Chris Bosh may not be the No. 1 option in MIA, but he’s gonna be important.
by Aaron Vaccariello
So Chris Bosh is basking in the Florida limelight. That, we know. Yet, there’s so much we don’t know. I haven’t seen much coverage on Bosh lately and it’s understandable. He escaped the dark well that is Toronto, and is now due for the success he’s pursued since his rookie year. I believe we view his situation like this: the big boys ride up front, with Chris in the back–giving directions or something. It’s a fair stance to take considering the status of the Other Two. How is Bosh, an ex-Raptor, expected to contribute on a team with two of the most talented, historical, prominent, coveted and electrifying players in the League?
All I know is, Chris Bosh has the opportunity to shake the sand in South Beach.
Let’s take a look at it this way: Dwyane Wade is the anchor of this Heat team. As it stands, he is the known leader, and everyone understands what to expect from him on a nightly basis. Wade gets the privilege of leniency if he has an off night because he’s earned Miami’s respect through-and-through by way of loyalty, triumph and struggle.
LeBron, though? Dude’s getting no respect until he makes his impression felt in Florida. It makes me nauseous just thinking how much pressure James will have raining down on him. One bad game (anything under 20-5-5, disturbingly) and the media will light a fire under his ass. That’s the path he chose, though. Sure, he sacrificed Cleveland for Miami, and the city rejoiced over it, but he’s got to be versatile and consistent if he wants to win and be seen as a winner, and it’s no secret Bron wants both.
Everybody knows what to expect from No.’s 3 and 6, but as individual players, those guys don’t capture my attention like Chris Bosh does. It seems like he’s written off more each year even though he’s been producing the same all-star numbers since 2005-2006 while showing improvement each season. Bosh’s effort and consistency has made him an asset for any championship contender, and certainly the Miami Heat. Still, people study his hair (and facial features) more in depth than his actual game. I’m not pumping his tires or anything, but he’s got a lot to offer the Miami Heat. As a forward he’s a great shooter. He shot a career best 51 percent from the field and will likely continue that trend in Miami as a recipient of many open looks. However, in comparison to his teammates, CB gets little love. It’s fine because I don’t think people know what to expect from him. That’s why he’s threatening, and that’s why it’s so intriguing. Being a player that put up nearly 26 and 12 (before injury), we’re still not convinced. I’m not a digit kind of guy, so I’m not implying that his stats make him great, but the effort he brought last season made him debatably the best PF in the League. I’m sure reading that is like blasphemy to some of you because I know people out there think Bosh is “just another Udonis Haslem.” Regardless of everybody else’s opinions, including my own, Bosh came off the 2009-10 season playing the best ball of his career, and if momentum has anything to do with it, his progress will carry over as a member of the Miami Heat.
Practically speaking, his numbers might be non-transferable, but Bosh’s effort and approach could actually improve with Wade and Bron around him. Just knowing that more scrutiny surrounds his All-Star teammates makes Bosh an X-factor each and every night. A true threat, in and out of the paint. Chris will be draped in camouflage, no doubt, that’s why he’s in the best position to exploit the opposition.
Games will occur where both Lebron James and Dwyane Wade will struggle (I know, right?). As puzzling as that seems, it will be up to Bosh to string something together. I envision the Heat system as a beautiful machine. When a component fails, another one will back it up. Pat Riley Erik Spoelstra will man the helm and I think we all know there’s enough horsepower to go around. Nights when James puts on his passive mask, and Wade’s slashing proves ineffective, Bosh becomes the best option. Then, a realization may occur; Bosh is capable of winning games with a team on his back, just like his fellow Class of 2003 teammates. Glory is something CB4 hasn’t experienced full on, but there should be an abundance to go around in what should be a magical title run next season. I’m not sure if Bosh is entirely wrapped up in what people think about him, but there’s never been a better opportunity than now to make his impression felt around the NBA.
Let’s be honest. I reside near Toronto, and I love the city, but the NBA is Americanized. It’s a product of its own environment–stars and stripes. As a Dallas native playing in Ontario, CB never garnered the respect or the attention he deserved during his tenure as a Raptor. You could say it was a mixture of Canadian soil, or his style of play that turned people off, but anyway you put it, Bosh has got the prowess to help bring rings to Miami.