Tuesday , Oct , 04 , 2011 Paul Eide

Bosh Never Got Credit For Playoff Performance

It seemed as though all season, whenever anything wasn’t going well for the Heat, Chris Bosh usually caught the most “heat” over it. Sure, many will point to LeBron as the ultimate lightning rod for criticism but some of the cheapest and most unwarranted pot shots were reserved for Bosh.

For as revolutionary as James and Wade have been for their positions, almost to the point where they are past being defined by a position at all other than “basketball player”, Chris Bosh is equally rare. In the history of the NBA, 6-11 players with the shooting touch of Bosh have been few and far between. The stereotype of a 6-11 center in the NBA is along the line of physical dominance, back to the basket, enforcing his physicality on every play. But that isn’t what Bosh is. And in the NBA that type of old school center is less and less of a commodity.

During the regular season Bosh caught as much “heat” as any player on the team and was perceived as underperforming as the Heat started 9-8. But as the season progressed, he learned how to play with Wade and James and became, generally, the third option but statistically he was producing at nearly the same level he did while in Toronto. Compared to his last two season in Toronto, Bosh attempted three less shots per game in his first year with the Heat, which explains why his scoring average dipped from 23.0 PPG in that time to 18.7 PPG. Even if he just makes one of the three more attempts per game, he’s averaging 20+ and the criticism is curbed somewhat. But the playoffs were where Bosh really stepped up.

Specifically in the Eastern Conference Finals, Bosh killed the Bulls at the end of games with his clutch free throw shooting and the match-up nightmare that his size and unique skillset created. Bosh averaged 23.2 PPG and shot a robust percentage from the field and could not be guarded by either Noah or Boozer.

Bosh’s performance in the NBA Finals was totally underrated. At certain points when LeBron did his disappearing act for quarter at a time, and D Wade wasn’t having success, Bosh was the guy filling it up. He was the Heat’s second leading scorer and leading rebounder in the series, and its most consistent offensive weapon over vast stretches of time.

So, why didn’t he get any credit? Sure, the Heat lost the most important series of the playoffs, one that Bosh and company had basically guaranteed they’d win during the Big Three “unveiling” in Miami. If they win the series it would’ve been hailed as a turning point for Bosh’s career and the LeBron haters would’ve been out in full force saying that he wasn’t as good as he should’ve been, and pointed to Bosh’s exploits as the reason they won.

No matter what though, the Heat don’t get as far as they did without Bosh’s performance in the postseason.

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