Bosh finds glee in Big D

FRANK ZICARELLI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:44 AM ET

With so many questions surrounding his future, last night's visit to Big D from the Raptors' Big Bosh Man featured multiple layers.

If the Raptors aren't able to flush out Chris Bosh's long-term intentions this summer, it's conceivable last night may have been his last game in Dallas as a Raptor.

That's how depressing Toronto's plight has become in a season of frustration and futility.

A cornerstone on a team that has yet to turn the corner, Bosh is reluctant to engage in the speculation.

Until an extension gets signed, which can only be negotiated this summer, the lingering cloud won't disappear.

As the Raptors play out the final 21 games of their season, the team is 23-38 after last night's 109-98 loss to the the Mavs, Bosh's future remains the most pressing issue, no matter if the interim tag is removed from head coach Jay Triano or if someone else is asked to guide the team.

As far as homecomings go, the all-star has arrived in Dallas under better circumstances.

At last count, Bosh figured about 160 family and friends were expected in attendance at American Airlines Center.

"It's something to anticipate,'' Bosh said of playing in front of family.

"My friends and family get really excited. I get calls just as soon as the schedule comes out. It's fun because I know a lot of people are going to be there, it's always home and I want to do well."

Last night marked Bosh's fifth game in his return from a knee sprain.

In Friday's 133-113 loss to the Phoenix Suns, Bosh picked up his fifth foul 15 seconds into the final quarter.

He ended the night by scoring 19 points on 7 of 14 shooting and 10 rebounds.

With so little going right for the Raptors, at least Bosh got to bask in the nostalgic theme associated with his visit to Dallas.

"I grew up with friends and family representing where you come from,'' Bosh said. "That's a part of my nature and to have that again is kind of nostalgic in the sense of where you came from.

"Playing basketball in little leagues and stuff, your family wearing No. 4 or whatever number you wore."

Perhaps last night's visit may jump-start Bosh.

Bosh carried his Olympic gold-medal momentum into the season by posting MVP numbers.

One coaching change and one major trade later, Bosh is looking to rekindle his game and inject life into a Raptors team whose playoff hopes are dwindling.

Whether there's enough time to salvage the season will soon be determined.

As long as they remain mathematically alive, the team's post-season hopes are a possibility.

The Raptors finish their three-game swing tomorrow in Houston against Yao Ming and the Rockets.

Then comes a stretch of home games that likely will determine the Raptors' fate.

A point taken

Rajon Rondo often can get overlooked on a team that features Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce.

But the more he plays and the more Rondo steps up in crunch time, it would be hard not to consider Rondo as an elite point guard.

Rondo has taken over games and outplayed the likes of Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Steve Nash.

"As Rondo goes, this team goes," Pierce said. "If he plays as well as he's playing, then there's no way we can lose."

When Boston unveiled its Big Three last season, not many were sold on Rondo's abilities.

Rondo was able to complement Boston's marquee core by playing solid defence.

This year, he has expanded his game by looking to score when primary options are taken away.

It is why the Celtics will be a tough out when the post-season begins in mid-April.

The East has become a three-team division pitting Boston, Cleveland and Orlando.

The Cavs have incorporated Mo Williams into their system, while the Magic is adjusting to life with Rafer Alston.

Rondo is the lone holdover.


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