Miami, to continue success, needs their most unselfish player to be even more unselfish. The “other guys” have to play their roles and contribute, especially with Dwyane Wade’s situation, courtesy of an age and injury combination of some sort. The “King of the Court” has all the accolades, but that “third wheel” needs to get involved.
Sure, you can say that Chris Bosh has deficiencies in his game similar to Lakers’ big man, Pau Gasol. He isn’t as assertive as he could be, and of course he’s taken a backseat to LeBron James as the engine that makes the team go. That’s what happens when you bring talent together, but even a championship team can make improvements according to each individual season and unique playoff run.
At this point in time, the Heat are focused on closing out the Indiana Pacers with a 3-2 series lead. The interior presence and challenge presented by Roy Hibbert and David West is apparent, however the usage of Bosh and adjustments that can be made don’t just apply to the team losing the series. If you follow basketball, you would recall Bosh being the go-to player and face of the franchise for the Toronto Raptors. He’s played on several all-star teams, including Team USA where he even anchored a Coach K-defensive scheme in the lane. You’re right if you say this isn’t quite the European style of play, and Bosh doesn’t have the advantage against the Indiana front line, but he does have that offensive ability to make them work harder. Not only is Bosh a proven scorer, deriving from his perimeter shot that has expanded to behind the arc, but he will occasionally get you points in the paint. But, like with most things, it’s even simpler than that.
As much as you want to point fingers at who’s scoring the basketball, the ability to pass and create for teammates is often overlooked when discussing power forwards and centers. I won’t discount the resume of head coach Erik Spoelstra, he has worked his way up the ranks and appears to have a strength on the defensive end. To his defense, they won the championship last season with three all-stars engineering the offense. At this level, the MVP and quality players have the keys to the offense, but it is up to the coach to make adjustments and utilize his talent in various ways. With a hindered Wade, young point guards, aging shooters, and a lack of consistent bigs, don’t put the world on one player’s shoulders every single game. He’s the best in the world and future Hall of Famer for a reason, but if you can make life easier then that’s what you do. Maybe it’ll take the media negativity off of Wade who has had an accomplished career, and shed some light on the forgotten player of the “big three.”
Whether you start a game going through Bosh offensively, of try to get him involved in the 2nd or 3rd quarters when the games tend to lull with substitutions and what not, run a stretch of plays through him in the high and low post. He can play some point-forward, having the duel threat to play with his back to the basketball as well as facing up. You know he can hit that mid-range shot, and he will take it to the whole a couple times a game, but penetration draws help defense to leave one of their shooters open. If you can get Bosh going, especially early in games with shots at the rim and in his comfort mid-range spots, he will find backdoor cutters from the high post. That’s a dimension Miami has hardly touched upon and that will get James and Wade more opportunities at the rim from simply cutting, or 1 on 1 mismatches in the block before a defense can rotate and double-team them.
This would have made life easier on the Heat against the Bulls, where they struggled in three of the five games in that series. This will certainly make life easier against a bigger Pacers team that wants to wear you down with physical play, with discipline and patience that has endured their opponents. Speaking of discipline with patience, Hall of Fame Coach Greg Popovich and a championship-experience San Antonio Spurs team, are resting and game-planning to dethrone the reigning champions. That’s a tall task for both the Heat and Spurs, it will be a heavyweight fight if Miami takes care of business as expected against Indiana. It’s difficult enough to score on the Heat, let alone contain an offense that spreads the floor. Miami is the best fastbreak team in basketball, and they can give teams another dimension to defend on the secondary break with a quick-entry pass to Bosh (or James for that matter) to attack. And when the pace slows down they can run the offense through Bosh to attack his counterparts, instead of letting them save their energy on defense (David West, Roy Hibbert, Tiago Splitter, and Tim Duncan).