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Thursday, October 18th, 2012 at 12:00 pm  |  99 responses

Top 50: Chris Bosh, no. 18

The definitive ranking of the NBA’s best players for ’12-13.

by Ben Taylor / @benitaylor

Let’s get this out of the way. Chris Bosh probably isn’t your favorite player. He’s not mine either. There will be plenty of people reading this who want to know why he should be ranked higher than Zach Randolph, or Paul Pierce, or whoever.

The thing with a guy like Bosh is that it can be hard to see the player through the peripheral stuff—the goofiness, the passing resemblance to a dinosaur, the crying in the locker room, the “soft” jibes, being the “third wheel.”

And while it might be more fun to turn him into a GIF—God knows his facial expressions, interview bombs, and the champagne shower are the stuff of internet legend—that doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve some respect as a player.

Last year we had him at 17 (after a Finals loss in which he was the Heat’s most important player), and as the third option on his team—with teammate LeBron James having an otherworldly season at both ends of the floor—Bosh finished the season with 18 points and 8 rebounds per game, another All-Star appearance and a Championship.

While LeBron and DWade were dominating games and headlines, Bosh went about his business efficiently and effectively—using his time with the ball wisely, taking smart shots, creating space for his guys. But when they needed him to step up, he showed—just as he has his entire career—that he could be relied upon to put up points and make plays.

LeBron was the man on that team, no doubt, but even the greatest player on the planet had to acknowledge that Bosh was irreplaceable to the Heat last year.

Think back to the regular season. With Dwyane Wade on the sideline with injury, Bosh stepped up and helped the Heat to a 12-1 streak—the former Raptor averaged nearly 24 points per game on 57 percent shooting.

And then there was his Eastern Conference Finals comeback. Returning to the lineup after injury, Bosh sealed a place in the Finals for the Heat by shutting down Kevin Garnett at one end of the floor, and opening up the game at the other—his clutch outside shooting prevented the Cs from being able to double up on James and Wade. It was much the same story against the Thunder, where he made Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins a non-factor, despite being at less than 100 percent healthy for the entire series. The rest, as they say, is GIF history.

But, I hear you—that was last year, and the SLAMonline Top 50 is about the here and now. So, what is Bosh going to do this season to justify his place in the top 20?

He’s going to move full-time to center, creating match-up problems for the rest of the League’s bigs, who will be forced to decide whether to guard Bosh’s outside shooting or to fill the lane to cover James and Wade.

He’s going to average in the region of 20 and 10, despite the fact that LeBron will have an even more ridiculous season than last year, and he’ll be third in line for the ball again.

He’s going to make another All-Star team.

Most importantly, he’s going to be an even better bail-out guy for the Heat than last year, as they head toward their second consecutive NBA title.


Where should Chris Bosh rank in the SLAMonline Top 50?

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SLAMonline Top 50 Players 2012
Rank Player Team Position Pos. Rank
50 Greg Monroe Pistons C 8
49 Tyreke Evans Kings PG 14
48 Brandon Jennings Bucks PG 13
47 Stephen Curry Warriors PG 12
46 Ricky Rubio TWolves PG 11
45 Al Jefferson Jazz PF 14
44 Anthony Davis Hornets PF 13
43 Serge Ibaka Thunder PF 12
42 Al Horford Hawks C 7
41 Ty Lawson Nuggets PG 10
40 Danny Granger Pacers SF 6
39 Tim Duncan Spurs PF 11
38 John Wall Wizards PG 9
37 Monta Ellis Bucks SG 8
36 Zach Randolph Grizzlies PF 10
35 Roy Hibbert Pacers C 6
34 Tyson Chandler Knicks C 5
33 Eric Gordon Hornets SG 7
32 Kevin Garnett Celtics PF 9
31 Manu Ginobili Spurs SG 6
30 Amar’e Stoudemire Knicks PF 8
29 Marc Gasol Grizzlies C 4
28 DeMarcus Cousins Kings C 3
27 Paul Pierce Celtics SF 5
26 Andre Iguodala Nuggets SG 5
25 Rudy Gay Grizzlies SF 4
24 Josh Smith Hawks PF 7
23 Derrick Rose Bulls PG 8
22 Joe Johnson Nets SG 4
21 Steve Nash Lakers PG 7
20 James Harden Thunder SG 3
19 Pau Gasol Lakers PF 6
18 Chris Bosh Heat PF 5

Notes
• Rankings are based solely on projected ’12-13 performance.
• Contributors to this list include: Jake Appleman, Maurice Bobb, Rodger Bohn, Brendan Bowers, Franklyn Calle, David Cassilo, Bryan Crawford, Adam Figman, Eldon Khorshidi, Eddie Maisonet III, Ryne Nelson, Ben Osborne, Allen Powell II, Sam Rubenstein, Jonathan Santiago, Abe Schwadron, Leo Sepkowitz, Dave Spahn, Ben Taylor, Tzvi Twersky, Peter Walsh, Tracy Weissenberg, Yaron Weitzman, DeMarco Williams and Dave Zirin.
• Want more of the SLAMonline Top 50? Check out the archive.

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  • justin05

    He’s gtill a great player but I think Gasol and him should be flipped. Bosh isn’t quite as good Pau still.

  • TR

    Perfect write up about Bosh. Goofy dude that can ball haha.

  • LeroyShonuff

    I personally believe he should be top 10 based on slam’s ranking system. He completely changes the heat and the league. He can rebound and start the break for the heat while getting points off pick n roll, off the ball movement and is a dope passer. He is the reason the heat won a title. Only Dwight or Bynum (potentially) is a more valuable big in the league. That includes pf’s too

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

    Gets overshadowed by Lebron and Wade…Hes the same guy he was in Toronto! which was without a doubt a top 20 payer.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    by what logic?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    if Bosh wasn’t on the Heat, he’d be a top 10 player.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ben Osborne

    Nice job, BT. I voted him 17th so obviously I’m pretty pleased with this ranking.

  • MUBWAR

    Most people forget that he averaged 24 and 9 as a second fiddle to the king for 14 games while wade was sidelined. how many ballers average 24 and 9 as 1st option? he is easily top 15 to 20 in the league as a third option(that’s crazy)

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    in Toronto he was putting up 24 and 11, he’s now putting up 18 and 8, he’s being overshadowed.

  • Max

    What more can I say than “Like a Baaaaawwsshhhhaaaaahhh!!!

  • LakeShow

    Bron
    KD
    Kobe
    CP3
    Howard
    Rose
    Dirk
    Wade
    Love
    D-Will
    Westbrook
    .
    .
    .
    I dunno man, Dirk is maybe the only player i’d put him above out of those. Close to top 10 for sure though.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/savagemuzicgroup T-Ray

    I’m totally fine with him being ahead of Gasol me being a resident Laker fan and all. One dynamic that he brings to the Heat is his matchup nightmare ability for opposing centers. He’s a constant threat from outside and if you close out to hard he’ll drive for the finish or find the open man. He’s also very underrated as a defender.

  • danpowers

    the lizard man. nice read

  • Hanoon

    he’s my favourite player ya goofball

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i’m pretty sure most of us would have Bosh over Dirk and Westbrook if he were the top dog on a team. — And some people would put him over Kevin Love for defensive reasons.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Without a healthy Bosh, Miami takes 7 games to get by both Indiana and Boston. With a relatively healthy Bosh, Miami beats OKC in 5. He’s a lot more important to the Heat that many give him credit for!

  • LakeShow

    Those are arguments that can be made. I think I would take Westbrook, but not Dirk. Love… well this is Love’s season to prove if he is the elite PF IMO. He’s shown he can put up gawdy stats, but this season he has to show if he can lead a winner. IF he can, I think he rightfully deserves a spot over Bosh.

  • LakeShow

    But that would put Bosh at 11 so I pretty much agree with you lol…

  • Drig

    You could say the same about Pau. The problem with both of them is that they’re on stacked teams and get overlooked.

  • MUBWAR

    Love doesn’t have a single go to move. he shoots 3′s and get a whole lot of put backs. plus the last 3 seasons in the league, he has a combine 79 blocks in a possible 230 games played. that’s horrendous as starting PF let alone a top 10 player in the league.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i agree about Love completely. this breaking his hand in his sleep business is a bad sign for that too happen tho.

  • UNFORGETTABLE

    Overshadowed by Bron and Wade. Very underrated. Great write up, though I think he should at least be 15.

  • Conor

    Even as a fan of Los Angeles, Bosh is superior to Gasol in every facet of basketball other than passing.

  • Perry the PlatyPteranodon

    I’m okay with him here, personally had him above Griffin and Love, mostly for his defense and passing ability, and he’s better offensively than either of them by far.

  • danpowers

    me too. at least he is a better player than love for sure

  • Drig

    Post game would be slightly in favor of Gasol. Passing in favor of Gasol. Transition, Defense, Perimeter scoring would be Bosh though. Bosh > Gasol as an individual player. Better fit for LAL : Gasol.

  • Drig

    Bynum??? Assuming he’s finally gonna be healthy?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    what about Bynum? He has never even kind shown us he’s a top 10 player in the NBA. Being the top dog on Philadelphia, with his maturity issues, will, more than likely, yield more negative results than positive ones, despite what everyone keeps saying. Being the leader of a team is a totally different monster than being Kobe’s punching bag.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    look, he’s scoring more points more efficiently then any other 4 in the league, and he’s rebounding more, at a higher rate than anyone not named Dwight. If he is the best player on a playoff team, the argument that he is the best 4 in the league and an obvious top 10 player is completely valid.

  • LakeShow

    yeah…wtf

  • LakeShow

    Why do you need a go to move when your doing things no one in history has done?

  • LakeShow

    This is Bynum’s year to show what he’s all about.

  • Drig

    Bynum has shown that when he’s involved on the offensive end of the floor, he can be a beast on the defensive end, even with his shortcomings while defending the PnR which killed LAL last season. I think his maturity issues are being overplayed a bit much like Cousins’ issues and I’m sure he knows how hard Philly fans can be if you don’t exert your all. He’s shown enough maturity and mental toughness to come back from injuries and improve his game, has a few go-to moves in the post which will be effective with single coverage, is learning to counter double teams and can alter and rebound shots with his wingspan. Personally, I believe this will be Bynum’s year as long as Turner/Holiday feed him, play off of him and knock down shots from the perimeter. Personally, I thought he was a top 10 player for a few months in Feb ’10. Retrospectively, I’d probably rank him around 17-19 over the course of last season.

  • a random

    I can’t stand bosh

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Drig, Cousins has not punctured a player’s lung, and hasn’t taken out his frustration by doing the exact same thing at the end of a blow out because he was frustrated over a year later. And Bynum has never been productive (at an elite level) for a consistent amount of time for anyone to believe he’s going to take on a bigger role and prosper doing it.
    .
    And Phili fans don’t keep their athletes ego’s in check, if the athlete under performs they DESTROY that athletes confidence. And Bynum is about as mentally tough as a small child waiting in line to talk to Santa Clause.
    .

  • Datkid

    not offensively, I feel like, but on both sides of the ball Bosh get’s the edge.

  • MUBWAR

    but he isn’t nbk. he never made the playoffs. bosh took his team to the playoffs 2 or 3 times in his first 6 seasons. I really like kevin’s stats but he is better off as a second or a third options on a contender.

  • Datkid

    Kobe over wade tho? and westbrook over wade? Irving over bosh? and cousins is a top 20 player? and Melo is top 10?

  • Datkid

    Bosh is a top 10 player. and arguably the best PF in the game, if we want to talk about both ends on the floor. He guards the P&R well, can protect the Rim, can guard centers not named dwight or bynum and I’m pretty sure he guarded KD for a couple of possessions. and offensively he’s just as skilled a scorer as any PF not named Dirk or maybe Love. P&R, pick and pop, midrange jumpers off head fakes, attacking off screens and shooting 3′s are all well within his repertoire. probably the most versatile 3 in the game.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    dude, i have Bosh as a better player. I’m just saying, if Love is the best 4 in the league again this year statistically, and leads them to the playoffs, the “Love is the best 4 in the league conversation” will be completely valid. That’s an IF though.

  • Datkid

    Personally I think if the Heat want to take some of the pressure off the still recovering wade they should make bosh the 2nd option. His game opens up Lebron’s more. but that’s me.

  • Mr. Wet

    Bosh is a tough player to rank. I think because he’s technically too damn good to be a third wheel on a team. Put it this way in the Love vs. Bosh arguement. I’d rather have Bosh being the superstar on my team over Love. But, I think you swap bosh and love on the heat, and the Heat are a better team.

    But, what do I know. I never thought Dirk would win a title being the best player on his team.

  • Junior Taylor

    Despite what everyone says about Bosh, the man more than held his own against the likes of KG and Ibaka. He was huge during that Finals with his ability to stretch out and hit the mid-range or 3pt J (3/4 from 3 during that Gm 7 vs BOS) and had 3 different 2 blocks game, double figure rebounds twice (15/11). I think that the Heat should run more plays on the block for Bosh, dude got an underrated post game.

  • LeroyShonuff

    I got Bosh top 10.
    1. Durant/Lebron
    3. Kobe
    4. CP3
    5. Rose (when healthy)
    6. Wade
    7. Dwight
    8. Melo
    9. Bosh
    10. Rondo

    Bosh is the best PF in the league. He is beyond better than Love/Blake but Cousins can be top 15.

  • LakeShow

    I agree 100% that Bosh can carry a team to W’s better than Love as a 1st option, but Love would be better on the Heat than Bosh is.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    How do you figure that? The Heat need a big (aside from one that can run a pick and pop) that can defend and run the floor……Bosh does both better than Love.

  • danpowers

    what? his overall production decreased compared to his output he had in toronto. ever since he just got better as a player. compare his raptor-stats with love or griffin and you see what i am talking about. that he is more than just a bandwagon guy showed against boston and in the finals. he is clearly, without any doubt a better player than love.

  • Sérgio

    Kobe was better than Wade last season.

    But Bosh over Rondo?

  • Conor

    Yes, yes, not yet, not yet, and yes. Respectively. imo

  • Datkid

    No Kobe was not. lol

  • 23

    Your #1 is just plain silly. Give the man his props already. Unquestionably the best in the game, and not slowing down.

  • 23

    Wade missed a good chunk of games in an already shortened season. Kobe finished second in scoring. Wade was somewhere around 20 4 4 on under 50% shooting. Last year we only saw a couple flashes of FLASH. It was not a good year for wade.

  • 23

    I agree, unlike wade Bosh’s game compliments LeBron.

  • LakeShow

    Why do they need someone that can run the floor? Doesn’t Bron and Wade do that well enough? And Love runs well for a PF. Bosh isn’t even much faster or athletic at all. They need some help rebounding. We all know who does that better. Love has a slight edge on who is better for Miami imo.

  • Rainman

    This is projecting the rankings for the upcoming season right? So it has nothing to do with last year, right? So why is Bosh ranked Higher than Pau Gasol, who will be playing in a system TAILOR MADE for his skills in the princeton, and playing alongside an offensive wizard like Nash? I dont understand this one slam… Just switch their spots around, its only a one spot differnece. Noone will notice lol

  • Rainman

    even tho i dont agree with him being ranked aboce Pau Gasol, this is very true,

  • Rainman

    Very True. Being a Toronto native, i recall this guy being a 24 and 11 guy… Elite player. Btw, i understand him not having as many oppurtunities to score, but shouldnt that mean he’d have more energy to crash the boards? What really happened to his rebounding? i’ve been baffled by it ever since he went to Miami

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    dude, think about the Miami defensive system. It predicates on big men that can cover a bunch of ground. If Kevin Love were put in there, their biggest strength on defense is immediately neutralized. — The rebounding thing is an issue for them….but it is obviously not enough of an issue that they need to trade out a strength to make up for it.

  • LeroyShonuff

    Durant is only 23 and is still getting better. Who knows where he will be in 5yrs. Lebron is in his peak. If Bron is better (I don’t believe it) then it isn’t by much

  • Rainman

    Opposite to that (valid) argument tho is that Miami is a better team when Chris Bosh plays center… So which of the the two between Love or Bosh fills the need for a Center better? Give me Bosh.

  • Rainman

    Being from Toronto (and seeing Bosh at his best) i still dont agree with Bosh being ahead of Gasol in terms of projected rankings for the UPCOMING season. Pau is gonna be in a system made for his skills, man

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/savagemuzicgroup T-Ray

    So you don’t think Bosh is in a better system than Pau? I mean you’re obviously entitled to your own opinion but my personally I feel with all their shooters and playmakers(mainly James and Wade) he’s bound to have a better statistical year than Pau. Just my opinion.

  • Rainman

    Im not so sure, i mean what makes this year any different than the last two for Chris? I expect much of the same from him as i’ve seen since he got to South beach. Where as for Pau, he had an off year and Chris BARELY had a better season (Even statistically) and Gasol is in (From the looks of it, cuz as i’ve said, the princeton is made for him) for a considerably better season, from my perspective at least. And this IS a list for projected standings for the coming season, not last…so there is that too.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Bosh’s rebounding numbers reflect his role in the offense more than anything. If you look at his rebound % numbers (much better stat to show how he is as a rebounder) you’ll notice he has only really “fallen off” on the offensive glass. – http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/boshch01.html – and that is a result of him playing the pick and pop and not getting as many possessions in the paint.
    .
    if you disagree or have another POV for me to look at, i would love to hear it, that’s just the reasoning that I see.

  • 23

    Other than shooting touch, what areas is Durant superior to LeBron?

  • price

    his statistics dont win games

  • aicomeback

    lebron was supposedly at his peak 2 years ago and this isnt about durant in 5 years its durant now vs lebron now

  • LeroyShonuff

    Yes, Bosh over Rondo. Bosh impact on games is higher than people think and he is a better player than rondo. Not dramatically, but he is better.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/savagemuzicgroup T-Ray

    Valid points but statistically I feel Gasol’s numbers will not be boosted by the offense. Anytime you have Kobe on your team he’s going to demand shots. Howard will take away from his rebound count because he’s such a dominant force on the glass. I mean honestly if you switched them in ranking I wouldn’t mind because they’re so close together.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    man it’s like you people just write stuff. read the whole conversation before you respond. repeating myself over and over again is fucking stupid. just like that comment.

  • Datkid

    @disqus_KMjGlf16zQ:disqus Kobe literally shot the lowest % since his rookie year despite his magical trip to germany. If Wade had gotten the same amount of shots as Kobe…. then he would’ve won the scoring title despite being injured. Wade defended and passed better as well. not to mention he helped win another championship. Kobe didn’t do any better than wade this year… he just shot more.

  • Datkid

    I agree w/ that. I just think Love’s offensive game is more explosive. but I would say that Bosh’s is far more versatile.

  • Datkid

    I meant *4 and I forgot about his post game(which although it is underused is still very good) silly me.

  • Datkid

    @lakeshow @nbk bosh is fairly athletic. But his game just doesn’t all the depend on his athleticism which is why I can see you thinking that. dude is like an athletic, non-injury prone PF version of Brandon Roy

  • Datkid

    i hear you, but Pau’s old and he’ll be sharing shots (and the block) w/ dwight, kobe and Nash. and he didn’t get enough touches with kobe anyway.

  • Dagger

    I take your point, but it’s a bit hard to be a winner when your team has no talent. I know that this is too often a handy excuse, but I’m not sure any player in the league, put in Love’s place, could have carried the Timberwolves to the playoffs last year after Rubio went down. The West is tough and you can’t squeak into the postseason like you could in the East.

  • Dagger

    Have to say, as a Raptors fan I’m not sure about that. I watched Bosh play for the Raps in their 47-win season, and obviously I was a huge fan. That said, that team won 47 games (and their division) because of its ridiculous depth (which is one reason it collapsed in the playoffs). A second reason: great shooting and 48 minutes of sound point guard play that got the ball to the right people at the right time. Bosh was good, but he was never really a franchise player for the Raptors. A bit like Pau in Memphis. Put Love on that 47-win Raptors team and I think they still win their division and make the postseason, perhaps even with more wins.

  • LeroyShonuff

    even now, while skill sets many be different, the separation between the two is miniscule at best. It’s apples and oranges comparison.

  • LakeShow

    I mean it’s hard to say, but Love has done nothing to help me think he can take mediocre teams to the playoffs. Bosh showed us. And yes that was a skilled team.
    I happen to think that Love is better than Bosh, I just want him to prove himself as a winner and show some defense.

  • justin05

    Idk about defense but Pau pusses out a lot. This year Bosh could be better but Gasol has been in the discussions as a top 5 power forward in the league for years.

  • aicomeback

    lebron impacts the game in more ways than kd the only minuscule separation is in their scoring averages

  • Gordy Binning

    LOL you only have Love up there because of his stats. Bosh is the best pf in the nba on any other team. The only thing Love does better than bosh is his rebounding and 3 point shooting.

  • Mr. Wet

    They obviously wouldn’t run everything the same defensively. But, It’s really not a big deal. It was a just a hypothetical that was helping me rationalize things in my head. Love won’t end up there anytime soon, so it’s all speculation.

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

    thats what i was saying….

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

    ouch no love to ben

  • 23

    Can Durant pass like bron? Can he defend like Bron? Can he legitimately guard derrick rose and Pau? And what happened to the importance of winning a ring? All of a sudden that doesn’t matter anymore?

  • http://www.facebook.com/Bishop.SeanMagicJuan Sean MagicJuan

    I can’t believe I’m saying this but I agree with LakeShow on this one. Close but not quite Top 10 somewhere else.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Bishop.SeanMagicJuan Sean MagicJuan
  • Ltron

    Actually he’s my favourite player…

  • http://www.facebook.com/qcollingwood Interdico Scriptor

    What’s GIF?

  • http://www.facebook.com/qcollingwood Interdico Scriptor

    Kobe ain’t 3 bra AND Melo is better than KB! word

  • http://www.facebook.com/qcollingwood Interdico Scriptor

    me neither

  • http://www.facebook.com/qcollingwood Interdico Scriptor

    Okay. Here goes
    1. Bron
    2. Durant
    3. Howard
    4. Paul
    5. Melo
    6. Wade
    7. Westbrook
    9. Kobe
    10. Rondo
    There. That’s the 10 best players in bball. Rondo gets the nod above others (Williams) because of clutch. Bosh Bynum Love Griffin are second tiers.
    Rose would (obviously) be there but injuries have taken him out.
    There. Definitive.

  • Ben Taylor

    I had him at 19 I think. And thanks!

  • danpowers

    i think bosh and aldrige would score even more points in minny than love. plus love is really weak on d. i dont get why they put him that high in the ranking

  • RG190

    Can’t even think of anything to write. That’s a good thing…

  • Datkid

    Melo’s on there…. credibility voided

  • Trueballer

    Like a bosh haters ! He’s the x factor for miami

  • Trueballer

    Get ready for Miami repeat! Let the hate begin lol

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