Stressful times for Raps

Chris Bosh has shown frustration with the recent play of the Raptors. (Toronto Sun File/Craig...

Chris Bosh has shown frustration with the recent play of the Raptors. (Toronto Sun File/Craig Robertson)

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:08 AM ET

SAN FRANCISCO -- It was a perfect time and location for a day off, a much-needed break from the rising stress associated with Raptors basketball.

In the wake of a 110-99 loss against the Golden State Warriors Tuesday night, dropping the team's record to 0-2 on its five-game West Coast swing, Raptors coach Sam Mitchell gave his players their first free day of the season (no practice or game) yesterday in San Francisco. They had a sunny morning to explore the gorgeous oceanside city before boarding a plane to Los Angeles, where the Raptors will practise today in advance of a game against Mr. 81 Kobe Bryant the Lakers tomorrow night.

"Always forget about the losses," said Raptors star Chris Bosh, the only player on the team exceeding expectations. "We'll watch film plenty the next day (today). We'll have a hard workout. We're just going to get away from basketball for a short second and get right back to basketball."

Getting away for a day can't hurt what is becoming an increasingly frustrated team. The most vivid picture, from a Raptors perspective, of the loss against Golden State was Bosh getting in the face of rookie forward Andrea Bargnani and loudly scolding the Italian after he was beaten out badly for a bunch of attainable rebounds.

It was just a heat of the moment thing," Bosh said. "It's over, I'm done with it."

It was a sign of just how Bosh is feeling and really, who could blame him? The NBA's rebounding leader also is the team's scoring leader and his 23-point, 22-rebound evening was a sight to behold. But Bosh has defenders all over him in down low because his teammates keep missing shots.

The Raptors followed up a 41.7% shooting night in a loss against the Sacramento Kings Sunday with a weak 40% effort against the Warriors. In the latter game, the Raptors were a woeful 6-for-23 from the field in the fourth quarter.

"My teammates just have to be ready to make plays, because I'm going to do the unselfish thing," Bosh said. "If I draw a double-team I'm going to make the right play. They just have to knock those shots down. Until we do that consistently, I'm going to continue to get doubled."

MISSING

Mitchell has been saying all season the team just keeps missing open looks. The problem is perhaps there is no one on this roster who can consistently make them. Last season, Mike James and Morris Peterson were the team's best perimeter shooters. James is now using his shot-happy style with the Minnesota Timberwolves, while Peterson appears to be a shadow of his former self, having been relegated to the second unit in favour of Fred Jones. Newcomers Jones, Jorge Garbajosa and Anthony Parker have not proven they are go-to shooters in crunch time. Combine the shooting woes with the regular defensive gaffes and you have a recipe for disaster.

"You worry every time you lose a basketball game," Mitchell said. "The disheartening thing is we're getting open looks. You have to step up and make shots."


Videos

Photos