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Some Answers, Even More Questions
TORONTO — Around 18 thousand fans were in attendance to watch their beloved Raptors one last time at the Air Canada Centre.
And on a beautiful Easter Sunday Raptor fans were treated to 111-104 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Say what you like about the fans, but for a split second I thought I was attending a playoff game the way they cheered for their home team.
Okay, maybe the giveaways such as a Sony 46-inch TV and a trip to Italy had something to do with it but never the less they were fully behind their club.
And to show the fans appreciation, Raptors star Chris Bosh thanked Toronto for it’s support and said the team is looking forward to next season.
But will Bosh be a part the Raptors rebuilding plan? We’ll take a look at that in a moment,but first lets look at the game at hand.
The Raptors and the 76ers both played sloppy in the first few quarters but it was nice to see Toronto come up with a win in their final home game of the season.
Andrea Bargnani and Bosh got it going early and combined for 28 points and seven rebounds in the first half. Shawn Marion, Anthony Parker and Jose Calderon chipped in as well and finished in double digits.
The Raptors also got some production from their bench. Newly acquired Patrick O’Bryant, formerly a Boston Celtic, finished with 10 points and five rebounds.
And Quincy Douby who had a brief stint with the Sacramento Kings and in the D-league collected seven points and two assists.
Interim head coach Jay Triano says he has been impressed with both players but it was Douby that caught his attention.
“He’s a basketball player. He’s not a one or a two he’s just a good player. He was perfect sometimes making plays and when we put him in the corner [he got the] open shot.”
But as much as it was enjoyable for the Raptors and their fans, the opposing team was clearly not happy.
Philadelphia has been battling Miami and Chicago for the fifth playoff spot in the east and with their fifth loss in a row, one would think it was the Raptors in the playoff race on Sunday and not the 76ers.
But in the famous words of Shawn Marion, it is what it is.
No longer can the Raptors look back at this worldwind of a season. They must now move forward and focus on the bigger picture.
What’s that you ask? Extending CB4′s stay in Toronto.
Bosh and Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo will have a year-end conversation once the season is over.
“It (the meeting) will include whatever we want to talk about really. I’m not indicating anything (on his future) it’s just routine stuff. We go over the season and see how we can get better [and] see how I can get better,” Bosh said.
Everyone knew this day would come but it seemed to move a little quicker when Stephen A. Smith opened his mouth and told everyone who would listen, Chris Bosh will no longer be a Raptor once his contract is up..
Of course Bosh shot down the rumors right away.
And when asked if an invitation will be sent for Stephen to join his year end meeting CB4 causally responded, “umm.. no.” And then laughed.
However, Bosh’s future isn’t the only concern for Colangelo. Anthony Parker and Shawn Marion are just some of the free agents that will be on the market once this ’08-’09 season is officially over.
And what about the head coach situation. Jay Triano hasn’t necessarily shined after the firing of Sam Mitchell. But let’s be fair.
Triano has yet to prove what he is or isn’t capable of doing as a head coach given the unfortunate circumstances.
Oh, Raptors. So many questions. So little time.
I have highlighted just a few of the Raptors major problems but I’m afraid there are even more things to be sorted out before we can see Toronto in the Eastern Conference finals let alone Championship finals.
GM Bryan Colangelo definitely has his plate full.