Bosh needs to get calls

FRANK ZICARELLI -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:50 AM ET

In a star-driven league where its marquee players get preferential treatment, the Raptors are hoping Chris Bosh is afforded the same luxuries.

In the most basic of terms, it's known as getting the calls when an official blows his whistle.

Despite his status as a three-time all-star, Bosh hasn't always been given the benefit of a doubt on border-line fouls.

If you recall the Raptors' ill-fated playoff series against New Jersey last spring, Bosh picked up two quick fouls in Game 1, a sequence that put the Raptors on their heels en route to losing to the Nets in six games.

Dwight Howard is known as Superman following his dunking exploits at this year's all-star weekend and is considered the game's next-great superstar, but Bosh is no slouch.

Playoff basketball is about execution on every possession, but a call or a non-call can go a long way in determining the outcome when the Orlando Magic plays host to the first two games in the best-of-seven series against the Raptors.

Bosh and Howard are the two biggest names, the two players who will be asked to carry much of the burden and the two players whose play likely will decide the series winner.

What New Jersey did last year was disrupt Bosh on each touch, coming with double teams on the catch or on the dribble.

Bosh admits the Nets made him uncomfortable, a game plan Orlando is certain to employ.

"If I don't see a double team, it's a bit of a surprise,'' Bosh said as the Raptors close out the regular season tonight in Chicago.

More than anything, a playoff series is about making in-game adjustments and in- between-game alterations.

Bosh won't be asked to defend the more physical Howard in the paint, but Howard is all but certain of drawing the assignment to defend Bosh, whose face-up game has given Howard problems in the past.

The two are friends having met when Howard was in high school in Atlanta and Bosh a freshman at Georgia Tech. They were starters on this year's Eastern Conference all-star team in New Orleans.

"It's going to be a lot of fun,'' Bosh said of matching wits and elbows with Howard. "Dwight is a good friend of mine, but he's also one of the best competitors I (face)."

The key, Bosh concedes, is to get Howard into foul trouble.

"Sometimes I am a mismatch for him,'' Bosh said. "He has guarded me in the past and anytime that happens I try to use my quickness."

The Raptors went 1-2 against Orlando during the regular season.

Bosh scored 40 points in Toronto's lone win, a 127-110 triumph that came on the heels of the Magic playing lights-out basketball a night earlier in Detroit.

In scoring 40, Bosh went 14-of-16 from the field and converted all 11 of his attempts from the foul line.

"I know (Orlando) will have a big game plan for me,'' Bosh said. "I have to stay ahead of the game right now.

"I have to stay focused and be dominant."

As for tonight, Bosh is hoping to play about 20 minutes.

"Shoot the deuce and see you in Orlando,'' he said in a rare Charles Oakley-esque moment.


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