Chris Bosh Gets Physical


Dec 16, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat center Chris Bosh (1) dunks the ball as Utah Jazz power forward Derrick Favors (15) and small forward Richard Jefferson (24) look on in the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Bosh often gets a bad rap. He is a stretch four who thrives on the perimeter, and defends the pick and roll as well as anyone on the planet. When Bosh is at his best, the Heat are nearly unbeatable.

Unfortunately for Chris, most of his minutes are at the five, where his 6-11, 235 pound frame is often manhandled by the bigger centers. Roy Hibbert is making a name for himself beating on Bosh during the high profile match-ups of Pacers versus Heat. But he’s not the only big center that gives Bosh problems: Andre Drummond, Brook Lopez and most of the 7 foot European centers in the league give him fits.

Bosh is by all accounts one of the most laid back and easy going professional athletes. He is easy to catch with a smile on his face, and although he takes his job as a basketball player seriously, he rarely takes himself too seriously. But the constant onslaught of criticism may finally be getting to him. Since last weeks game against the Pacers, where the Heat were manhandled in the trenches, Bosh is a different player.

Maybe it’s the criticism, maybe it’s the fact that he’s fed up with being manhandled, maybe he realizes that he has to be the man on the boards, whatever it is Bosh has been great. His intensity on defensive end is usually high, but lately, he has focused on battling in the trenches.

Defensive intensity has translated to the offensive end as well. Bosh’s numbers across the board have been up, and the Big 3 have posted 20+ points each in games twice since the Pacers game. In fact, this is the best that the Heat have been as a team pre-Christmas since James and Bosh signed here.

With the Pacers coming into town tomorrow, Bosh will again be challenged to match up against Roy Hibbert. It will be interesting to see what the Heat have in store for that match up. The Heat have historically played the regular season as if it were, you know, the regular season. And the fact that they have never made attaining the top seed a high priority, doesn’t always have them bringing their A game to these marquee match-ups.

Interestingly, the Heat are only two games back of the Pacers for the East’s top seed. This is with the Pacers being very vocal regarding their chase for the top seed, while Miami has made it know they will sacrifice victories in the name of health.

So, while the match up everyone will be focused on is the James/George battle, it will be interesting to see if Bosh will continue his physical play inside, and make the Pacers uncomfortable on the offensive end of the court.