Written by: Andrew Wittry
From the start of the NBA season, the Miami Heat have been the Eastern Conference favorite to advance to the NBA Finals. After Chris Bosh’s abdominal strain that sidelined him in Game 1 of the Eastern Semifinals, and falling behind 2-1 in the series, the Heat were thrown into a must-win scenario in Game 4. It was the first time all season that Erik Spoelstra’s squad had been in danger of being eliminated by a non-elite team (any team outside of the Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder, and San Antonio Spurs). Their one-game deficit also marked the widespread realization of how important Chris Bosh is to the Heat. Bosh often gets discounted when it comes to the Big Three. Wade is the long-time hero of Miami who brought a championship to South Beach. LeBron is the four-time MVP who puts the Heat on his back night in and night out. And what is Chris Bosh? In reality he is an All-Star level talent who has 20 ppg and 10 rpg potential; however, the former Georgia Tech forward is the third scoring option in Miami and does not get the credit he deserves for the role he plays alongside D-Wade and LeBron.
It was not until Chris Bosh had to miss the rest of the Eastern Conference Semifinals that fans understood how integral he was to the Heat’s success. Without Bosh, the Heat have LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, along with aging forwards and inconsistent shooters. With Bosh on the floor, defenses have to pay attention to both Miami’s guards and forwards. However, if Joel Anthony is involved in a pick-and-roll offense, defenders can concentrate on James and Wade since Anthony is not a major scoring threat. Even if the Heat are Wade’s team, Bosh is a more important player. Without Wade this year in the regular season, Miami is 7-1 but without Bosh they were 4-5.
The Indiana Pacers exposed the Heat’s lack of depth in Games 2 and 3 by pounding the ball into the paint to Roy Hibbert and David West. If Bosh is unable to play in the Eastern Conference Semifinals the Heat’s frontcourt will once again be tested. Kevin Garnett has not let his age show this postseason, not to mention Boston’s depth at forward with Brandon Bass and Mickael Pietrus. Even if the Miami Heat win the title, which will certainly be a challenge, they will need to upgrade their frontcourt to support Bosh. If they could add a player similar to Hibbert or Tyson Chandler-a major presence in the paint in terms of rebounding, scoring, and defense-the Heat could be an all-time great team that will make its lasting mark on the NBA. Until then, there is no guarantee that the Miami Heat will ever win a championship.
While the Heat would never split up the Big Three, the best way that they could clear up enough cap space to sign a talented forward or center and have money left over to be scraping from the bottom of the barrel for free agents is to trade D-Wade. Given the Heat’s records without Bosh and Wade this regular season, LeBron and Bosh is a better combination that LeBron and Wade.
The Heat may have enough pure talent to win a championship but if they fall short, adding depth down low is critical for them to make a title run.
Perhaps you missed “Inside the NBA” on Sunday night following the Thunders demolishment of the Houston Rockets. If so, let me fill you in on a comment made by Charles Barkley referring to the day’s activities. Sir Charles stated “This may be the worst playoffs we have ever seen.” …
With the NBA playoffs just under way it is time to take a quick look back at the regular season and evaluate which individual players and coach made the greatest contributions to their respective franchises success this year.
We will start our in-depth analysis with Most Valuable Player, Candidates: LeBron James
Most observers of the NBA have all but already anointed the Miami Heat as the 2013 Eastern Conference Champions. In the West there seems to be more of a competition but the overwhelming opinion has the Oklahoma City Thunder emerging from there to meet the Heat. …