Bosh sets sights high

Chris Bosh wants his team to peak at the right time. (QMI Agency/Jack Boland)

Chris Bosh wants his team to peak at the right time. (QMI Agency/Jack Boland)

FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:58 AM ET

In good times and bad, whether his shot is off or dropping, the one constant about Chris Bosh is that he has been a big-picture kind of guy.

As the Raptors bask in the warm glow of success, Bosh realizes there's plenty of work ahead as Toronto takes aim on the beasts that preside in the East.

To their credit, the Raptors have taken full advantage of a favourable stretch.

But it's the stench of losses to Cleveland, Orlando, Boston and Atlanta that has drawn Bosh's attention.

"They're better than us," Bosh said following Monday's practice on a day when the Raptors' franchise player was named Eastern Conference player of the week by the NBA. "It gives us something to work on and we need to work.

"We can definitely get better, but it's going to take hard work. It's going to mean that everybody has to bring effort. Everybody has to be on the same page and we have to play defence."

The Raptors are evolving.

Jarrett Jack has settled in as the team's incumbent at point guard.

Toronto's much-hyped depth has surfaced and even Hedo Turkoglu, until Sunday's mishap involving Mike Dunleavy's elbow, has stepped up.

Against Cleveland, Orlando, Atlanta and Boston, though, the Raptors have gone a combined 2-9 this season.

When the post-season begins in mid-April, one of the above will provide the opposition.

Toronto's two wins against the East's top-four seeds came against Cleveland and Orlando. In each case, the Raptors caught the Cavs and Magic playing the back end of a back-to-back set.

Bosh spoke Monday about wanting his team to peak at the right time, which is often in the days and weeks that lead into the post-season.

In early April, the Raptors have a stretch of three games where they'll play Cleveland, Boston and Atlanta.

Part of Toronto's problems when it comes to matching up is a function of being physical. In the case of the Hawks, Atlanta's athleticism has been lethal.

Bosh has appeared in two post-seasons, but has zero playoff series wins.

His third looms, but just how far the Raptors are capable of advancing will depend on how much improvement they are able to make in the next 21/2 months.

"I'm happy with where we are,'' Bosh said of a team that has gone 15-5 in its last 20 games heading into Tuesday's tip in Indiana. "We can always get better and reach another level."

No doubt GM Bryan Colangelo and his lieutenants are figuring out if the best course of action is to keep the team as it is and hope the internal competition leads to continued improvement, or whether a move is required to get the Raptors better positioned for a playoff run.

The NBA's trade deadline arrives on Feb. 18.

Reggie Evans will soon be available, or at least that's the hope.


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