Toronto Raptors: After 70 Games, Team Returns to .500 Again

Stephen BrotherstonAnalyst IMarch 26, 2010

NEW YORK - JANUARY 28:  Chris Bosh #4 of the Toronto Raptors celebrates a basket with teammate Amir Johnson #15 against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2010 in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

At the 70-game mark of the Raptors season, the local fans are getting restless.

Boos can now be heard raining down in the ACC, even when the Raptors merely fail to get off to a good start in a game.

The once powerful Raptor offense has all but vanished and the oft-maligned Raptors defense has been trying to set new lows.

For the first time this season, the Raptors have failed to average over 100 points for a 10-game stretch. And at 3-7, the team failed to go at least 5-5 for the first time since their second 10-game stretch of the season.

And Chris Bosh has played all 10 of those games.

But Bosh’s career year scoring the ball has trailed off since his return from injury and he has “only” averaged 21.3 points per game.  That’s a far cry from the over 24 points he has averaged on the season.

To make matters worse, over the past 10 games the Raptors have given up over 109 points. While that is not quite as bad as that earlier slump when the Raptors went 2-8 giving up 116 points per game, but considerably worse than in their last 40 games.

And more importantly, this kind of play is not good enough to deserve holding onto the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.

Not to single out any one Raptors player for a lack of defense, but Chris Bosh has not played up to his earlier levels. Specifically, Bosh is averaging 0.5 steals, 0.5 blocks, and more than two fewer rebounds per game.

The worst thing about it is that Bosh does look like he is putting out an effort. While he may have returned from injury, this begs the question: Are his injuries fully healed?

And in Bosh’s tenure with the Raptors, as Bosh goes, so go the Raptors.

Maybe Raptors fans should be feeling fortunate that their team's recent collapse hasn’t been worse?

A .500 record is still good enough for a two-game lead over the Bulls for eighth place.

GamesRecordPoints ForPoints AgainstDiff

Twelve important games remain for Chris Bosh and the Raptors have to find their form of only a month ago.

And while five of those games are against very beatable teams, one thing is certain: Scoring less than 100 while giving up 109 isn’t likely to be good enough to hold onto eighth. 

Additionally, even if it is, that isn’t going to restore the faith of the fans.