Toronto Raptors: Remembering the 2006-07 Season

Toronto Raptors - Chris Bosh (Photo by Tara Walton/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Chris Bosh (Photo by Tara Walton/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /

In honor of Chris Bosh’s imminent retirement, we take a look at the Toronto Raptors 2006-07 season. One of Bosh’s best seasons as a Toronto Raptor, and his first taste of the playoffs in the NBA.

Chris Bosh was beginning to find his stride as the franchise star of the Toronto Raptors by the time the 2006-07 season rolled around, and the season itself became one of the most memorable in franchise history. Let’s recap.

The previous season the team had hired Bryan Colangelo as their new General Manager, replacing the void left by Rob Babcock and the team finished 27-55. Over the course of the summer of 2006, Colangelo attempted to make good on his efforts to remodel the team around the former third overall pick, Chris Bosh.

Bosh had just finished his third season in the league and was coming off the first All-Star selection of his career which saw him average 22 points, nine rebounds and one block per game. Bosh was inked to a three-year extension that summer, keeping him with the team until the end of the 2009-10 season.

Toronto won the NBA Draft lottery and with their only number one pick in franchise history they would go on to select the promising, but ultimately flawed, Andrea Bargnani. Bargnani flashed great range for a seven-footer and the Raptors were looking to add an outside threat to pair with Bosh.

Toronto would also make trades to acquire T.J. Ford and Rasho Nesterovic, brought in Fred Jones and Kris Humphries, and also signed Anthony Parker and Jorge Garbajosa from Europe. The Raptors headed into the 2006 preseason with a roster that also included Jose Calderon who was brought over the previous summer from Spain, and also the longest tenured Raptors of the time, beloved franchise statesman Morris Peterson.

The team gave out the impression they were headed in the right direction, wrapping up the preseason with a record of 7-1. However, when they stumbled out of the gate to a 2-8 record to begin the year it looked as though the Raptors were doomed to repeat their previous seasons’ fate.

This wasn’t the case though as the team had turned things around midway through the season and entered the All-Star break just under .500, and with the opportunity to make a push for the playoffs. Bosh was again voted an All-Star, this time a starter for the Eastern Conference alongside Dwyane Wade and Lebron James.

The Raptors won three monthly awards in January of 2007; Coach of the Month, Rookie of the Month and Player of the Month, with Sam Mitchell, Bargnani and Bosh picking up the awards. The Raptors became the first team in NBA history to win all three awards in the same month, a startling achievement.

On February 7 Bosh scored a career-high 41 points to help the Raptors beat the Magic and the team ended February with a 10-5 record. Bryan Colangelo also added versatile guard Juan Dixon to strengthen the roster for Toronto’s late-season playoff push.

On March 26, Jorge Garbajosa suffered a gruesome leg injury against the Boston Celtics. Garbajosa was carried off the court and later diagnosed with a dislocated left ankle, fractured fibula and torn ligament. It sent a shiver down the spine of everyone who saw it. Garbajosa would be done for the season as the team pushed forward towards their first playoff berth in five years.

Two days after Garbajosa’s injury Chris Bosh became the all-time leader in franchise career double-doubles and on March 30, Morris Peterson hit one of the most iconic shots in Toronto Raptors history to send a game to overtime against the Washington Wizards. The Raptors would go one better and go on to win in overtime as well.

Despite the morale dipping injury to Garbajosa, the Raptors were able to dial it in and keep playing well down the stretch, which resulted in the teams first playoff berth in half a decade. Five days later, the Raptors went one better and won their first divisional title in franchise history.

Bosh won his third career player of the week award and Toronto appeared not to have skipped a beat following the Garbajosa injury.

The Toronto Raptors ended up as the third seed in the Eastern Conference and earned a playoff matchup with former franchise icon, Vince Carter and the New Jersey Nets. The Raptors snuck out two wins against the Nets but were overpowered in six games, losing the series 4-2. Bosh shot poorly from the field in the series but averaged 17.5 points per game and nine rebounds. Even off form, he was still the Raptors best player.

Following the most successful season in Raptors history and finishing with a regular season record of 47-35, Sam Mitchell was awarded Coach of the Year and Bryan Colangelo was given Executive of the Year honors. It would be nearly 10 years before the Raptors would have a better year and during that time the entire organization was overhauled.

Toronto Raptors will always be Chris Bosh's forgotten team. light. Must Read

The season was, by far and away, Bosh’s best season with the Raptors, and the first of his two playoff berths with the team. 2006-07 was a good as it would ever get for Bosh in Toronto, but it will always go down as one of the most important seasons in franchise history.