Bosh keeps the faith

MIKE GANTER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:35 AM ET

SAN ANTONIO -- In the wake of another Raptors loss, Chris Bosh tried desperately to sound hopeful.

Having just watched his team play a fundamentally sound defensive game, and get exactly what they were looking for on offence -- according to head coach Jay Triano -- and still lose by 10 points, Bosh couldn't muster it.

What he did come off sounding was resigned to the fact that the Raptors are going to have more nights like Saturday, when they lost 107-97 to the San Antonio Spurs, before things turn.

Time, though, isn't something the Raps have a lot of right now. Already seven games under .500, this five-game losing skid is threatening to end any playoff hopes prematurely.

At his most optimistic, Bosh suggested on Saturday that the Raptors at least had put forth the effort which not he nor anyone else in the team's employ could say a night earlier after that season low-point loss in Oklahoma City.

"Of course you want to stay positive but results are results," Bosh said. "I'd rather win. But at the same time you gotta believe better days are coming."

The skeptic here would suggest the better days Bosh was talking about were post-2010, when he can find a new address, but Bosh is not nearly that cynical.

He truly wants to win here, but the circumstances he finds himself in just aren't conducive to winning.

Jose Calderon, who spent much of Friday evening battling a stomach disorder that was threatening to take control of some of his bodily functions, has been hanging on to the hope that a win will get the Raptors back on course.

Problem is the Raps got a pair of wins earlier this month and then came right back and have since lost their past five.

A win -- any win -- would boost confidence in the locker room which is sorely flagging right now, but it is by no means a long-term prescription for more of the same.

So where does that leave the Raptors?

What is the hope?

According to Calderon, the hope is that if they just stick together and stay with the program, they can get back to being a team that goes into every game with at least a chance to win, which right now is not the case.

"It's early in the season still," he said. "We cannot get frustrated. I know it's hard. It's hard on everyone in the locker room but we have to stay together, keep trying to work and try to win some games."

Calderon was asked if perhaps the on-court performance was being affected by a disjointed locker room, which often is the case when teams are struggling.

"Everything right now is great in the locker room and it has to stay that way because it's the only way we are going to get through this," he said.

CALDERON BELIEVES

Similarly, Calderon would not listen to even the slightest hint that maybe, just maybe, the roster, as is, just isn't good enough.

"We have a good team," he said. "I believe in this team. We just have to go out there and show we can play basketball, enjoy playing basketball and be a little bit more (focused)," Calderon said.

Perhaps it's their respective natures, but Calderon didn't have the same problem Bosh did trying to sound hopeful.

For Bosh, the bottom line is the bottom line and right now the Raps' bottom line is five consecutive losses.

Even his most hopeful statement of the other night -- "It's just a feeling we have. We're very close" -- came off sounding vague.

And right now, vague pretty much sums up the Raptors' chances on a nightly basis. No one knows for sure how long it's going to take these Raptors to get comfortable with their new offensive and defensive principles, but it had better happen soon or they're going to find themselves buried and out of playoff contention before we even get to 2009.


Videos

Photos