Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell had some harsh words for his young star Chris Bosh yesterday.
When asked if he was pleased with Bosh's play of late, Mitchell replied: "Not at all. I hate everything he's doing. I'm just truly and highly disappointed in Chris right now."
When it dawned on the media that Mitchell was being sarcastic, the coach added: "If you're going to ask me that question after the guy's been going to the free throw line 14 times a game in the last 4-5 games and is scoring 20 plus points per night and getting over 10 rebounds, I'm going to give you that answer."
Bosh has played out of his mind, and has put up great numbers, despite being the main focus of attention by the opposition defence this year.
The 6-foot-11 power forward is averaging 22.1 points (12th in the NBA) and 10 rebounds per game (fifth). As impressive is the fact that he ranks fifth in the league in free throws, getting to the line 175 times in 21 games, meaning that he is playing aggressively and making teams take fouls. He is also shooting 83% from the free throw line, an added bonus.
Mitchell added that his frontcourt protege is becoming easier to coach all the time.
"Sometimes I'll just give him a little food for thought and then I'll just step aside and let him try to figure it out," Mitchell said, such as when he took Bosh aside after a mediocre first half in Toronto's 111-103 win over Charlotte on Saturday. "At half time, all I said to him was 'Chris, watching you in the first half, makes me think I can guard you.' "
Bosh went on to score 30 points, with 11 rebounds and went to the line 13 times.
AROUND THE RIm
Mitchell said he can understand why his former teammate Kevin Garnett would be reluctant to leave Minnesota, adding that the quality of life is there, especially the outdoor sports.
"The only thing I wouldn't do (when I was there) is ice fishing, for one reason," Mitchell said. "Every now and then somebody gets out on the wrong part of the ice and they fall in. I can't swim in the warm water, I'm not going to try in the cold."