Shot change paying off

Raptors' Chris Bosh is healthy for the first time this season. (SUN MEDIA/Craig Robertson)

Raptors' Chris Bosh is healthy for the first time this season. (SUN MEDIA/Craig Robertson)

FRANK ZICARELLI -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:01 AM ET

Chris Bosh is posting off-the-chart numbers for the month of January by posting up defenders.

When he isn't taking his man off the dribble and scoring around the basket, Bosh will pull up or simply face-up and knock down his silky-smooth jumper.

To hear the Raptors' marquee player tell it, his improved jump shot dates back to last season's training camp, when he took a shot by having assistant Jay Triano work on Bosh's mechanics.

In the most basic of basketball terms, Bosh is more conscious of his follow-through, extending his left wrist once the ball leaves Bosh's hands with his elbow positioned a little closer to his body.

Golfers who initiate swing changes often remark on the adjustment period required for the subtle and not-so-subtle alterations to bear fruit.

"A lot of repetition, a lot of practice," Bosh said yesterday. "(The change in mechanics) isn't really that big a deal, but just enough to affect the shot a little bit.

"And now it's going in."

For Bosh, the results have been remarkable.

He's also healthy for the first time this season and with the Washington Wizards, a team that goes small and which has absolutely no one capable of matching up with Bosh, up next in a back-to-back set beginning tonight in D.C., it wouldn't surprise anyone if Bosh eclipses his career-high of 42 points.

IN A GROOVE

"I'm feeling confident," Bosh said. "I'm feeling fast, I'm feeling quick. I feel like I have a real advantage over post players."

When the Raptors visited Washington on Dec. 1, Bosh was nursing a sore knee and watched in street clothes as his team lost 101-97. It was a night that saw the Wizards go 10-of-19 from beyond the three-point arc.

Upon reflection, Bosh now admits he played down the various ailments that slowed him down during the first half of the NBA schedule.

These days, nothing seems to be slowing down Bosh, who is playing at a level not seen before by the fifth-year power forward.

In the 11 games played this month, Bosh has made 60% of his shots to top all Eastern Conference players.

He's getting to foul line with regularity and converting 84% of his attempts.

When he and Jose Calderon are on the same page in their high screen and roll sequence, Bosh has been downright unstoppable.

A third successive trip to the all-star game seems a no-brainer, but typical of Bosh he's more concerned about the Raptors and the playoff-like backdrop of playing the Wizards.

"We can really benefit from this (two-game series) because we have to start getting used to playing the same teams,'' Bosh said.

The Raptors haven't played since Friday, when they won a 106-75 cakewalk over Milwaukee, while the Wizards lost 105-102 to the hometown Bucks on Sunday in overtime.

"If I see a mismatch, I'm going to really try to exploit that early in the game,'' Bosh said.

"Usually, if I'm aggressive and patient it'll benefit me and my teammates."

The formula has worked well during a stretch that has seen the Raptors win seven of their past nine games.


Videos

Photos