SAN ANTONIO -- As desperate as the Raptors appear from a defensive standpoint based on back-to-back humblings in the fine state of Texas, Chris Bosh isn't about to point the finger at the Raptors defensive scheme.
"Protecting the house," an area extending just beyond the paint, is the core principle of the Raptors defence and while it remains very much a work in progress, Bosh says the onus is on the players to make the system work, not the coaches to change the system to fit the players.
Head coach Jay Triano has made it clear that the scheme is here to stay. He says too often in the past the organization has had poor stretches such as the past two games in which it has given up 131 and 129 points respectively and then reacted by changing its basic approach.
That's not going to happen this year and Bosh, for one, is on board with that.
Bosh believes the Raptors defensive failures thus far have little to do with the system itself. It's the players' lack of execution that is to blame.
"We're talking about trying to be a good defensive team but we're not putting in consistent effort," Bosh said after he and his teammates were abused by a San Antonio team that was without it's top two offensive performers in Tim Duncan and Tony Parker.
"I'm not questioning the scheme," Bosh said. "We could talk about schemes all day -- he's supposed to be here and he's supposed to be there. It's just about getting the job done."
Bosh believes the talent assembled is fully capable of "protecting the house" and making the system work. His question is how much that assembled talent is committed to it.
"Anybody -- the greatest defensive coach ever -- could come in here but unless you execute it with some passion, it's probably not going to work," Bosh said.
"It's up to the players. All the coaches can do is put the system in and tell us to go do it. Eventually, we're going to have to become real savvy when we're on the court and get the job done, make quick decisions and stop teams. That's all it is."
Monday in San Antonio the biggest problem was rebounding which is not exactly news to anyone who has followed this team the past few years. But again it does go back to Bosh's lament and that is the Raptors as a group not wanting it bad enough. The 16 offensive boards the Spurs pulled down led to 32 second-chance points. Bosh didn't feel any Raptor got after it hard enough.
"If we hold them to one shot (Monday), there's no telling how that game turns out," he said.
Bosh back on ballot
Four Raptors appear on the ballot for the 2010 all-star game, released yesterday.
Chris Bosh is attempting to make his fifth all-star team, which would tie the Raptors career mark held by Vince Carter. Joining Bosh on the ballot are newcomer Hedo Turkoglu, point guard Jose Calderon and centre Andrea Bargnani. The three are looking for their first all-star appearance.
The game takes place at the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Tex., on Feb. 14.