Everyone wanted to know how the Miami Heat would fill the gaping hole left by LeBron James when he took his talents from his rented South Beach condo and headed back to Cleveland. He is, by most accounts, the best player in the league and should be in everyone’s top two at this point. There is no simple way to fill that hole, no matter what way you cut it.
But, in the short term, Chris Bosh thinks he may have a few answers to the questions anyone may have about the Heat. Bosh filled up the stat sheet against the Washington Wizards in a 107-95. Bosh finished the game with 26 points on 18 shots and also ate the glass alive with 15 rebounds. He finished with an offensive rating of 123.6 points per 100 and snatched 22.6% of the available rebounds throughout his time on the floor.
For all of the folks questioning Bosh and what he could do as a player without LeBron James by his side, he showed he still has a full arsenal of tools to work with. Bosh said he was going to work from all areas of the floor, and he did exactly that against the Wizards.
There were times he caught the ball as a spot up shooter and drove to the basket. There were other times where he trailed the play in transition and hit spot up threes at the top of the arc. There were other times where he spot up in the corners and hit shots. There were times where he was placed on the low block and just went to work.
The balance that came with Bosh’s night against the Wizards is what makes the night so special. He occupied every single section of the floor and his shot distances were very well distributed. Bosh had six field goal attempts at less than five feet, drew five free throws, had four shots from 15-19 feet and four shots from 20-24 feet.
Here’s a look at Bosh’s shot chart from last night.
Bosh did not shoot particularly well at the rim, but it is only opening night and there is definitely room for improvement. But the most encouraging thing is how versatile Bosh got with his shot locations. Teams don’t have many players that are able to cover him on a nightly basis. Even if Nene played last night, it is hard to think he would have changed the result.
Of course, he would have been a better defensive cover than Drew Gooden, III, but Nene has struggled with stretch big men throughout his time in Washington. He’s nimble on the perimeter, but doesn’t do too well when close outs are required.
Chris Bosh went from a third wheel to the main cog in Miami’s offensive scheme. That is not always an easy transition to make, but last night Bosh did it and he did it well. The Miami Heat are still going to be a force to be reckoned with as long as they have Chris Bosh at the helm.
He may just become the NBA’s toughest cover because of his ability as a big man to take people off of the dribble, shoot from distance, play the blocks and finish at the rim.