Dec 1, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat center Chris Bosh (1) reacts after a shot as Charlotte Bobcats center Al Jefferson (25) looks on in the second half at American Airlines Arena. The Heat won 99-98. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Bosh: A Stretchy Survivor

Chris Bosh has a certain knack for hitting important shots. It is less a skill than an intangible, though skill is certainly involved. Bosh has been working on his 3-point shot over the past couple of years, which certainly helped him drain three 3-pointers in a row to launch the Miami Heat to a 99-98 win against the Charlotte Bobcats Sunday night.

In fact, the 6-foot-11 big man has increased both his frequency of 3-pointers taken as well as his percentage of making them.

In 2010-11, his first season with the Heat, Bosh basically did not attempt shots beyond the arc, averaging 0.3 attempts per game at a .240 clip. During the next season, Bosh attempted 0.6 three’s making .286 of them. Still, attempting very few. Last season, Bosh increased his rate to one 3-pointer per game, though his average was still poor at just .284, causing many fans to yell at their TV sets every time he spotted up from three. This season, however, has been an entirely different story. Bosh has taken quite a leap, attempting nearly two three’s per game (1.9 to be exact) and hitting an insane .467 of those shots.

Of players who have attempted at least 30 three’s this season and average less than two attempts per game, Chris Bosh is the best 3-point shooter of the bunch making nearly 47 percent of his 3-point shots, according to basketball-reference.com. The others are Norris Cole, Pablo Prigioni and Xavier Henry—making Bosh the only big as well as the best of the bunch.

Bosh has added the 3-point bucket to his golf bag because it helps the Heat spread the floor even further. Spreading the floor doesn’t go  on the stat line, but Bosh is the best in the league at doing so. His long reach, shot-making ability from now-any distance, athleticism and understanding of offensive sets makes him so.

I’ve always said this of Bosh: He may not score as much as LeBron James and Dwyane Wade every night, but he has a knack of hitting “survival baskets.” These are buckets that (1) Keep his team in the game, (2) end an opponent’s scoring streak and (3) help get the fans back in the game.

Bosh’s three 3-pointers against the Bobcats achieved all three of these things and sparked Miami’s comeback win. Every once in a while, the third member of the Big 3 is good for a huge night where he stuffs the box score. Mostly, though, Bosh’s contributions will go without a number attributed to it. Bosh as a capable 3-point shooter is good for the Heat, and bad for the rest of the league.

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