NEW YORK -- Chris Bosh has not set his sights on the all-star game just yet.
"Day off first, then the game," the Raptors star said after his team wrapped up the pre-all-star break portion of the schedule with a 98-96 loss against the New York Knicks on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.
Fatigue is becoming a factor for many Raptors (20-33) and that is understandable. Bosh, heading to Houston to represent the Raptors in the mid-season classic on Sunday, is a big minuteman, averaging 38.8 per game. Morris Peterson, the only real shooting guard on the roster, battled leg cramps all day Wednesday and is averaging 35.5 minutes.
And rookies Charlie Villanueva, Joey Graham and Jose Calderon, who are used to playing no more than 40 games per season, already have played 53. Villanueva will represent the Raps in the rookie-sophomore game tonight.
"I'm more excited to get the day off a little bit," Villanueva said. "I haven't seen a day off in a long time. That feels good right there."
In truth, Villanueva and the rest of the Raptors had a day off Tuesday, but the New Yorker can be forgiven for his memory lapse. Even a veteran who has been around for awhile, Peterson, feels the Raptors need some time away from each other.
"I do think I need a couple days to relax," Peterson said. "I'm going to all-star (weekend) with my father and (he will) have a good time."
Also going to Houston are Calderon (to do commentary for a Spanish TV network) and forward Matt Bonner for players' association meetings.
It's a big weekend for Bosh and Villanueva, one they'll probably remember for the rest of their lives. For Villanueva, it's his first taste of the circus that is all-star weekend. For Bosh, it's his first chance to play in the actual all-star game after suiting up for the rookie-sophomore challenge in his first two seasons in the league.
"I know it's going to be a busy weekend," Bosh said. "I just have to make sure I get some kind of conditioning in and just have a good time, enjoy the family, enjoy the weekend. It's a little different this time around. This is the game. I'm really excited about it. I can't wait to be a part of it."
Villanueva, third in the league in rookie scoring, will be part of an underdog rookie team which has lost four of six encounters against their sophomore counterparts in previous all-star weekends.
"Without a doubt," Villanueva said when asked if the freshmen have a chance this time around.
The Raptors will reunite Monday night in Memphis for a practice before facing the Grizzlies on Tuesday.