chris Bosh peppy and happy at the end of the season,...

Raptors GM Rob Babcock wants to see forward Chris Bosh peppy and happy at the end of the season, not sleepy (as pictured). (Toronto Sun/Dave Thomas)

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:28 AM ET

If the Raptors have any chance of making the playoffs this season, they will need a healthy Chris Bosh for the stretch drive.

And that's precisely why general manager Rob Babcock recently sat the second-year forward down and cautioned him about this weekend's all-star weekend in Denver.

The Raptors play host to the young and revitalized Chicago Bulls tonight at the Air Canada Centre, and then most of the players will enjoy four days off before reconvening in New Jersey for a Feb.22 game against the Nets.

Bosh, however, has been selected to play in the rookies vs. sophomores challenge game on Friday. After that, he no doubt will partake in many of the other activities that go along with the weekend.

Babcock said he totally trusts his 20-year-old power forward not to go overboard with the parties, etc, although he was concerned enough to discuss the situation with him.

"I said when you go to these things, you have to make sure you get your rest, you can't get too caught up in going from one event to another, from this party to this party and completely wear yourself out," Babcock said yesterday. "The actual playing in the games there, that doesn't wear you out. What wears you out more than anything is all the media stuff that you have to do and the different events and the running all over the place.

"I get worn out, and I'm not even playing when I go to those things," added Babcock, who also will be in Denver talking to fellow GMs about trade possibilities. "They're hectic. You can never relax because there's activity everywhere, there's tension everywhere. And for a player, it's a whole lot more.

"I told him, during the down time, stay down. (But) I'll be down there keeping my eye on him," Babcock said with a chuckle.

Bosh was very fatigued and worn out by the time the regular season ended last year, and management does not want the same thing to occur this season.

Fortunately for the Raptors, the tall, lanky Bosh appreciates what he means to the team and does not plan to abuse that trust by going nuts this weekend.

"I'm going to have fun, but I'm going to make sure I get my rest," he said. "I think the team is more important than the weekend."

Veteran forward Donyell Marshall said that the players not going to Denver will return from the break ready to make a run at a playoff spot.

"We're still there. A team from our division is going to make it (perhaps with a record under .500). That's just the way the playoffs are structured," he said.

Each division winner automatically earns a playoff spot. The Raptors, who have 30 games remaining this season, are five games behind the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers, who share the Atlantic Division lead.

"We can still make a move here and I think our schedule favours us a little bit, especially in April," Marshall said.

The Raps have only four road games in April, none back-to-back.


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