The Nightmare Before Chris Bosh(mas)

Chris Bosh (Screen shot from http://youtu.be/3mV9bu_p1Yw)

Chris Bosh (Screen shot from http://youtu.be/3mV9bu_p1Yw)

In all likelihood, there isn’t a single person on the planet as relieved as Chris Bosh that the Miami Heat’s series with the Indiana Pacers is over. During the Eastern Conference Finals, Bosh had one of the worst playoff series of his career. Though he started off well enough, scoring at least 15 points in the first three games, the Miami Heat’s center finished dreadfully, leading to paltry averages of 11 points and 4.3 rebounds to go with 37 percent shooting over the entire series.

As the seven game series wore on, Bosh simply wore down. All series long he struggled to guard Roy Hibbert, a player he surrendered 3 inches and almost 50 pounds to. To make matters worse, he suffered an ankle sprain during Game 4 after colliding with Hibbert, which essentially rendered his off-the-dribble attack ineffective. The constant pounding underneath the rim with Hibbert and David West also repeatedly led to foul trouble, which kept him out of rhythm on the offensive end.

For this year, at least, the nightmare matchup that the Indiana Pacers present Bosh with is over. Ahead of him, however, is the San Antonio Spurs’ starting front line of Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter, which present their own set of challenges. Unlike Hibbert and West, though, the Spurs’ frontcourt should be physically less taxing on Bosh, something that should benefit his game immensely.

Although it’s a small sample size (just five games), Bosh has had success against San Antonio since coming to Miami. According to Ethan Strauss, Bosh has averaged 23.6 points on 60.5 percent shooting against the Spurs over the past three seasons. Part of the reason for this success is due to San Antonio’s defensive tendencies: Like most good NBA defenses these days, the Spurs are willing to concede long 2-point jump shots. While San Antonio didn’t get burned using this strategy against a poor-shooting Memphis team, Bosh will undoubtedly make them pay, as he is one of the best mid-range shooters in the entire NBA.

If Bosh’s ankle has healed at all since Monday, he should also be able to utilize his off-the-dribble attack as well. Neither Duncan nor Splitter are particularly quick big men, which leaves them susceptible to another of Bosh’s patented moves. When Duncan or Splitter try to close out hard on Bosh to prevent his jumper, Bosh is adept at using a pump fake to attack the basket. Both Duncan and Splitter are too slow to recover quickly enough, and Bosh should be able to score at the rim now that he no longer has to attempt to finish around the mammoth Hibbert.

For the Heat to be successful in this series, it’s crucial for Bosh to reestablish himself as a threat offensively. Bosh presents a problem for the Spurs not only because he thrives in an area that their defense doesn’t account for, but also because his game creates driving lanes for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade to attack the basket by sucking one of San Antonio’s bigs out of the paint. Bosh’s success could also be key in allowing the Heat to return to their preferred small-ball lineups, something they all but abandoned against Indiana.

While no one knows whether Bosh will regain his form, the matchup with the Spurs presents a prime opportunity to do so, provided that his ankle holds up. Though Duncan and Splitter were dominant against the Memphis duo of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, neither Gasol nor Randolph possessed the quickness or mid-range jumper to truly trouble the San Antonio bigs. Bosh, on the other hand, excels in these areas that truly trouble the Spurs front line.

In order to defeat San Antonio, the Heat will need Bosh to perform at a high level. With Hibbert and West now just an ugly memory, expect Bosh to do so.

______________________________________________________________________________

CharlieCharlie Crespo (@Little_Utopia) is the editor-in-chief of Little Utopia.

Previously from Charlie Crespo:
The Noblest of Experiments
Seriously, People, Enough With the Dolphin Obsession
♦ Beertopia: Gordon Biersch Brewing Company’s Josephsbrau Prost
♦ Grumpy Cat Goes to Hollywood
♦ Can the Indiana Pacers Stop LeBron’s Post Game?

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5 responses to “The Nightmare Before Chris Bosh(mas)

  1. Boy oh boy he was smacked down by Hibbert but I think Hibbert is quickly becoming one of the best Centers in the league. Going up against some aged stars now it will be interesting to see if Bosh or the Heat in general can step their play up. Bosh is playing for his future too as are all these players on the highest stage in the sport.

  2. The man is great for what Miami’s plan of attack is throughout the game. Unfortunately for Bosh, when he’s out of rythm in a game he tends to just keep shooting. I don’t like watching his dribble go beyond 3 bounces but he should be considered the quickest footed big man in this series. He had his jumper in Toronto but he made a living off two dribble basketball and playing smart off the glass. He has lost sight of himself and though it hurts to say he’ll never be the same, the Heat did not get the CB4 they paid for. He’s gotta create and take control on matchups and not pass out for pick and pops. When you change the offense, you change the game. He is still the most pivotal piece in winning this series, Haslem bailed him out twice in Indy, Bosh needs to get back on track.

  3. I beviele that the Spurs will win in Game 6. I beviele that the Indiana Pacers and the Spurs are a pretty similar team, the difference being that the Spurs have 3 superstars, a great coach, as well as poise that I don’t beviele the Heat posess nor did the Pacers. So if the Pacers gave the Heat trouble, we haven’t seen anything yet. The Spurs are also a pretty consistent team and you can always count on them to execute well, pass well and play defense. Boring, but they have won multiple championships over the past 10 years so it works! Can we say the same for Miami? Sure, LeBron is the best player in the NBA and he has been consistently great the entire season, but what about his supporting cast? Birdman, Haslem and Ray Allen came up big in a couple of games in the Pacers series to help the Heat squeeze by Indiana, but can they come up big EVERY game is the question? Don’t even get me talking about D’Wade and Bosh. Who knows what they will bring. Tony Parker and Tim Duncan have been playing superb ball and it will be interesting to see how the Heat will guard the pick and roll, especially with the 3 point threats the Spurs have as well as their third offensive threat, Ginobli. The Heat are tired. If LeBron James can not get the consistent help he needs from his team, then this series will end with the Spurs crowned 2013 NBA champions! If the Spurs steal game 1, it will put a tremendous amount of pressure on the Heat to win every game in San Antonio, especially with the 2-3-2 schedule the Finals follows. I hope to see a good series, but I think the Heat will go down in 6.

  4. My new favorite article, Tough to top that robo-combat one lmao was great….Guess who’s back???? Yea boiiiiiiii!

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