I recognize that this post is a little late to the punch. But seeing as pre-season is upon us and our roster is solidifying (for now at least) I figure it a good jumping off point for discussion. So, are the Toronto Raptors better without Chris Bosh? In the short term, the answer is no. Plain and simple; I just don't see it. How do you recover from the loss of your best player? The franchise leader in virtually every stat of significance, a career 20 and 10 guy who was the center of our offense. Fact is we just don't have anybody ready to fill the immediate void he leaves behind. Not Bargnani, as Chuck Swirksy would have us believe. Not Kleiza, Amir Johnson, Ed Davis or Solomon Alabi... not yet at least.
I have held the belief for a while that Bosh was not a good/vocal leader, and could have never brought a championship to this city on his own. He implicitly confirmed this thinking when he moved to South Beach. And further proof has come out from the likes of Triano and Jarrett Jack this summer. From Triano:
"When you talk about Chris being the leader in the lockeroom, I think it's the one thing that he wasn't for us. He did a great job of getting 24 points and 10, 11 rebounds on a regular basis, but Chris did not really take the leadership role into the locker room. He's not a vocal person, he's not a guy who really did that. I think in the years that he's been here, he's almost deferred to different people: Jermaine O'Neal, Jalen Rose, and Vince Carter in his earlier years, didn't really defer to anyone last year and everybody kind of waited for him to take the reigns last year and it could've been been part of the issues we had."
With the current state of the East I don't foresee a playoff birth from the Raps this season. But in my opinion, we got rid of our biggest impediment to future success in CB4. If he re-signed, Bosh would have weighed down the team for years and years. Again, not that Chris is a bad dude or bad player (in fact he is a consummate professional and great basketball player), he is just not a franchise player caliber leader. And in losing him the club has gained much needed and valued flexibility going forward. Flexibility is nice, but only if it leads somewhere. The club does have a lot of interesting, disparate talent and potential and even though we will likely struggle this year, it is still an interesting time to be a Raps fan. The speed of our recovery from the loss of CB4 will depend on a bunch of factors:
- Is Bargnani up to the task as a number one option?
- How will the duo of Jose/Jack pan out this season?
- How good can players like Kleiza, Barbosa and Julian Wright be and where do they fit in?
- What is DeRozan's ceiling?
- How will the developing swagger in the Young Gunz translate onto the court?
- Where will Ed Davis fit in...
- Will BC use the TPE and how?
Look forward to posts on all of these questions and more; including a "State of the Eastern Conference and Where the Raps Fit in" and an "Expose on Why Players Don't Like to Play in Canada." Anyways, that was a thriller the other night in double OT, looking forward to tonight's game.