Bosh clings to past glories

FRANK ZICARELLI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:23 AM ET

The Raptors may soon be history, but it is the team's recent history that provides Chris Bosh with some solace.

At this point, it is all Bosh can draw comfort from as the teetering team clings to the faintest of playoff hopes.

During his early days as a Raptor, Bosh would lean on Morris Peterson, a member of the 2001 team that overcame a 13-game losing streak to qualify for the playoffs by winning 12 of the season's final 14 games.

As daunting a task that faces Bosh and this year's group, there still is a chance.

With a five-game home stand starting tomorrow against the Charlotte Bobcats, each opportunity must be seized.

"Mo used to talk about it," Bosh said yesterday of the '01 team that made its push without star player Vince Carter, who, of course, was injured.

"I don't know if any of the guys on this team know about it, but teams have turned it around. Just look at Philly last season."

The Sixers hit their stride late in the year and pushed the playoff-tested Detroit Pistons to six games in the opening round.

There has been absolutely no evidence to suggest this year's Raptors are capable of producing a similar run. The team has yet to win more than three games in a row.

The Bobcats embarrassed the Raptors on Monday to the tune of 112-86, handing Toronto its eighth setback in its past nine outings.

With 14 games remaining, Bosh understands the urgency. It's just a question of whether the players can summon the necessary urgency during games.

"Our backs are against the wall,'' Bosh said in a mild understatement. "Sometimes it's the best medicine to get yourself going.

"You either kill or be killed."

Fatigue shouldn't be a factor as a season-long home stretch gets set to tip off.

"We've got to win every game we pretty much play,'' Bosh said.

"But it's easier said than done. We just have to give ourselves a chance."

The Raptors can begin to give themselves a chance by protecting the ball, by picking up their defensive intensity and by making shots.

But as Bosh said, it's easier said than done.

"Anything can happen,'' Shawn Marion said. "Anything is possible.

"You never want to jump ahead. That's why you take one game at a time.''

And that's why tomorrow night's tip is a must-win.


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