Tag:Chris Bosh
Posted on: November 19, 2008 9:44 am

Raptors - Magic - A night to Forget

Well, our fears were realized last night! Jose Calderon is the piece that is holding this team together. Chris Bosh had a monster game and Jermaine O'Neal played a solid game on Dwight Howard and we get our butts handed to us. The Raptors can not continue to turn the ball over and for the third game in a row rack up 20+ T/O’s with 24. That, along with 12 steals and 2 – 14 from outside after missing the first 12 was just too many wasted chances to hold the 10 point lead they worked hard to get. Will Solomon scored 10 points but caused 7 turnovers with only 4 assists. That just won’t cut it in the NBA.

After being + 6 rebounds most of the first half as our front line played tough inside frustrating Dwight Howard and keeping him to 4 points in the first half, something happened and they forgot to stop watching CB try to win the game by himself as they became stagnant on offense with no ball movement at all. The Magic scorers began to just out play our pathetic play on the perimeter. Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis started to hit outside shots and create wide, and I do mean WIDE open looks from the corners. Andrea Bargnani was unable to create any problems as Jameer Nelson and J.J. Redick moved the ball and scored at will.

A tough night for the Raptors, but it was good to see that we are getting solid play from our front as we had hoped. The biggest thing we saw last night was how tough it is for Roko Ukic and Will Solomon to step in and be a PG in this league. Redick has taken 3 years to develop from and NCAA star to an adequate replacement for Mickael Pietrus. A very good decision by Van Gundy to start Redick as we could offer him Anthony Parker who looks very tired these days. Jamario Moon and Jason Kapono look so out of place without Jose to create the open shot for them. Both have a long way to go to keep their playing time up as they are quickly becoming liabilities when they are on the floor.

Here’s hoping tonight they will not remember last night against the Heat.

Posted on: November 17, 2008 4:46 pm

Week 3 Raptors Review

Week 3 for the Raptors started with a tough fourth quarter collapse in Boston as the Celtics rode the hot hand of Paul Pierce to a victory. We had a 16 point leads twice in the third quarter as Jermaine O'Neal recovered from an awful game in Charlotte. He ended the game with 23 points and 11 rebounds, but better than that, he has played 3 solid games this past week, which is a very good sign for this team. Anthony Parker had 15, while Jason Kapono had 14 while Kevin Garnett made Chris Bosh work for all of the 9 points he scored. The biggest thing we learned Monday was that this Raptors team is going to struggle containing SF's all season until someone can step up and consistently provide both solid offense and tough defense. This game could have been won if anyone would have stepped up and made a couple stops instead of watching Pierce drop 22 points on them in that last quarter. We ended up -5 in turnovers and -2 in steals. Ball control is a huge issue with this team as we saw against the 76ers.

Against the 76ers, the Raptors struggled the entire game as the quicker 76ers caused bad passes and put pressure on our back court all game. The biggest news from this game was the loss of Jose Calderon to a hamstring injury. We were able to get the game to 4 points a few times, but it seemed the next offensive set would result in a turnover, a quick bad shot and transition basket by the 76ers as we stood around wondering how it missed, then we were suddenly down 10 again. Maurice Cheeks had this team ready to put pressure on our back court, especially after Jose went down and Will Solomon and Roko Ukic had to find a way to step in and control the ball. The Raptors were out rebounded, had more turnovers and gave away more steals to this team as Elton Brand scored 25 and 8 rebounds. Andre Iguodala and Andre Miller added 18 points each and a total of 25 rebounds. Samuel Dalembert, who grabbed 17 boards in the season opener, was very quiet with 2 points and 2 rebounds before fouling out as Chris Bosh and Jermaine O'Neal pounded the ball inside all night, but just couldn't keep the ball going in to these guys consistently enough to take the lead back. CB, JO and Andrea Bargnani combined for 64 points and 28 rebounds as a trio.

With Jose Calderon in a lovely suit, Sam Mitchell started Andrea Bargnani at the SF against the Heat Sunday as they brought a good back court of Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers with Daequan Cook and Chris Quinn adding 27 points off the bench. The game provided us a look a the possibilities this Raptors team could bring to any game with our front court able to floor Chris Bosh, Jermaine O'Neal and Andrea Bargnani up front leaving Anthony Parker and Will Solomon in the back court until Jose returns. I was impressed with Will's game with 15 points and 11 assists in a game in which we were to be outplayed in the back court, he held his own as Anthony Parker added 10 points while trying to contain Dwyane. Perhaps the surprise of the game was how much life sitting seems to have put under the feet of Jamario Moon as he was attacking the hole again and was rewarded with 5 trips to the line. The other big part of this game was watching Kris Humphries add 14 points and 9 rebounds in the 16 minutes he played allowing us to keep a steady rotation of bigs on the floor. A couple notes on this game that I really enjoyed seeing. The Heat shot 40% as a team including 3 – 19 from outside the arc in the second half. Well done guys. Perimeter defense does actually pay off. Though Dwyane Wade had 29, he did so on 13 – 31 shooting with only 3 of 4 from the line. Keeping him shooting tough shots was key to containing this offense as Shawn Marion struggled to find his range and Udonis Haslem and Michael Beasley could only provide 23 points inside.

Overall, the week was tough with 2 losses, but I think what we learned about the guard situation will carry us a long way when Jose returns. When JO begins to hit the easy inside shots he seems to still struggle with, this team will be very hard to match up with in the front court night after night with 4 solid big men able to rotate through playing solid defensively and starting to understand how to rebound as a group. With games against the Magic and a return game in Miami then home to receive the Nets, this week could see us get to 8 – 4 with some good play. I would be very happy with that as the next week will bring us the Celtics, the Hawks and the Lakers.

Posted on: November 17, 2008 10:14 am

Raptors - Magic Pregame Thoughts

The Raptors head to Orlando to take on the Magic after beating the Heat Sunday afternoon. The Magic are coming off a win against the Bobcats in a game that saw Dwight Howard score 4 points and collect 7 rebounds in just 26 minutes before fouling out. Hedo Turkoglu lead the team with 20. The Raptors will have to continue the front court pressure to keep Dwight Howard off balance and off his game to take advantage of our front court again. Chris Bosh and Jermaine O'Neal will need to work inside against Howard and Turkoglu as well as Rashard Lewis in the SF position. He is bringing 17 points and 7 rebounds to the floor. Should Sam put Andrea Bargnani at the SF position again, the front lines of both teams will provide us a very entertaining game.

The back-court of the Magic with Jameer Nelson and Mickael Pietris will test our back court of Will Solomon and Anthony Parker as both are quick and love to attack the lane. Should Jose Calderon be available and 100%, then the back-courts should be about even and the game will fall into the hands of our front line. The game could hinge on substitutions and keeping the guys fresh and keeping the Magic off balance on defense as our guys all bring a different intensity and skill set to the floor. With JO averaging 13 points and 9 boards and CB4 averaging 25 and 10 we have the ability to keep most front courts working very hard on defense. The hallmark of Dwight and the Magic is defense with Howard averaging 21 points and 14 rebounds and Hedo adding 17.5 and 5 boards, our guys will have to work together to keep them playing hard at both ends. Howard is averaging 4.5 blocks per game which will hopefully make our guys aware of where he is and keep the ball moving as they did Sunday.

Keys to the game.

First and foremost, we will need the inspired play we got from our bench guys. Jamario Moon will need to play with the intensity he did against the Heat. Jason Kapono brought energy and some smooth shooting to the game. Perhaps neither of these guys should start as they could be great weapons off the bench. If we can get Kris Humphries to provide the same level of play in support of JO and Chris, this team will be able to put Andrea Bargnani at the SF and create havoc on the wing against smaller guys.

To win the game, the Raptors will have to keep Dwight Howard off the glass and out of the game defensively. That means ball movement and moving Jermaine and Chris in and out of the paint all night. This Raptors team loves the high – low game and will need it to work well against this mobile Magic front line. Andrea or Jamario or Jason will have to keep Rashard Lewis from bombing all night. One of the 3 or all of them will need to be in his face when he has the ball challenging him to drive. With our interior guys playing solid defensively, we need to keep him off the arc. Our guards will have to provide the solid play we got from them, as well, they will need to find a way to shut down the solid tandem the Magic provide. The game will give Solomon, Roko Ukic and Anthony Parker the opportunity to show they can be the stoppers defensively. Our guards won't be able to give up the ball so easily as 24 points off of turnovers will kill us against this team, or most teams in this league.

I think that we have the chance of taking both games in Florida and I would love to see the guys keep playing solid team defense. Our offense will take care of itself.

Posted on: November 16, 2008 5:10 pm

Raptors - Heat Post Game Wrap up

The Raptors today hosted the Heat without the services of Jose Calderon. I must admit that I was a bit hesistant going into the game with Will Solomon as the starter, but was happy that Sam decided to start our three bigs with Jermaine O'Neal and Chris Bosh up front and Andrea Bargnani in the SF position. A great way to exploit our bigs who have all been playing very well the last few games though we have lost to the Hawks, the Celtics and the Pistons, it has not been due to front court play.

With Jose on the bench, Will Solomon and Anthony Parker were left to provide the spark from the back court. Will responded with a solid 15 points and 11 assists as he seemed a bit anxious at times with 4 turnovers, he also grabbed 4 rebounds in 34 minutes of play in his first NBA start. Anthony Parker had 10 points and 3 rebounds while guarding Dwyane Wade. Roko Ukic came in and provided 4 assists as did Jamario Moon on an afternoon where the Raptors had 31 assists on 36 field goals. A very good game for the backups and perhaps we can rest Jose Calderon if he needs it as they both looked solid. Let's see if Roko can earn his stripes and score 15 points one night!

What can be said about the front line of this team that is adequate to describe what is happening right now? We have the franchise player keeping up with Dwyane Wade with Chris Bosh scoring 27 points while grabbing 7 rebounds to Dwyane's 29 points and 8 assists. Bosh and Jermaine O'Neal who had 11 points and 18 rebounds. What a game by the front court who out muscled and out played Udonis Haslem and Shawn Marion and Michael Beasley. Our front court out scored the Heat's total of Haslem, Marion Beasley and Joel Anthony who combined for 33 to Bosh, O'Neal, Andrea Bargnani and Kris Humphries total of 64. If you add Jason Kapono and Jamario Moon to the total, it becomes 82 of the 106 points from the active front! A very good game from the guards who moved the ball well and kept the Heat off-balance inside all afternoon.

A couple of concerns are the 92 shots the Raptors gave up, the 24 points off of turnovers they again gave up which is quickly becoming an area of huge concern. They were able to keep the Heat to 40% from the field which was a huge contributing factor to why this game ended with a solid win for this team. For the second game in a row the Raptors made it to the line more than their opponents with the Raptors taking 34 to the Heat's 15. To me, this means they were attacking the hoop and were rewarded with foul calls and hitting the line. Chris Bosh was 13 – 15, Hump was 4 - 5 and JO was 3 – 3 to lead the charge. I hope this becomes a recurring theme for this team.

This week we have a very busy week with a tour of Florida to take on the Magic and the Heat and then home for the Nets who are playing well so far. Should be a good week for this team. Let's hope Jose heels and returns 100%, but I am not as concerned about Will and Anthony and Roko as they looked better than replacements at times. Perhaps the playing time will give this team solid bench help down the stretch which was laking last season.

Posted on: November 14, 2008 9:55 am

Raptors - Heat Game Blog Preview

With Jose Calderon questionable for Sunday’s game against the Heat, Will Solomon and Roko Ukic will have to step up big time and play like they belong in the NBA. I think the fact that the Heat offer a back court of Mario Chalmers and Dwyane Wade. Chalmers is averaging 6.5 points per game and handing out 4.6 assists per game. Mario had 9 steals against the 76ers. Wade on the other hand is one of the premier off-guards in the league and has had 30+ points in his last 4 games and is averaging 28 points per game and 6 rebounds and nearly 8 assists. The pre-season line on this team was that it was ready to again move up the Eastern Conference with Shawn Marion up front along side the rookie Michael Beasley who brings his 16.4 points and 6 rebounds to the floor. With Marion nursing an injured groin and questionable for tonight’s game against the Wizards, I am not sure if he will be available to play Sunday. Tonight will be the third game he has missed. He has not played as well as we are used to with only 10 points per game this season but is always a force defensively that I am sure the Heat are missing right now. With Marion out, the Heat have started Yakhouba Diawara who has scored only 8 points in the 2 games. The front court is rounded out by Udonis Haslem and his 14 points 8 rebounds a game.

The Raptors will need to find a way to stop Dwyane Wade! I know that is no great revelation, but it is the truth. Without Jose bringing pressure from the back-court, this team will struggle to keep Wade on his heels. Our front court of Jermaine O’Neal and Chris Bosh with Andrea Bargnani off the bench should handle anything the Heat offer up front. I am worried about Beasley and his effectiveness off the dribble from any where in the front. This game will be won by solid team defense. Weak side awareness will be critical to keep Wade and Beasley from slashing us all day long. I look for our front court to have good games and need a complete game from guys like Jamario Moon and Jason Kapono who MUST play defensive ball. Pylon defense or relying on shot blocking will not contain these two very good ball players and with no Jose to bail them out from the outside, WHO will step up and lead this team? I wonder if Sam has considered starting Andrea at the 1 spot? Just kidding, but that would be interesting and we need a shake up at this point don’t we?

The fact is, this Raptors team has dreaded this idea all season and now is forced to play the hand they are dealt with no Jose Calderon in the lineup. This team is weak on the bench, weak on the outside both offensively and defensively and very thin at the guard position with Anthony Parker needing to step up Sunday and bring some scoring to the mix while trying to contain Dwyane Wade. That will be no easy task. Is this team up for the challenge? We shall see very quickly when the Heat come to town. Next week brings us the Magic and the blocking machine and probably the best Center in the league Dwight Howard, then we go to Miami to play the Heat again, then host Vince Carter and the Nets. With 4 games this week, our back court had better find a way to get the ball where it needs to go, the front court and play some defense. We need to get a handle on our offense and keep this season together while we adjust to the challenges shown so far this season.

Posted on: November 13, 2008 10:09 am

Raptors - 76ers game review

What can be said about last nights Raptors76ers game that won’t sound harsh? Well, we could start with Andrea Bargnani having a pretty good game or Jermaine O’Neal having his best game ever on the Offensive glass or we can talk about Chris Bosh and his 30/12 night to recover from his 9 points against the Celtics. As I watched last night it became very obvious to me that this team is in a lot of trouble very early in the season.

Watching Jose Calderon hobble around made my blood go cold as I thought about Will  Solomon or Roko Ukic having to start for this team for any length of time. We saw last night that neither one of the two is capable of running an NBA offense with any consistency. I hope he returns against the Heat on Sunday and I am very glad for the 3 days rest.

There were some very good things that happened last night. First, the Raptors held the 76ers to 40 rebounds which was down 16 from the first game but were still -3 on the glass. Jermaine grabbed 9 offensive boards and the Raptors were +5 on the offensive glass, but were -8 on the defensive end which was a huge problem as the 76ers seemed to take all our second shot opportunities away.

Another good thing about last night was the play of our front court with Chris Bosh, Jermaine O’Neal and Andrea Bargnani all having solid games. Chris and Jermaine could not be denied most of the night and when Andrea was on the floor, the 76ers could not defend any of them as Samuel Dalembert fouled out and the rest of the 76ers bigs were in foul trouble all night as the Raptors kept the pressure on the front court. The Raptors were rewarded with 28 trips to the line hitting 23 of them which is +9 for the game. Chris and JO both had double doubles and worked hard for every interior shot and rebound they grabbed. Andrea had the play of the game grabbing a defensive board then running the ball into the front court, passed to Jason Kapono who missed Bargs on an open run to the hole, he then set up low and received a pass back from JK then destroyed Reggie Evans leaving him in a heap on the floor while he spun in a reverse dunk. If we can continue to get this level of inspired play from the front 3, we should be able to challenge all season long.

Now for the ugly parts from last night’s game. Jamario Moon, Jason Kapono, Anthony Parker and Joey Graham were a combined 6 of 28 shooting. I am sorry, but as I have said all season so far, that is just awful play from a group who is supposed to be our strength. By comparison, Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Willie Green and Lou Williams were a combined 22 of 42 with Thaddeus Young adding 3 – 5. Add to that Elton Brand and his 25 and we see how vastly outplayed we were from the outside all night. It was hard to watch this team be outscored at will by this very active group of 76ers who played hard and harassed our shooters all night while seemingly taking many open shots off screens and wide open baseline shots and so many transition baskets. Sam has some crucial issues to resolve and to resolve quickly as the rest of the Eastern Conference won’t wait for the Raptors to find a scoring threat from the wing. I understand Jose went down and was hurt most of the night, but that should give anyone an opportunity to step up and show the coaches they are ready and willing to make the move up the depth chart if someone gets hurt. I have mentioned this before and I feel that we need to make a move to bring in a lock down guy to help out defensively which seems to be our bigger need. With all the good things this team did last night, they gave up too many easy shots and made too many turnovers that ended up in our basket. It is very difficult to claw back into a game when you take 23 seconds to score and give up the answering basket in less than 5. We brought the game to 1 point and 4 points several times but a couple bad passes or terrible offensive choices from our ice-cold shooters resulted in the score quickly returning to a 10 point margin.

The Raptors have more talent than last nights game showed us and let’s hope they recover. We are a shooting team and we need to find ways to win games when that part is not working. Last night gave us hope that those pieces are there as well, and losing Jose I know had a huge impact on the floor. Let’s hope he recovers quickly and can lead this team against the Heat on Sunday.

Posted on: November 12, 2008 10:42 am

Raptors - 76ers Blog Preview

 Tonight the Raptors host the 76ers in a game that features two teams who both had higher aspirations as the season began. The 76ers acquired Elton Brand in the off-season to bolster the front court and help this team make a mark in the Eastern Conference and possibly not just make the playoffs, but finish as high as 5<sup>th</sup> behind the Cavaliers or the Magic and the Celtics and the Pistons. The Raptors traded T.J. Ford and Rasho Nasterovic to the Pacers to bring Jermaine O'Neal in to become the force inside to off-set our All-Star Chris Bosh and open up the inside out game that we love to play using Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon and Jason Kapono from long range to keep the defenses honest.

So far, the 76ers are 2 – 5 having lost to the Raptors opening night in Philadelphia and have not been able to take advantage of the front court presence of Elton Brand and Samuel Dalembert though together they combined for 30 rebounds and 23 points. Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young, and Andre Miller join Elton Brand and Lou Williams as a group averaging over 10 points a game, though none are over 20 at this point. This team will bring balanced scoring and pressure from the wings with Thaddeus Young and Andre Iguodala looking to replicate Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce and their ability to exploit the porous perimeter of the Raptors. This team will be hungry to prove not only that they are a team who will challenge in the Atlantic and the Eastern Conference, but are better than their record indicates. This team has losses to the Raptors, the Magic, the Hawks, the Jazz and the Heat. All of which are playoff caliber teams.

The Raptors return home after losing 2 of 3 on the road. The problem isn't the fact that they lost 2 games, but the manner in which they lost them. The Hawks blew this team out from the back court. Mike Bibby, Joe Johnson, Ronald Murray, Maurice Evens and Marvin Williams all out playing us as a group attacking from every angle and watching as we could stop none of it! Then we went into Boston where the Celtics looked helpless against our front court and our ball movement and then Paul Pierce lit us up for 22 in the forth and Kevin Garnett froze Chris Bosh out of the game. Sure Jermaine O'Neal had a good game but most of his 23 points and 11 rebounds came in the first half. Though it was great to see Jason Kapono and Jamario Moon score, we needed either of them to step up and stop something from the outside!

Tonight, the Raptors need to establish themselves on the glass as they were -23 rebounding in the opener, most of that thanks to a terrible first quarter, but none the less, this Raptors team MUST become a 40 board a game night to compete with the best teams in the East. I look for the Raptors to come out strong on the glass and establish defensive pressure early on this quicker team. Chris will not score 9 again and Jose won't score 7 as they return to form against a less formidable defensive squad. This game will go a long way in setting themselves up for success defensively if we can hold them to less than 40 boards. Until we play smart basketball, on both ends of the floor, we will be nothing more than a good looking basketball team. Sam has a long way to go with this team, good thing the season is young.

A quote from the captain:

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"We don't let things discourage us. That's what I like about this team this year, no matter how things are going, we

don't hang our heads. We just figure out how we're going to play things better, and we stay in the game mentally."

-- Chris Bosh on the Raptors' improved approach to games this season.

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I believe this team can do what it takes to win, the question is do they believe they have what it takes? Ask Sam, he should know the heart of this team and if they listen, they will know it as well.

Posted on: November 11, 2008 11:14 am

Raptors - Celtics - the one that got away!

Last night we witnessed a total meltdown of a team that is quickly becoming very easy to beat! The Celtics came into the game against the Raptors having played a tough Pistons team in Detroit the night before. Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce as well as Rajon Rondo and Tony Allen. The nucleus of the Championship team with Kendrick Perkins and Leon Powe adding minutes up front with Glenn Davis, this team is playing awesome team defense allowing only 84 points per game coming into last night!

The Raptors brought to the game a team in search of itself after a great start and 2 losses against the Pistons and they young Hawks, they had rebounded with a win in Charlotte against the Bobcats. Chris Bosh and Jose Calderon were leading this team offensively with Bosh over 26 points per game and Jose around 18 with 9 assists and in total command of the floor when he is out there. What this team was looking for was someone to step up and score on a consistent basis! Jermaine O'Neal was brought in, Jamario Moon was given the start, Jason Kapono looks comfortable off the bench and Anthony Parker draws the toughest checks night after night!

The Raptors opened the game giving the ball to JO who scored 19 in the first half and ended up with 23 and 11 boards! An excellent game from the other option inside! He battled all night long and won most of them! Jason Kapono as well added 14 while Anthony Parker had 15! Offensively we could ask for nothing more from these 3 men! However, it seems Doc figured out that holding Bosh to 9 and Jose to 7 would probably win them the game! The Celtics collapsed on Bosh and forced Jose to pass all night! The fourth quarter saw us ahead going in to it, but 6 steals and -5 or 6 in rebounds will cost you a game most nights! Last night it cost us a huge divisional win!

At this point in Sam Mitchell's tenure as coach, he has pretty much the same group of men he has had for the past 3 seasons or so with the loss of T.J. Ford and Morris Petterson and the promotion of Jose and Anthony Parker, these guys have played a lot of games for Sam! At some point he must be questioned on why his guys refuse to play perimeter defense! Paul Pierce should NOT be allowed to score 22 points in a quarter! Nor should anyone for that matter! The rest of the league is very aware of how weak we are on the outside with Jason Kapono being slow and Jamario Moon seemingly disinterested! Either the coach can't motivate them or they just can't play at this level!

Some bad things about last night!

The Raptors were 11 - 16 from the line while the Celtics were 24 - 27! The calls were pretty even at 23 - 21 against the Raptors, but the difference is the Raptors have seemingly forgotten how to attack the hole! Being beaten and fouling on the shot killed them last night as the Celtics battled back into the game on the free throw line in the third. We gave up 6 steals in the fourth and were at least -5 in rebounds in the quarter as the Raptors had been ahead on total boards the whole game! We also turned the ball over at least 4 times in the 4th! That is unacceptable in HIGH SCHOOL ball! We were also -5 in turnovers against the toughest defensive team in the league (I hear the Lakers are rated over-all number 1 but i have not looked into that yet)

This level of mediocre defense will quickly turn this team to an after-thought in an ever tightening Eastern Conference where the Celtics, Pistons and Cavaliers have serious competition to about 10 spots this year. The Hawks, the Magic, the Heat, the 76ers and the Pacers all look to move up the Conference and the Raptors are quickly turning into a stepping stone as they can't seem to stop anyone!

Some Good things about last night!

Well, we did grab 39 boards, a bit better than our 35 per game average with a +2 on the offensive end! The team had 25 assists which means ball movement was there and the open man was found a lot! It was great to see JO step up and score and grab 11 boards! Jason and Anthony did well to provide the 29 they did.

I believe this loss will haunt them a long time! I hope they can learn a few things from the game and move ahead into a long season filled with more ups and downs.

Some things they should learn!

Defense Wins Championships! Until we can defend the wing positions and limit the cutting and slashing that we have seen from Tayshaun Prince, Joe Johnson and now The Truth, this team will not make the playoffs! Defense requires the committment we saw for the first 3 quarters last night! Getting on the glass and diving for loose balls and attacking all over the floor is how they built a 14 point lead on the Celtics. Then they stood around watching Paul Pierce light them up!

We can learn that every body has a role to play and if anyone fails, this team will not succeed. The Celtics show everyone that basketball is a team sport! You win as a team and you lose as a team! Last night, the Raptors were beaten as a team in every position on the floor.

We can learn that potential does not translate well to playing at a high level! Andrea Bargnani and Jamario Moon are very talented players with enormous skill sets that COULD contribute to any team in this league! Right now, neither seems willing to pay the price to play at the level expected night after night! Teams have players to fill roles. All teams are not made up of SuperStar players alone! Right now, Chris Bosh is the Stud of this team! When he has a bad game or gets shut down like last night, then the rest of the team needs to find a way to win! That is usually by playing tough defense! That is why the Celtics are the Champs!

The guys can learn that Sam does actually know how to coach defense and do what he is asking them!

They can learn that it is possible for them to play at whatever level they choose on any night!

This picture should be put up in every locker these guys dress at this season!

Do i still love this team? YES I do! They need to regroup quickly or the playoffs will be out of reach!

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com