Chris Bosh has missed the last two games for the Toronto Raptors, and his team has split those contests. With the way the Charlotte Bobcats have been playing, the Raptors might be able rest their star forward again.
Toronto will try to bounce back from a loss as it hosts the Charlotte Bobcats, who are looking to avoid a six-game losing streak, on Monday.
Bosh left the Raptors' win over Memphis on Wednesday in the second quarter with a strained groin. After he watched the Raptors (9-8) defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers - playing without LeBron James - the All-Star again was a spectator Saturday when Toronto lost 101-97 to Washington, ending its three-game winning streak.
"A lot of our offense goes through relying on Chris to draw double-teams, but we missed some shots that we can make and we made some mistakes," Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said. "We gave ourselves an opportunity, but every time we got right there, we just couldn't get over the hump.''
Bosh is questionable for this game and remains day-to-day.
Despite being the team's leading scorer, Bosh's numbers are down from his career-best averages of 22.6 points and 10.7 rebounds in 2006-07. He's averaging 18.8 points and 7.9 rebounds, but there's no doubting his impact on the team.
"It's hard, obviously, because all of our offense runs through Chris and he provides a type of game that we don't have,'' said Raptors forward Jason Kapono. "On the block, he can face guys up. And at the free throw line - he gets to the line a lot. That's something we need to balance out during those tough stretches when we can't score.''
Bosh has been especially good against the Bobcats in his career. He's averaged 23.2 points and 9.4 rebounds in nine games against Charlotte, leading the Raptors to an 8-1 record. Toronto is 8-2 lifetime against the Bobcats, winning all three games last season.
While Bosh is the go-to player, the Raptors do have other offensive options. Surprising rookie Jamario Moon is one of seven other Raptors averaging at least 9.1 points. The 27-year-old, who went undrafted in 2001 and played in the CBA, USBL and Europe, has started 11 games and is also second on the team with 7.4 rebounds per game.
The Raptors are also one of the league's best 3-point shooting teams. Toronto makes 42.6 percent from beyond the arc and has six players shooting at least 40 percent.
Charlotte (6-9) started the season with six wins in its first 10 games - the best start in its four-year history - but has lost straight games. The most recent loss was a 111-95 defeat at Chicago on Saturday.
The Bobcats allowed the Bulls - the worst-shooting and lowest-scoring team in the NBA - to shoot 54 percent and score a season-high 111 points. Charlotte was outrebounded 48-24, its total rebounds the second-fewest total in franchise history.
"That was the biggest problem for us (in Chicago)," Bobcats coach Sam Vincent said. "They pounded us on the boards all night long. ... We just have to understand that to win in this league we have to play 48 minutes."
Charlotte has four starters averaging at least 13.3 points, led by Gerald Wallace's 18.4. But aside from Matt Carroll's 10.3 points per game off the bench, the Bobcats reserves haven't given the team much. Rookie Jared Dudley is the next highest scoring non-starter, averaging just 4.7 points.
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