Chris Bosh is well aware of the impact his absence has had on the team.
He’s well aware the somewhat comfortable margin the Raptors once had over the three teams between them and another year watching the post season has dwindled to just about nothing.
But instead of being frustrated by any of this or upset with it, Bosh is excited about the remaining 23 games.
Having sat out for the past six with a sprained left ankle, Bosh, after a three-hour practice on Wednesday, was champing at the bit to get back on the floor. The ankle is healed. The body is rested. It’s time to play.
The Raptors lost four of the six games he missed and now sit just a half game out of falling into sixth and just 21/2 ahead of the ninth place Charlotte Bobcats.
As far as Bosh is concerned, his time and the Raptors time to shine has arrived.
“The urgency is we have 23 games left and we lose two in a row, we’re on the outside looking in so this is our situation,” Bosh said. “We knew it was going to happen. We knew it was going to be a photo finish at the end so every game is important now. This is the part of the season I’ve been waiting on. It’s exciting.”
Bosh is keeping close tabs on the ever-changing playoff picture. He was aware Miami had fallen out of the top eight on Tuesday and then moved back into the eighth and final spot by Wednesday with Charlotte falling down to ninth.
He also knows any notion of peaking for the playoffs, something a team that has already locked up a playoff spot can build towards is now unrealistic.
“I accept this,” Bosh said. “This is the fun part. I want to make the playoffs but the playoffs have come a little early for us. To make it we are going to have to play the right kind of basketball. Charlotte is out (not in the top eight) now. Miami was out Tuesday. We could be next. We have to have that urgency.”
Bosh has every intention of playing with a playoff type urgency for the remainder of the season.
“I think last year (missing the playoffs) taught me a lot and I’ve been waiting two years to be back here. So I’m going to make sure I play like that. You’re going to be able to tell every time I step on the court how long I’ve been waiting for this.”
Bosh did not attempt to sugar coat the Raps past couple of games when they were thoroughly outclassed, first by the Oklahoma City Thunder and Monday night by the Houston Rockets.
“It was tough watching it,” said Bosh who remained in Toronto working out and getting treatment. “I know the guys weren’t happy with the outcome, but there’s not much you can do about it now but work hard
“We just have to learn from our mistakes. Sometimes you go through tough stretches but it’s all about how you react.”
Bosh’s description of the team defence was especially telling.
“Quite frankly it was layup drills pretty much by the other teams,” he said.
Turnovers played a big role in both games and Bosh’s return should negate a lot of those mistakes.
“We’ve never been known to turn the ball over like that,” he said. “We have to play within our offence and make correct passes and make sure everyone gets involved in the offence and take good shots. ”
Bosh and the Raps get their first crack at it Friday against the New York Knicks.