No negativity here

Chris Bosh says the team has to take some pride in not stinking out the joint or disgracing the...

Chris Bosh says the team has to take some pride in not stinking out the joint or disgracing the uniform. (Sun Media/Dave Thomas)

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:54 AM ET

Chris Bosh had the chance to toss some underwhelming Raptors under the bus yesterday.

But the captain refrained from giving them the verbal push. All he could do, with playoffs now just a pipe dream, was to set the ground rules he'd like them to follow for the final 18 games this season and hope something positive is the result. Despite 41 losses in 64 games, including five straight defeats, Bosh said the team has to take some pride in not stinking out the joint or disgracing the uniform.

"Just being in the games ... that's all I ask." Bosh said at the ACC as the Raptors dissected Sunday's late letdown in a 109-101 loss to Utah. "Just to have a chance is all you can ask for in this league -- and to pull it out at the end.

HEAD UP HIGH

"Things don't go your way sometimes, but as long as you keep going ... a real man will stand up, admit his faults and come back and work hard the next day. Every time I play, I give the best I can, 100%. I step on the court, I hold my head up, I can walk off like a man, no matter what happens.

"I want to see some wins. That's really it. We've talked about everything else. (Effort) is not converting into wins and that's all I want to see."

Bosh is scoring his share, back-to-back 30-point games and clinging to a spot in the NBA's top 10 with a 22.7 points per game average. He still is hustling, and in tandem with the 7-foot Andrea Bargnani, who is a 58% shooter from the field the past three games, is giving the team a toe-hold most nights.

But the supporting cast either can't or won't play a 48-minute game.

"You've got to ask them," Bosh said, when questioned whether the team is on the same page with his philosophy. "That's a good question. I think so. If you asked those guys, they would say the same thing."

Jay Triano, whom Bosh staunchly believes is doing everything in his power to get team traction, said that finding the missing ingredient with Bosh and Bargnani has become one of the most challenging parts of his rookie term as head coach.

Some nights it was Jermaine O'Neal, when he was healthy. Since the trade deadline, Shawn Marion has been effective most nights. The past couple of games, prodigal NBAer Pops Mensah-Bonsu has been a catalyst.

"When we win, it seems it's one more part added to that (Bosh and Bargnani) equation," Triano said. "But someone else has to step up and be a threat from the perimeter as well. Otherwise, they'll just keep collapsing (on the big two) as Utah did.

"I don't think (the Jazz) was really concerned about us on the perimeter late in the game. It started running two or three guys at Chris, making it difficult for him."

Triano was thankful the Raptors weren't hanging their heads yesterday as they trooped into the Bay St. gym, in fact, he called the closed practice one of the more spirited of the season.

"They came in here and to a man, were very determined to work it out. Sometimes you'd say you'd like to see us play with this intensity in games. They go at each other pretty good."


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