Bosh, Raps feelin' fine

Celtics' James Posey tries to block Raptors' Chris Bosh during overtime action in Toronto on...

Celtics' James Posey tries to block Raptors' Chris Bosh during overtime action in Toronto on Sunday. (SUN MEDIA/Dave Abel)

MIKE GANTER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:05 AM ET

Not even the first loss of the season could knock the bloom off of these Raptors.

The prevailing feeling at practice yesterday was that, yes, the Celtics walked away with an overtime win on Sunday, but the home team came away with plenty themselves.

High on that list of what was gained was the return, or near return, to the conditioning level at which Chris Bosh best operates.

While the Raptors franchise player admitted to being pretty gassed in the overtime period, the fact remains he played in excess of 44 minutes, was stronger in the second half than the first. And in the overtime when fatigue was setting in, he had enough left, despite playing with five fouls, to force Kevin Garnett into some very tough fade-away jumpers.

Bosh, whose extra time Sunday has moved him back into his familiar role as busiest Raptor with 32.3 minutes a game, believes he has turned the corner.

"Yeah, I think so," he said. "It hurts to get in shape and I think that contributed a lot to it. I'm pretty satisfied with everything. I just have to keep playing hard every possession because that's how you get in better shape, not trying to hold yourself back."

If Bosh isn't already all the way back, he likely will be by week's end after the Raptors play four games in five nights, their first big endurance test of the schedule.

Sam Mitchell was asked if the thought Bosh was all the way back based on his contributions on Sunday.

"I don't know at what point the light or the gas or whatever the hell kicks in and he is automatically in 100% shape," an annoyed Mitchell said. "All I can go by is what I see with my eyes or what he tells me and then I take him out of the game. (Sunday) was a tough game and I left him in there. He was doing a good job and he played through some fatigue.

" I felt like (Sunday) we needed our best player on the floor. It was a learning experience for Chris because Kevin (Garnett) scored some baskets, and I think Kevin would tell you those were some tough shots he had to make. I was proud of the way Chris challenged him and went at him and made KG make tough shots. You tip your hat to the guy and say 'I'll see you next time down the road.' "

Bosh, who is averaging 16.7 points a game and 6.3 boards, wasn't promising next time would be different, but he certainly hinted at it.

"I feel I'm getting in better shape with every game we have and when the opportunity comes to play an overtime game like that, I think I'll be better prepared," Bosh said.

Not even Bosh, who views losses much the way he looks at a trip to the dentist, could be too upset with the Celtics' overtime win.

"The one thing I'm proud of this team, is that no matter how bad we shot, we still gave ourselves a chance to win the game," he said. "That's how it's going to be some nights. You're not going to be rolling on offence every night but we found a way to stay in the game. I don't think we really did that last year at this point in the season."


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