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Sunday, November 18th, 2012 at 2:25 pm  |  61 responses

Erik Spoelstra: Chris Bosh Is Heat’s ‘Most Important Player’


CB4′s efficient offensive onslaught (9-11 field goals and a game-high 24 points) was a big reason why Miami improved to 8-3 last night, despite DWade’s absence and LeBron’s battle with the flu. After the game, Erik Spoelstra had nothing but high praise for his team’s center (via PBT): “Bosh had 16 first-half points, and finished with 24 on 9-of-11 shooting, to go along with nine rebounds, three assists, and two blocked shots. Without that effort, it’s unlikely that Miami would have had the horses to get this win. Both James and Erik Spoelstra were well aware of this afterward, and had nothing but high praise for their team’s most quiet superstar. ‘He’s such an impact to our team, so efficient,’ James said. ‘He gets his points so quietly, makes jumpshots, gets to the free throw line, makes things happen for our team and we all feed off of that. And I tried to feed off of that as well.’ Spoelstra took it a step further, after noting it took him two and a half minutes into his postgame press conference before Bosh’s name even came up. ‘He is our most important player, and he’s as steady and consistent as he always has been for the last two and a half years,’ Spoelstra said. ‘He makes it look easy and he makes it look quiet, and yet he’s so impactful in the game. He was big under the rim and not just his scoring, but the big plays defensively at the end.’”

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  • Raptor

    He better be he got that raptor swag

  • Boss hog

    Good? Yeah. Most important? LMAO I think spo forgot about his MVP

  • Junior Taylor

    I said the same thing last season. LeBron is by far MIA’s best player but they don’t win that championship without Bosh’s services especially in Gm 7 vs BOS and the entire Finals.

  • shockexchange

    That’s like saying Tito was the “most important Jackson” because it’s hard to find another guitar player who’s not already under contract.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert

    People forget how good he is because he’s number 3 on his team…but man he routinely put up 30 point games in Toronto…and he’s even more efficient than he used to be…better defensively too

  • The Mauve Avenger

    How many times do you think Christ Bosh asks Spoelstra say this?

  • Dagger

    Do they win the championship without Lebron? Whose absence would have a bigger impact on the team: Lebron or Bosh? Isn’t winning an MVP about being your team’s best AND most important player? I think Bosh is more important to the Heat than Wade, but let’s not get carried away. Miami is not a contender without Lebron.

  • justin05

    He’s their X-factor for sure. Not the most important, that’s obviously Lebron and then Wade when healthy. As others have said, Bosh playing well is crucial if the Heat want to defend their title. A good comparison would be Gasol on the Lakers. Howard, Kobe, and then Pau

  • Max

    Lebron will not win the MVP, BO$H! will!
    Lebron also should give last years MVP to him!

  • http://www.facebook.com/rainman1991 Saleem Rainman

    YOu called him “cb4″ but he hasnt worn the number 4 since leaving the Raptors…Fail. Come on, Slam…

  • The heat go where Lebron goes..

  • LaLa

    You guys all sound dumb i swear. Do you watch basketball?? Yes LeBron James is the MVP and without him the Heat aren’t champions, but Bosh’s ability to stretch the floor is what allows LeBron to do what he does. Remember the Indiana and Boston series? They struggled and had no choice but to go into video game mode to beat a young Pacers team and old Celtics. No Bosh means they can clog the lanes for LeBron and Wade. Everybody knows what those two want to do, but when Bosh is on the floor they can’t put all the pressure on them because Bosh will murder them with that outside shot. He’d be happy to pull from there all day. That is why Spoelstra said that.

  • B-rad

    I’m not even an enormous LeBron fan, but this assertion is outrageous. LBJ is the most important player in the NBA, let alone the Heat. Spo is tripping hard here.

  • Datkid

    exactly.

  • Datkid

    actually I think w/ a fully healthy wade(unlikely I know) and a really good 3 and D player, they’d still be a contender. They just wouldn’t win. but thats beside the point.

  • Datkid

    Is Lebron the best player on the Heat? yes. and w/ wade still recovering from having horrible knees it’s not close. but there’s a clear difference between most important and best. Lebron and a healthy wade do MANY of the same things.(excellent slashing, great rebounding, good passing, excellent transition scoring) There’s almost too much overlap in skill actually. it’s been mentioned before but in that indiana series when bosh wasn’t there to spread the floor and Haslem lost his shot they couldn’t function, (although eventually they learned how to play off each other). Bosh’s tremendous versatility at 6’11/6’10 and outside shot(which is even better now) open up lanes for wade and lebron, but his ability to defend MOST 5′s (which has also grown) is also incredibly important. w/ him they probably would’ve swept Indy and Boston. I’ve even made the case that Bosh is the best 4 in the NBA skill wise.

  • Datkid

    Now if you could say that w/ more shooters on the floor Bosh has less value to the heat I would understand but I still think the fact that he drags a big far away from the basket (and still gives him buckets) means that he’s the most important.

  • Dagger

    I could see someone saying that before the big three was formed, but I didn’t agree with it then and I certainly don’t agree with it now.

    First: the team is essentially built around the small-ball possibilities that Lebron makes possible. Because Lebron can play and guard any position, the Heat can start their best players regardless of position. Without Lebron they’d probably be forced to start Joel Anthony, unless you think that a lineup of Chalmers, Wade, Battier, Bosh and, say, Lewis wouldn’t get absolutely torched.

    But second: the Heat just wouldn’t have the talent to deal with the loss of the guy who, last year, led them in points, assists, rebounds and steals. That would be true even with a “healthy” Wade (who was plenty healthy in 2011, by the way). The league has moved on. The Heat looked like the most talented team in the league, by far, when they were formed. Their competition in both conferences has improved. After all, last summer they didn’t exactly blow by everyone to a title.

    As for that 3 and D guy: I’m assuming you just mean Battier.

    So that’s a long way of saying that without Lebron, the Heat would have little to no chance of winning a championship, even though the East looks weak right now.

  • Datkid

    I agree a lot with what you said. except IMO: They still have the best mix of youth, talent, and health in the lead. The Western Conference has improved, but the best teams are currently struggling to adapt and I don’t really think the east has improved that much honestly.

    Wade wasn’t healthy in the playoffs that’s what I’m saying. and the reason they didn’t destroy everyone if you remember was because literally everyone was injured. I’m not saying with the current team they could compete if they lost lebron. I’m saying if they lost lebron and signed an excellent 3 and D guy( who would have to be REALLY good I’ll admit) AND a guy who could 5′s, and sort of create his own offense pretty decently. then I wouldn’t count them out. There’d obviously be some slippage though.

  • Dagger

    Well you’re basically saying that if they replaced Lebron with an all-star, they might still contend (even if they wouldn’t win). That proves his value and importance to the team: the only way you can imagine them contending for a championship – not winning, but contending – in his absence is if they replaced him with another great player. I’d say that if they replaced Bosh with another all-star big man they’d still be favourites to win it all, because Lebron is both better and more important to his team’s success.

  • Dagger

    Wait: Bosh allows Lebron to do what he does? He was doing his thing for quite a few years in Cleveland before Bosh. And he was pretty damn good in that Pacers series (which they won, by the way, against a damn good team that was built to exploit their weaknesses). On the other hand, when Lebron was more or less neutralized in the 2011 Finals the Heat flamed out. I’m not dissing Bosh, but people are getting a little ahead of themselves here.

  • Datkid

    Lebron James is a sure-fire Hall of Famer, not just an all-star. and this guy wouldn’t really be similar to him at all. He’d just be a very good 3 and D guy. not that spectacular. W/ a good coach and good health, I think they could go (maybe) go to the finals Bc you still have 2 hall of fame caliber guys. I don’t think they would win. but still.

  • 23

    MIA beat Indiana without Bosh and they beat Boston with an injured bosh/wade. They won’t win anything without LeBron. Saying LeBron is not the most important player on the heat is VERY STUPID.

  • 23

    You are a very smart guy.

  • 23

    They only needed a Bosh at 75-80% healthy to win a chip. Thru only needed a 70-75% healthy wade. Because LeBron is just that good. He carried them. In the playoffs, he lead the heat in pts, rbds, assists. How is he not the most important player!???

  • 23

    Remember Miami beat Indiana without Bosh!???? Remember LeBron turned into a beast and single handedly killed the Celtics chances?

  • 23

    It was a reach. To say the least. How is the teams best passer & best offensive/defensive player not the most important?

  • 23

    Exactly! He’s the X factor, along with Chalmers. But he needs to play solid in order for the heat to win. He doesn’t have to play at an elite level. It would be mice if he did tho.

  • 23

    AMEN!

  • Dagger

    How many players in the league can shoot 3′s, guard 5′s, play great D and create their own shot? This year’s version of Lebron is the only thing that comes to mind; Durant comes close. By the way, I think great inside play from your hypothetical player is much more important than 3 point shooting (if you’re looking to replace Lebron on that team).

  • Warren G

    Why is there no article about Mr. Bryant notching his first triple double?!

  • Warren G

    Why is there no article about Mr. Bryant notching his first triple double?!

  • Conor

    Without Bosh, the Heat are not NBA Lockout Champions. It’s that simple.

  • Matt

    Actually, I think that a Lebron-less version of the Miami Heat would be a legitimate Finals team. Rather than focusing on how the Heat are built and run right now, we should be exploring how the Heat would play like without Lebron.

    I’d say that the Heat would focus a lot on the Wade/Bosh PNR. Wade’s an excellent PNR guard, one of the best at getting his man hit by the screen IIRC, and Bosh is one of the few bigmen who can set/slip the screen and roll/pop. Having no Lebron also means that Bosh will have more looks in the post. The Heat could still run their patented horns sets with a second potential signed big (Tyson Chandler anyone?) and Bosh, and depend on Wade to fulfill much of what Lebron AND Wade are doing right now for the Heat (although that would place a LOT of ball-handling duties on Wade). Korver was also available that offseason to have another floor-spacer, Shannon Brown to have another athletic wing, and maybe even JJ Barea to have another ball-handler.

    The end result would be a Heat roster that looks much more conventional compared to today’s Heat roster. Wade, Bosh, Chandler, Korver, Shannon Brown, Chalmers, Mike Miller, Joel Anthony, etc. Of course, the challenge would be to find an offense that integrates all of those pieces. However, the floor-spacing problems with Lebron/Wade/Bosh/Joel Anthony (Zydrunas)/Chalmers (Cole) shouldn’t be as prevalent as they were in the early games w/ the Big Three, as a lineup of Wade/Korver/Miller/Bosh/Chandler can be used.

    Pretty much, not signing Lebron opens up a few possibilities for signings and my pretty spotty analysis just demonstrates the potential free agents that the Heat could have signed w/o Lebron.

  • Caboose

    Very well done.

  • Datkid

    actually lol it’s 2 players my bad for not making that clearer. One guy is an elite 3 point shooter and a very good defender, and one is a very good big man defender who can shoot a little and run the pick and roll.

  • Datkid

    I like this, bc it says similar things to what I’ve been trying to say, but only with much more detail and analysis lmao. you’ve got the 3 ball guy ( Kyle Korver, although you probably want someone who’s a better defender.) and the athletic elite big men defender/ P and roll monster.(tyson chandler, although I suggested a guy who could create his own shot a little better maybe Nene?)

  • Datkid

    Yeah… and at no point did it look easy. he struggled both times and then became a monster. but being a monster is actually part of the point. did you see what he had to do? how much more difficult things were without bosh? Best doesn’t always equal most important.

  • Datkid

    BC of the skill set overlap between him and wade. a wade whose knee isn’t falling off can do a lot of what lebron does. see 2008 wade, 2011 finals wade, etc etc. Nobody else on the heat can do what Bosh does. Bosh is KEY to that offense running smoothly. of course you can make a case for lebron. but all I’m saying is that you can make a very good one for bosh too.

  • 23

    Yes it does always equal most important. Role players are a dime a dozen. The heat could’ve won last year if you swapped Bosh with David west. They could’ve won if you swapped wade with Kobe. But you can’t swap LeBron with anyone. Nobody has his combo of ELITE skills.

  • 23

    Btw, LeBron made it look extremely easy in game 6 in Boston. Dude was unreal and in case you don’t remember he took his foot off the gas pedal in the 4th qtr.

  • 23

    Last year in the playoffs, LeBron lead his squad in pts, rbds and ast. I’d say that qualifies him as being the MOST IMPORTANT player in Miami.

  • LaLa

    They won both those series because Dwyane Wade and LeBron James are from another planet. They can’t play every single game like that tho. Bosh makes the game come easier to them where they aren’t forced to have to take over a game/series to barely survive against a team like Indiana or Boston. You think they’d be able to win three straight series like that? I don’t think so. Especially not in the Finals to a hungry OKC team. They don’t win the title without LeBron, but the same can be said about Bosh or Wade. They all are extremely important parts to why the Heat are the best.

  • LaLa

    Exactly what you just said is what I tell people about the Heat if they didn’t sign LeBron. The Heat have always played a slow tempo pick and roll basketball. That simple. A Wade and Bosh PNR would be deadly. And by not signing LeBron there could’ve been another star quality player to sign in 2010 or multiple good role players. We just will never know. But people act like no LeBron in Miami means no championship. Pat Riley knows what he is doing. He’s put together a team that has won without LeBron. Led by the real killer Dwyane Wade. They don’t NEED LeBron. But ohh is it so nice.

  • Dagger

    Very nice analysis, but there’s a huge problem: the initial question was whether Bosh or James was more important to the success of the team. You’ve suggested that Lebron’s contributions could maybe not be replaced, but at least compensated for through a host of a free agent signings. Okay, but what about Bosh? Could his contributions be more easily replaced than Lebron’s? That’s the question that informs this thread. I’d argue that they could be. And I’d argue that the team you described would not have won last year’s Finals.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    they don’t even make it out of the second round without LeBron tho

  • 23

    So then youre saying that they are all 3 equally as important? That makes a hell of a lot more sense. Saying bosh is the heats most important player is just stupid quite frankly. Because Miami got past Indiana with no bosh and with a hobbled wade. There’s no way they get passed them without Bron.

  • 23

    What can bosh do that LeBron can’t???!

  • 23

    Wade has had bad series with the big 3 in Miami yet they’ve still won. Bosh has missed basically a whole series and tthey still won. But LeBrons 1 bad series against Dallas? They had no chance. Without Bron they might reach the conference finals, at best.

  • 23

    Basically you’re saying without Bosh the heat struggle to win? But you’re ignoring the fact that without LeBron, they have no shot at winning the title.

  • LaLa

    I wouldn’t say equally important. Obviously spoelstra said this to give bosh credit and make him feel good by saying he is THE most important, but he’s not. LeBron is. But like I said, they all are very important pieces to what this Heat team does. Just in their own ways.

  • LakeShow

    lol..
    You mean KD?

  • Datkid

    First of all both of those wins were against teams that were arguably worse. There’s a reason neither of those teams made it to the finals. And 2nd of all I strongly disagree. A couple of good trades, and a run of good health and they could still contend, although they wouldn’t win. We are talking about a team with 2 Hall of fame caliber players in a considerably weaker conference. You sound silly.

  • Datkid

    I’m not ignoring anything you jack@ss lmfao… I’ve always acknowledged Bron’s tremendous abilities on this site. With that said if he went down and they traded for the right high quality compatible pieces, implemented a good system around the wade bosh pick and roll, then yes they can compete for a title.. You’re hugely underrating certain people. Especially since nobody in the eastern conference looks particulary good right now. The celtics are slumbering, Philly’s not getting Bynum anytime soon, the bulls don’t have rose, and the Knicks can’t be trusted.

  • Datkid

    Bosh is better at unclogging the lane for driving lanes lol. And teams respect his 20 ft shoot a little more IMO. Career wise Bosh is probably an overall better shooter from deep. Relax yo.. Your sounding groupie-esque

  • 23

    LeBron is superior to Bosh in every way. Seriously people act like you can just find a player who can drop 50 pts, or 18 rebounds or 12 assists on any given night! While playing effective DEFENSE! You can replace Bosh with David west, Dirk nowitzki, Kevin love, lamarcus Aldridge and still be favoured to win it all. Replace Bron with anybody else and good luck. LeBron saved the HEATs ass’s multiple times in the playoffs last year.

  • 23

    Bosh is elite. He is VERY important to Miami. But without LeBron who are you gonna trade I’m for? This isn’t fantasy. Who else in THE REAL WORLD can fill LeBrons shoes offensively AND defensively!????

  • Mack

    To say LeBron isn’t the most important player is absolutely absurd. Not to say Bosh isn’t important but he’s not the MOST important on Miami by any stretch. Take away the MVP and there are a number of teams who could knock of the Heat in the playoffs.

  • Datkid

    you’re missing the point. nobody said anything about filling lebron’s shoes offensively and defensively. that’s impossible. I just think they’d still be able to contend for a title. and I already outlined above who I would get if Lebron went down. if you want an explanation go read it.

  • Datkid

    yeah he made it LOOK easy. but the reality was that it clearly wasn’t. bc if it was, he’d would’ve just done it 4 times in a row and swept boston, bc that’s what easy means.

  • Datkid

    you can’t replace bosh with any of those people actually, except LA bc the heat’s defense would fall apart. and nobody is saying Bosh could replace Lebron. That’d be ridiculous. you’re not even talking about anything anymore

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