Chris Bosh is one of the NBA's most consistent players: He averaged between 22.3 and 22.7 points per game in each of past four seasons.
However, despite his strong play, Bosh has not been the type of dominant player who can carry a team. This season, Bosh is playing with the best supporting cast of his seven-season NBA career.
In last night's 101–91 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers Bosh had his usual impressive statline: 21 points and 16 rebounds. But the biggest reason the Raptors were able to pull off an upset? Bosh's teammates also stepped up. Forward Andrea Bargnani had 28 points, scoring with ease on the perimeter (his specialty) and in the paint. The Number 1 pick of the 2006 draft looked as if he's ready to become a star.
Newly acquired forward Hedo Turkoglu eased pressure off Bosh and point guard Jose Calderon during crunchtime. Even though he had only 12 points last night, Turkoglu's presence on the court and playmaking ability opened things up for the Raptors' offense. The 6'10" Turkoglu was an underrated factor in the Orlando Magic's success the past two seasons and brings big-game experience to the Raptors.
Finally, Toronto has gotten younger. Gone are veterans Shawn Marion, Anthony Parker, and Jason Kapono. They have been replaced by point guard Jarrett Jack (age 25), shooting guard Marco Belinelli (23), and rookie swingman DerMar DeRozan (20). The young guys can boost the team's energy level, like they did last night.
The Raptors are coming off a disappointing 33-49 season, but the changes they made in the off-season could lead to 50 wins in 2009–10.