Thursday , Aug , 16 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Chris Bosh’s Absence Hurts Team USA & Toronto Raptors, LeBron James Should Facilitate In Las Vegas

Chris Bosh is out for Team USA. But is Nick Collison in? Is Seattle’s reserve forward really on the verge of donning the stars and stripes in Las Vegas? How about other back-up posts? What is Matt Bonner doing this summer? Is Brian Scalabrine around? Coach K should also check on Mark Madsen’s availability …

The Toronto Star reports on Bosh pulling himself from Team USA:

Chris Bosh’s withdrawal from the Olympic team on the eve of the qualification tournament comes as little surprise to the Raptors.

"We’ve been talking about this for several weeks and knew it was a possibility,” Toronto president and general manager Bryan Colangelo said last night.

Citing a sore left foot – the same injury that limited his ability to practise last season – the 22-year-old took himself off the team a week before the Olympic qualification tournament begins in Las Vegas.

Colangelo said Bosh is expected in Toronto later this week to be examined by team doctors.

"He felt perhaps it wasn’t worth the risk,” said Colangelo. "He’s been having some lingering soreness and he didn’t want to risk any further injury.”

Bosh missed a large chunk of the 2006-07 pre-season because of plantar faciitis in his left foot, a painful injury that requires aggressive treatment and rest.

My Quick Take: is out for Team USA. But is Nick Collison in? Is Seattle’s reserve forward really on the verge of donning the stars and stripes in Las Vegas? How about other back-up posts? What is Matt Bonner up to? Is Brian Scalabrine around? Coach K should also check on Mark Madsen’s availability.

Seriously, Bosh’s injury leaves the Americans with little inside depth. Nicky C is a nice player, but last year he split starts on a disappointing Sonics team, so Tyson Chandler, , and Amare Stoudemire must stay healthy for Team USA .

Alarm bells should be ringing north of the border in Toronto, Canada. Bosh’s injury didn’t surprise the Raptors. But it should concern them. Two years ago, struggled with the same plantar faciitis injury and couldn’t lift the Spurs past the second round of the playoffs. True, the Raptors have depth, but Bosh can’t be replaced, especially in the new and improved Eastern Conference.

Sam Mitchell, Bryan Colangelo, and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment should throw CB4 a giant ice pack and tell him to rest up.

* * *

Chemistry is the key to international hoops. Last August, at the World Championships, Team USA played well, but struggled to find the right player combinations. That’s why they lost to Greece in the semi-finals.

The Americans had success in Japan when played point guard. They spread the floor and let James create for others off-the-dribble. Unlike last year’s squad, Team USA now has two veteran table-setters: Jason Kidd and Chauncey Billups.

There’s no need for King to assume the lead-guard duties. However, James should still play a facilitating role-just at point-forward. He’s always been more Oscar Robertson than Michael Jordan and his dime-dropping skills will develop team chemistry for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

What should Team  USA do for inside depth? Should LeBron James look to score or pass in Las Vegas? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts.

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