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News » Raps get first look at bigger, meaner Bosh

Raps get first look at bigger, meaner Bosh

Raps get first look at bigger, meaner BoshIt's mentioned to Chris Bosh that the concern among fans may be that, because he's bigger and heavier now than he's ever been, some of the trademark quickness that's helped him become an NBA all-star might have evaporated in a summer of sweating in a gym.

After all, in common thinking, more bulk means less explosiveness.

A laugh tumbles out of him as he sits in the Raptors locker room at the Target Center here, and he shakes his head.

"I'm quicker," he said, laughing still. "And I can jump higher."

Bosh made his much-anticipated pre-season debut with the Raptors here in their 112-97 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

After sitting out practices and games for a couple of weeks with a strained hamstring, he was limited in what he was asked to do, scoring nine points with seven rebounds in 10 minutes, all in the first half.

The Raptors had originally wanted to see if they could get 12 minutes out of Bosh but he wore out more quickly than he'd expected.

"Yeah earlier than six minutes but it's a start and Sunday (against Washington) will be a really good measuring stick to see how fast my body's going to react," he said. "Maybe I'll be able to go five minutes without getting tired."

But Bosh's offence isn't what the team is really worried about; they know the perpetual 20-10 veteran will be able to score. They want to see what he does on the defensive end of the floor.

"He's going to have to be our anchor at the defensive end," said coach Jay Triano, whose team was led by 21 points from Andrea Bargnani and 11 each from DeMar DeRozan, Marco Belinelli, Sonny Weems and Reggie Evans. "He's our most agile player, we've seen when he played with the United States Olympic team how good a defender he can be. ... He's changed his body and he's got a little bit more of a physical presence so we don't think he'll have a problem doing it.

"If we're going to be a good team, though, he's going to have to be a better force for us at the defensive of the floor and be the guy who sets the tone."

Bosh was more aggressive than expected in his limited debut. Two of his rebounds were on the offensive end, one ended up with a nice putback basket over Al Jefferson and Kevin Love, and he was fouled by Ryan Hollins on the other.

After that hard foul by Hollins, Bosh turned and had words with the Minnesota rookie, not something he's been known to do.

"That's really a point of emphasis that I want to concentrate on this year, to stay inside and get more rebounds, get more second chance opportunities," said Bosh. "That kills teams when you do that. And I want to get more rebounds, plain and simple."

The whole "body-change" that Bosh undertook this summer gave him about 15 extra pounds on his now 250-pound frame and a noticeably larger upper body. But not at the expense of agility.

"We tackled all those issues," he said. "These were our goals: We want to gain 'x' amount of pounds but we want to have an intensity to the workouts and we're going to work on different elements to make sure you don't slow down, that you actually speed up. It was hard work."

Aside from Bosh's pre-season debut, the game was about seeing if there'd be improvement in the team's defensive coverages from the first game.

In the search for good signs, Triano can point to the Raptors holding Minnesota to just 40 per cent shooting from the floor and a more aggressive overall defence than in their first two pre-season games.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 10, 2009


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