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FIBA World Championships - Raptors Update III

Chris Bosh finally got some major clock-time in Team USA's 103-58 win over Senegal. Bosh played 21 minutes and lead the team in scoring with 20 points. He also grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked a shot in the lopsided affair that saw most of Coach K's usual starters get a nice rest to finish off their non-playoff schedule. The US's next game is against Andrew Bogut and a tough Australian club to kick-off the playoff round of 16. Bosh in all likelyhood won't see the same amount of playing-time in the next rounds but this really just shows what we already know...Bosh can easily play with the best of them.

As for the other Raptors playing in's a quick look:

Jose Calderon: With Spain seemingly having locked up a 5-0 record, Calderon saw little action in Spain's crushing 104-55 victory over Japan. Jose played 15 minutes scoring only two points but did dish out seven assists. In fact he only attempted one shot, missing it, and got his points while going two for two from the free-throw line. It's obvious that Spain wanted to rest their super-backcourt of Calderon and Navarro (20 minutes) in preparation for their next match...a tough first-round playoff meeting with Serbia-Montenegro.

Jorge Garbajosa: Unlike his team-mate Calderon, Garbajosa did get some minutes in this match, playing 26 in total. He scored 12 points, (including making two 3's) grabbed seven rebounds and more impressively had four steals. The points are nice but its rebounding and steal numbers like these that really catch our eye here at the HQ. A tough rebounding, passing-lane playing player is what Toronto needs and so far in this tourney, Garbajosa looks to be fitting that bill.

Rasho Nesterovic: Even though Yao Ming (36 points, 10 rebounds, 4 blocks) and China pulled off somewhat of an upset over Rasho's club, Nesterovic himself once again turned in a solid performance with 11 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocks. The assists and blocks are a bit high but these are the type of numbers I'm expecting from Rasho in a Raptors' uniform next season. Then again...these are the numbers I thought Hoffa would eventually be able to give us...

Uros Slokar: While Bosh's numbers look good on paper, we all know that he got them against a much more inferior Angola club. On the other side of the spectrum however we have Slokar. It looks like the Slovenian coaching staff heard the HQ's pleas for more playing time for Uros and in last night's closely fought loss, Slokar played an astounding 34 minutes (second most on the team) scoring 15 points, grabbing six rebounds, dropping three dimes and even blocking a shot. The Chinese squad is not to be taken lightly (as Slovenia found out in the loss) and I think numbers like these are reflective of what Slokar can do when given minutes. He was perfect from the free throw line (four of four) and only hit one of his three attempts from beyond the arc showing that he's not simply a long-range bomber. In fact, thinking about a Bargnani, Bosh, Slokar, Garbajosa lineup and the mistmatches it would create is officially making me giddy...