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Media Watch for February 10, 2006/Gameday Report vs. Bobcats

Without beating around the bush, let's get to the main topic in today's media watch...Chris Bosh is an All-Star.

While many Toronto fans thought he deserved to be on the squad last year, leaving him off this year, especially considering the injury to starting power forward Jermaine O'Neal, would have been a cardinal sin. Bosh is averaging 23 points and a little over nine rebounds a game while shooting over 50 per cent from the field and 81 per cent from the free throw line. He's been Toronto's most consistent player this season and on top of his lightning quick first step has added a dead-eye jump shot and amazing consistency at the free throw line. In fact his ever-evolving game was one of the main reasons NBA coaches voted for the third year player out of Georgia Tech and to add fuel to his nomination fire he was announced as the NBA's Eastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday. On behalf of all of us here at RaptorsHQ and all Raptor fans, congratulations to CB4.

CB4's appearance in the upcoming All-Star game will make him the third Raptor in franchise history to become an All-Star. Vince Carter, a four-time All-Star with the Raps, was of course one of the other two Raptors...and the other...

Antonio Davis.

Davis appeared in the 2001 All-Star game as an injury reserve and is ironically now a member of the Raptors again. Davis made his first appearance for Toronto on Wednesday night against the Spurs and received a "mixed reaction" from fans. In any event, Davis' size alone may be a huge help to this club for the final part of the regular season. While it's obvious that Davis has his sights set on next year, he did seem quite grateful to get out of the mess in New York and stated this his number one job was to "protect Chris Bosh."

However with Davis in tow, Loren Woods getting a look lately and Pape Sow bringing much needed defense, intensity and athletic ability to the club, where does that leave Rafael Araujo? Perhaps the D-League. After sitting out the past few games with a shoulder injury, Araujo seems to have been lost in Sam Mitchell's new rotation and the D-League may indeed be the best place for the Brazillian to get his confidence up and see some playing time. In addition, with the man who drafted Araujo, Rob Babcock, no longer the club's GM, it seems a lot more likely that this situation will now occur. This HQ writer would be all for it and would perhaps have Joey Graham accompany him for a while too.

One player itching to see some playing time is Alvin Williams. Williams has been playing with the rest of the team for short periods in practices recently and is not giving up on playing this season. We'll stay tuned on this one...

The search for a new GM hasn't begun in earnest for the Raptors at this point, but that hasn't stopped the rumour mill from running at top speed. This week's strange report, comes from ESPN where it was reported that the Phoenix Suns gave permission for the Raptors to speak to President and GM Bryan Colangelo about their upcoming vacancy in the GM/President role. As reigning executive of the year, it's unclear why Phoenix would agree to this allowance unless they feel secure in knowing that Colangelo simply wants to hear what Wayne Embry and co. have to say but are not actually worried about him leaving.

While on the subject of Phoenix and ESPN, RaptorsHQ is forced to call to light one of the worst articles ever to appear on the world's "sports leader's" site. Analyst Chris Broussard, in making his pitch that Canada's Steve Nash should be league MVP again, for some reason goes all "Dime magazine" on readers and begins discussing the acceptance of Nash to his "brothers." Huh?? Broussard for a while now has in the words of our good friend Matt Rose brought "nothing to the table," and how this pointless dribble made it past the site's editors, we'll never know.

What we do know however is that Howland wrote this great response to Broussard:

This post on Nash is disgusting. To promote the idea that this is "ours" and other things are "theirs" only helps solidify and entrench this thinking in society. You should be ashamed and your editors should question whether you should be writing. This solidarity argument, regardless of how it is spun when discussing the NBA MVP is ludicrous.

I am an avid reader of the ESPN blogs. This is without a doubt the worst entry yet. In no way am I suggesting that great differences do not still exist socio-economically between the races, but to suggest that African-Americans should be "OK" with a white basketball player winning the MVP simply brings the debate into a realm in which it does not belong.

It is a game. It is an international game. You might as well suggest that someone from Europe or another nation should not win the MVP.

All this being said Nash is the MVP. I am surprised you are not stating that Americans should be "OK" that he is Canadian. How is this relevant? It isn't, and frankly neither is your opinion from now on.

Perfectly articulated. Good thing the HQ is around to keep these media moguls in check...

GAMEDAY REPORT

The Raptors are in Charlotte tonight to take on an injured but resilient Bobcats squad that after losing 13 straight games, has won its last three including impressive wins over the Lakers, Sonics and 76ers. Charlotte has been without Emeka Okafor, Gerald Wallace and rookie Sean May for huge chunks of the season and may face the Raptors tonight without point guard Raymond Felton. Felton sprained his right ankle in Wednesday's victory and although X-Rays on the injury have thankfully been negative, he may still sit this one out.

Toronto has won the last three matchups against the Bobcats and four of the last five. Charlotte will invariably play Toronto tough and it's imperative that the Raptors forget about the dismal performance they turned in last time these teams matched up, even though Toronto came away with the win.

Desperate for some size Charlotte traded small forward Keith Bogans yesterday to Houston for former Raptor Lonny Baxter. Even if LB plays, Toronto should be able to dominate the paint area thanks to the recent acquisition of Antonio Davis and the recent play of Chris Bosh, Charlie Villanueva and Pape Sow. This may end up being the deciding factor in this game actually as Charlotte's injury issues leaves them with few options on the perimeter.

FRANCHISE