Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I Thought Europeans Hit Jump Shots

It took Chris Bosh almost five years to finally say the truth: he doesn't trust his teammates to hit a shot. Although they've locked up a spot in the playoffs, the Raptors are in mid-free fall after losses to the Hawks, Nets, and Bobcats that dropped them below .500. After the team went 1-10 from three on Saturday against the Nets, one might say Bosh was a little justified in saying: "I have to do a better job of trusting my teammates. I've lacked in that and I can be man enough to say I've made that mistake. I've talked with the coaches and they told me the same thing -- trust my teammates."

After last year's surprising rise to respectability, praise was thrown upon GM Bryan Colangelo, the former architect of the run-and-gun Phoenix Suns. In Toronto, he put together a roster of one frontcourt star surrounded by European players that had good fundamentals and could hit a shot from anywhere on the floor. This year, other GMs have foregone clever moves for big trades for superstars, making Colangelo looking more like a loser than clever genius.

Case in point: former #1 pick, Andrea Bargnani. After a surprisingly decent rookie season, he's suffered from a sophomore slump and is now relegated to coming off the bench. But this was bound to happen for one reason, The Bargnani Glitch of NBA 2k7. Fueled by the fact that his outside shot was grossly overrated in the popular video game, Andrea played out of his mind last season. Now that his video game alias has been brought down to earth, so has Bargnani's game and ego. Remember, he was picked at the number one spot, which was way ahead of Brandon Roy, Rudy Gay, Ronnie Brewer, and Paul Millsap.

As the post season approaches, it's more up to Bosh than his teammates to get them into the next round. He'll be consistently double and triple teamed and he'll have to learn, like how Kobe did, to trust his teammates through the first three quarters and then dominate in the fourth. And maybe he's also hinting that he knows this when he says: "Once you get there, you try to advance, pure and simple."

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