First, congratulations go out today to Raptorblog, winner of something called a Canadian blog award. Well deserved, that, and if you go over there, Scott's got an acceptance speech.
On another Raptor note, I’ll leave aside Sam Mitchell’s beyond-my-limited-comprehension substitution pattern – um, he doesn’t have one, far as I can see -- and the upcoming anniversary of the easiest $10 million Alonzo Mourning ever made.
|Get that garbage out of here, says Chris Bosh.|
Raptors annual leaders, FT attempts
(minimum 25 games/season)
95-96 D Stoudamire 70 gms/296 FTA = 4.23 avg
96-97 D Stoudamire 81/401 = 4.95
97-98 D Stoudamire 49/212 = 4.33
98-99 V Carter 50/268 = 5.36
99-00 V Carter 82/551 = 6.72
00-01 V Carter 75/502 = 6.69
01-02 V Carter 60/307 = 5.12
02-03 A Davis 53/280 = 5.28
03-04 V Carter 73/417 = 5.71
04-05 C Bosh 81/542 = 6.69
05-06 C Bosh 21/175= 8.33
Watching Chris Bosh of late is like seeing the arrival of an exotic new species of player in Toronto. He hinted at this after Vince Carter was traded away last year. Now he's blossoming into a stud forward, and one reflection of that are these free-throw numbers (which also quite neatly show Carter's decline as a driving force).
This is pretty elemental stuff, but it's a number that's often overlooked and I haven't seen a whole lot being made of Bosh being ranked ninth in the NBA in this category. Get to the line and you’re getting the ball from your teammates and respect from the referees, you're man enough to take some mauling and you’re getting noticed by the opposition, who either have to send an extra man which opens up the offence or try and play you straight up and deal with the fouls they're going to take, and the Charlotte Bobcats had all kind of trouble figuring that one out on Saturday night.
Bosh’s numbers are rising, too, with 85 free throws in the seven games since Jalen Rose was taken out of the starting lineup. If Mitchell has done something very right this season, this was the move. Bosh is slowly getting comfortable handling Rose's job of last season of finishing games with the ball in his hands, and the Raptors have won three games and lost four (one of those in overtime on the road) – merely mediocre, for sure, but a couple steps away from the historical abyss they were looking into a couple of weeks ago.
Over at Raptorblog, Scott has been grousing at times about Bosh’s interior defence, but I have no problem there. He doesn’t have the luxury of playing alongside even a stopgap centre. He's getting service from an NBA rookie point guard who's still finding his way.
No wonder Phil Jackson was making those goo-goo eyes.