Bosh's New Bulk A Welcome Addition...
November 3, 2009 - 3:46 p.m.

Jay Triano is adamant.

When Chris Bosh grabbed Dwight Howard to ignite a skirmish of forbidden words in Sunday’s loss to the Magic, it wasn’t because Bosh was sending out a message.

He did it because he could.

“That was part of our plan going into the game,” said the Raptors’ coach.

“If Dwight was wide open underneath - he’s a 41 per cent free throw shooter - make him shoot free throws. Don’t let him finish the play. In the past, he might have been able to break through those arms and go up and do something. This time, Chris held him down and held on to him.”

With newfound strength and durability after a summer of brutal conditioning sessions, Bosh has abused opposing defenders, even if the Raptors have stumbled to a 1-2 start.

He is third in NBA scoring with 31 points a game. The only players ahead of him at the time of this post are Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant and he's level Kevin Martin of the Kings.

He is second in rebounding to Howard who has trumped Bosh’s 17.9 a boards a game with 22.5 of his own.

Bosh is second in offensive rebounds with an average of four a game. He trails only Howard, who has struck for a remarkable 5.3 offensive boards a contest.

Bosh admits his spindly frame was holding him back.

"I thought last year I got off to a really good start but I really, really digressed as the season went on. I’m trying to keep it steady this year."

His ability to grab back-breaking offensive rebounds as well as better positioning has allowed him to have more luck on the opposition glass.

“I’m more inside on the offence; I’m in the right position, that’s all it is. You have to get position early and you have to be strong with guys. That makes it a lot tougher on them.”

“I think the work that he did in the off-season, building up his body and building up his strength is going to pay dividends in the second half of the season because he can withstand more,” Triano said.

“He can withstand more minutes. He can withstand more of the pounding and it has given him a lot of confidence. I think it will be something he is able to maintain.”

A Chris Bosh who performs on a flatline means a significantly different outcome for the Raptors who for the first time in years own complementary talents in Hedo Turkoglu and Andrea Bargnani. Bosh is sure it will happen, even as the three regulars from last year integrate themselves into a new cast.

“I think we’re close as a team. I think we’re doing pretty good given the time we’ve had together.”

Wednesday they will attempt to square their record against the Detroit Pistons at Air Canada Centre.

The game will mark a reunion for former Piston Amir Johnson.

The Raptors then undertake a brutal stretch where they play only one home game in a stretch of eight games. Six of the seven road games are against Western Conference teams.