LeBron James has gone back to Cleveland, but there is one of the Big Three that is sticking around in a big way. Contrary to the reports that had Chris Bosh heading to Houston, the talented forward is staying in Miami and Miami is making a serious commitment to him. The Heat re-signed Bosh to a five year, $118 million contract to stay in South Beach. As soon as the deal was reported, the fodder on social media began. Plenty people instantly thought Pat Riley had lost his mind. But even though he may have overpaid a little, Bosh is someone that can be a cornerstone for Miami going forward and a max contract was required to keep him there in South Beach. In the end, this was an excellent move by the Heat organization.
Bosh is one of the most versatile forwards in the NBA. At 6’11”, he can shoot with range and handle the basketball. But what is not acknowledged is he sacrificed his game more than any of the Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the aforementioned Bosh. Before coming to the Heat, Bosh was the most sought after power forward in the NBA. In Toronto he was putting up excellent numbers for a team that was going nowhere fast. Viewing a chance at success, Bosh bolted to Miami and had to face the reality of getting less shots. He was getting as many as 16 shots per game when he was in Toronto, as he averaged 24 points and 11 rebounds in his last year north of the border. When he headed to Miami, he got less chances to be as effective. He would get as little as twelve shots a game, with three of those being from beyond the three-point arc. He sacrificed and accepted the role as the third option with Miami and would differ to Wade and James a lot (sometimes too much). With more shots (and hopefully better shot selection), Bosh will now be the second and sometimes first option again in his career. And with that, expect his numbers to jump from the 16.2 he averaged last season to somewhere around 22-23 points per game.
Another way Bosh became so good in Toronto was because of the positions where he received the ball on the floor. In his Miami career so far, Bosh has been used to space the floor to create driving lanes for LeBron and Wade along with taking big men out of the middle of the lane when LeBron would post up. Often that left Bosh away from offensive rebounding position and forced him into taking more three-point shots than he had ever taken in his career. But before Miami, Bosh was an efficient post player as example here:
Notice in a lot of the highlights from Toronto where Bosh is positioned? He shot three-point shots in Toronto some, but most of his highlights have him in the post or at the elbow facing the defender. With LeBron gone, expect the Heat to revisit the old Toronto tape. Look for Bosh goes back to his mid-range/post game and for him to use his quickness to beat opposing big men to the rim. And with that, it will allow Bosh to return to his customary eight free throw attempts a game he was used to in Toronto as oppose to the 3 a game in Miami.
Bosh has been talked about, downplayed and flat-out disrespected a lot for his sacrifices as a member of Miami’s Big Three over the years. But in all honesty, Bosh is now in a better position to showcase the skills that made him the most sought-after free-agent power forward in 2010. Look forward to seeing him put up at least 20 points and 10 rebounds a game. And as bad as the East is, the Heat can still be one of the top five teams in the East. And they will do so behind the resurgence of Chris Bosh.