Chris Bosh is often the forgotten star of the Big 3, but he may be the most important to the success of the Miami Heat because of his offensive versatility.
How often do you come across a guy that is a lock for 19 points and 9 rebounds per game over 10 years, and he’s OVERLOOKED? As unfair as that may seem, that is the deal Bosh signed up for when he left the Toronto Raptors for Miami in 2010.
One of the more interesting storylines heading into Game 1 between the Heat and Indiana Pacers, is the health and availability of Bosh. In last season’s series, Bosh was injured in the 2nd quarter of Game 1, when he suffered a torn abdominal muscle after a drive to the basket and scored over Roy Hibbert.
At that moment, Bosh had ALREADY compiled 13 points and 5 rebounds. As Bosh missed the remainder of the series, his presence was missed as the Heat looked dead in the water and fell behind 2-1 before LeBron James and Dwyane Wade decided it was time for them to be the superstars that we know them to be. Even then, they were still down 3-2 to Boston before Bosh returned full-time.
This season, Bosh is completely healthy, and back to being a matchup nightmare for Hibbert. His excellent midrange game (he’s shooting 51% from 16 feet to the 3-point line) will force Hibbert out from under the basket, which will open up driving lanes from LeBron and Wade.
Bosh’s great shot fake will be a key, as he possesses a distinct quickness advantage over Hibbert. Where Bosh will be most important in this series, is the area that many consider to be his weakness, and that is rebounding.
Indiana has destroyed the Heat on the boards for the most part this season, and the Heat haven’t shown much improvement on the glass since. But Bosh is a 6’11 body that can hold his own on the boards (as his career 8.8 RPG can attest to).
Yes, LeBron is otherworldly. Yes, Wade can impose his will at any time. But in order for Miami to perform and succeed to their championship capabilities, they need Chris Bosh to be a star.