Bosh rips Raps

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:42 AM ET

PORTLAND — It is, without question, exactly the kind of kick in the pants this team needs.

The only question is, did it come soon enough?

Chris Bosh, his stall situated approximately in the middle of the locker room in Oakland, stood up and got real Saturday night.

He told it like it was, no holds barred.

Not even following a 31-point loss in Atlanta this season was Bosh this direct.

Having watched the Golden State Warriors, a full third of them from the D-League, show more heart and more desire to win a basketball game than the supposedly playoff-bound Raptors, Bosh sounded the alarm.

Sparing no one’s feelings, Bosh said the Raptors are playing like a team that isn’t interested in winning, isn’t interested in competing and suggested that the rest of the league is banking the win before they even step on the court against the Raptors.

“It’s not confidence, man,” Bosh all but yelled when a member of the media offered his own theory for the Raptor struggles. “You just play. If you have feelings and stuff like that this isn’t the sport for you. Just plain and simple. The real world isn’t for you if you have too many feelings. You go out there and you play basketball and you play tough because nobody cares how you feel. Nobody cares if you are on a 10-game losing streak. Nobody cares if you’re on the road. All they care about is if you win basketball games.”

Bosh remembers all too vividly what it’s like to be sitting on the outside watching the rest of the NBA play in the post-season.

He did it last year and it left a sickening taste in his mouth. It also inspired him to rebuild his body in the off-season through daily workouts and an improved diet to ensure it wouldn’t happen again.

Now, with the Raptors having lost eight of their past nine and a mere game and a half out of ninth spot in the East, Bosh is demanding more.

He wants all 14 members of the Raptors roster, including himself, whether they are starting, to show that the playoffs still mean something to them.

Honestly, if the Golden State Warriors, with 18 wins the entire season, can get pumped for a game that for them holds all the importance of a pre-season contest, why can’t the Raptors?

The Raptors have 18 games remaining, nine on the road, including Sunday’s contest with the Trail Blazers, and nine at home.

Ten of those games are against teams that are in the playoff picture right now. The other eight games are either against teams with no shot at the post-season or on the outside looking in.

That, right now, is the line the Raptors straddle. Were the season to end today, the Raptors would be in. Granted it would be the eighth seed and an unenviable first-round date with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, but they would be in.

Bosh, though, is correct in assuming that unless this team snaps out of its current funk, the playoffs are a pipe dream. And if the Raptors are to gain ground on the Miamis, Charlottes and Milwaukees of the Eastern Conference, they’re going to have to amp it up a little bit more because those teams have more favourable schedules down the stretch.

Heading into play Sunday night, nine of Milwaukee’s final 18 are against playoff-bound teams. Only five of Miami’s remaining 16 opponents are playing for anything. Seven of Charlotte’s 18 remaining games are against teams in the hunt.

Bosh sounded the alarm. The question is was it in time to save the Raptors season?

mike.ganter@sunmedia.ca


Videos

Photos