By now, everyone knows that Chris Bosh was accidentally knocked in the face by an errant Antawn Jameson elbow. The final score of 113-101 is almost inconsequential as Chris Bosh may have played his final game as a Raptor, leaving in a heap.
First, some good news.
How about those Chicago Bulls?
I can't say it.
This is it, folks. In my opinion, Chris Bosh will not come back from this injury this year and it may very well be the final time we see the top Raptor in just about every statistical category. With a broken nose and fracture on his maxilla, CB4 left in the first few minutes just pouring out blood before being taken to a CAT scan. The errant elbow was thanks to Antawn Jameson in the middle of traffic, and Jameson, of course, did not encounter any reprecussions for his actions.
No, it wasn't a dirty play, but no one on the Raptors even bothered to even put him on his butt.
Meanwhile, Chris Bosh will not be able to return without getting a mask put into place to protect his nose and his upper jaw. If he were to come back in the playoffs, (if the Raptors even make it there) it would have to be with the utmost protection and with the time to get used to his new situation.
Which is why this may very well have been Mr. Bosh's final game as a Raptor.
And if this is all she wrote, I can't say I blame him. Heck, this guy lost his nose and upper jaw to being a Raptor, on top of all those times he's had to carry this team on his back.
I'm still in disbelief about this injury, but there was still a game that we have to talk about.
The Raptors, thankfully, at least made a game of it up until the half way point. Jarrett Jack and Amir Johnson were largely responsible for making sure the Raptors were not down by more than the two points they were at halftime. And if you were wondering about how your 2010-2011 Raptors would look like, for at least the the first half, the Raptors played with some purpose.
That would all come for naught by the time the second half rolled around. Taking a huge gamble, Jay Triano inserted Hedo Turkoglu to start at the power forward position; a configuration that we have not seen all year. While Turkoglu completed a few good moves on the offensive side, the Cavaliers completely scored with indifference to the Raptors defense. It didn't matter if it was LeBron James, Mo Williams, Antawn Jameson, or J.J. Hickson, the Raptors had no interior presence to counter the Cavs. By the time Triano inserted Amir Johnson, it was too late. The Raptors were down by double figures and could never close the gap again.
It didn't end there though. One of our best defenders also went down with a sore ankle. With Antoine Wright doing his best Mo Pete/Anthony Parker imitation, Wright simultaneously provided some spark of offense with his three-pointers and defended LeBron James adequately. When Wright went down with his sore ankle, there was no way the Raptors were going to come out with a victory.
Now the Raptors will go on to play the Boston Celtics tonight. Without Bosh, the Raptors will need a near perfect performance to take out the Celtics and continue to pressure the Bulls. However, it almost makes it academic at this point. Can the Raptors possibly hope to take on the Cavaliers without Bosh? I don't think so. If the Raptors get a proper indication of how long Bosh will be out for and if this will spell the end of his 2009-2010 campaign.
It may be sacrilegious to say so, but I'd almost rather want the Raptors to tank it in their final games in order to secure a lottery position if Bosh will not make a return. Without their star player, there is no benefit to making the playoffs other than to pad the pockets of MLSE.
So in lieu of my 3 keys, I'm just going to say this:
It'll be better for all of us in the long run, even though it's a bitter pill to swallow.