Raps lose Bosh, game

Raptors forward Chris Bosh lays on the court after being hit in the face by Cavaliers forward...

Raptors forward Chris Bosh lays on the court after being hit in the face by Cavaliers forward Antawn Jamison during Tuesday night’s game. Bosh was taken to a nearby hospital. (Aaron Josefczyk/REUTERS)

FRANK ZICARELI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:40 PM ET

CLEVELAND — An inadvertent elbow to Chris Bosh’s face has suddenly pushed the Raptors’ playoff push on to the backburner.

Suddenly, the future of Bosh becomes more important than whether the Raptors can hold off the Chicago Bulls for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.

The face of the Raptors who has faced criticism and been forced to shoulder a lot, Bosh took an accidental elbow barely three minutes into Tuesday’s tip against the host Cavs when Antawn Jamison struck Bosh.

There was no malice, no intent, Jamison was merely cutting across the lane when he hit Bosh, who was bleeding profusely and who was in obvious discomfort.

According to the Raptors, Cavs physician Dr. Richard Parker did an on-site exam in the visitor’s locker room before Bosh was whisked to the Cleveland Clinic for a CAT scan.

The Raptors believe most of the trauma was to the right side of Bosh’s nose and face.

It wasn’t immediately known when Bosh will be back. He certainly wasn’t able to return Tuesday night and his status for Wednesday’s game is up in the air.

The Raptors have five games left in a regular season that is coming apart at the seams.

Depending on the extent of Bosh’s injury, perhaps Tuesday represented his final appearance as a Raptor.

Without Bosh, the Raptors are toast and they were toast in losing 113-101 to Cleveland.

Bosh is a free agent this summer.

On the surface, the only reason why Bosh would want to stay in Toronto is strictly financial.

He stands to collect $30 more if he decides to re-sign rather than completely turn his back on the only pro team Bosh has known.

A sign and trade is also a possibility, which will ensure max money for Bosh and at least will fetch the Raptors some pieces.

Then again, if the Raptors aren’t interested in the players involve, they may just let Bosh walk away for nothing.

All this is speculative, of course, but there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that Bosh won’t be back.

An update on his current health is expected on Wednesday.

When Bosh missed six games after the all-star break with an ankle sprain, the Raptors looked lost and were able to beat stiffs such as Washington and New Jersey.

There was some fight against the Cavs, who have nothing to play for, but the Raptors aren’t as good without Bosh.

Even with him, the Raptors haven’t good of late.

If the Raptors are somehow able to eke past Chicago, Tuesday was a preview of the opening round.

Based on how LeBron James was able to carve the Raptors, Toronto has no chance.

James is well on his way to the MVP award.

Without King James, the Cavs are average at best. With him, they’re the likely favourites to win the title.

When James wasn’t on the floor, the Raptors were able to get back into the game.

James does so much and is so impactful that the game takes on a different tone when he’s on the court and when the ball is in his hands.

The news for the Raptors got worse when Antoine Wright was forced to leave with an ankle sprain.

Wright barely played 13 minutes in the first half, was taken to the locker room to have his right ankle iced but he never resurfaced.

The Raptors gave up 35 first-quarter points, primarily because James was setting up his teammates with plenty of open looks.

The Raptors played better in the second period and trailed 55-53 at the break.

Had the Cavs limited LeBron’s minutes, maybe then would the Raptors have had a chance.

Cleveland views its season-ending stretch of games as a high-level practice.

For most of Tuesday night, they were simply playing at a high level.

James is the facilitator, the team’s creator and its leader.

Toronto’s leader was last seen heading to a clinic, Bosh’s team officially on life support.

frank.zicarelli@sunmedia.ca


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