Chris Bosh Gaining Weight to Play Center

by Eldon Khorshidi | @eldonadam

Though they possess arguably the most talented roster in the NBA, when compared with the rest of the League the Miami Heat are shorthanded at the center position. Joel Anthony, Justin Hamilton, Mickell Gladness and Dexter Pittman are all adequate players, but at this point, none are starting-quality centers. And as Miami slowly gravitates towards traditional positional sets, and as they will have to match up with several top-tier centers this season, the Heat need a reliable big man to anchor the center position.

While he’s always been viewed as a power forward—in reality, even a stretch four—Chris Bosh has acknowledged that in order for the Heat to be successful, he’ll have to slide over and play the 5. Bosh did so throughout most of the 2012 NBA Finals, and it’s expected coach Erik Spoelstra will expand on that in ’12-13. In preparation for the upcoming season, Bosh is bulking up to play center; he’s already added six pounds of muscle to his once 235-pound frame, and will continue to put on weight before training camp commences in a few weeks.

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When the Triad was formed in 2010 in Miami, Chris Bosh almost immediately let it be known through the press that he didn’t want to play center. Bosh is a stretch four in nearly the purest sense, and he’s never been the type to go to the block and do the dirty work. He has finesse game, which isn’t a bad thing, it’s a good and rare thing, and he didn’t want to mess with his timing or rhythm by having to add weight. He actually lost weight for the 2010 season. But after winning the title in 2012 with a model that saw Bosh used most often in the center role, or at least “in the least guard role” on a team redefinining traditional position elements, Bosh is starting to accept things. After all, it worked last year. The Miami Herald reports that Bosh has started adjusting his conditioning and training to prepare for a full-time center position.

“Chris Bosh is adding bulk (six pounds of lean muscle) to prepare for the rigors of playing a full season at center.”

Bosh won’t be the traditional center. He’ll be more of a combination of Mehmet Okur’s outside abilities (Bosh’s threes were monstrous late in the playoffs last year), Serge Ibaka (whose mid-range jumper helped OKC to the Finals), and Joakim Noah (using his length to generate tip-ins and making plays with his length rather than his size. The bulk will help him with endurance though, allowing him to sustain the beating that centers take.