Apr 19, 2011, 12:02 PM EDT
Chris Bosh would like to play the Philadelphia 76ers every game, if you please.
Remember back when Chris Bosh signed with the Heat, between all the LeBron James fawning there was Bosh saying that he wanted to play power forward, not center. They needed to go out and get a real center. And the Heat did. Kind of. They brought three centers in and worked out a bunch more, just none of them are all that good. Sorry Joel Anthony, one game is not going to sway my mind. Bottom line is Bosh still gets a lot of run at the position he in part left Toronto to get away from, especially at crunch time of games (when Bosh is the five and LeBron the four).
And against the undersized, undermanned 76ers, that’s all good.
In two playoff games Bosh is averaging 23 points per game on 56.7 percent shooting, and he’s grabbing 11.5 rebounds a game. He’s getting to the line, not turning the ball over and is fearless and aggressive on offense. He’s running the floor, and when the double does come he is calmly making the right pass (Mike Bibby got a three that way last game). When Elton Brand is in the game Bosh is shooting 52 percent, when Brand sits that jumps to 80 percent as he abuses Thaddeus Young and others (according to the NBA Statscube).
And on defense, he made life difficult for Elton Brand, fronting him at times in the post and generally making the guy who anchors the 76ers offense uncomfortable in the post.
Bosh is even telling the Sun Sentinel he’s fine playing center.
“It just took some time to get comfortable to it,” Bosh said.” At first, I was kind of frightened. I didn’t really want to play the five. I know I’ve said that a bunch of times.”
Philadelphia is the perfect setup for Bosh, and to his credit he is taking advantage of it. Bosh is having a monster series going against guys smaller than him, less athletic than him and basically not really a threat.
But what about next round?
There he will get either Kevin Garnett with Jermaine O’Neal (and Boston had better hope Shaquille O’Neal), or he will get Amar’e Stoudemire.
Against Garnett Bosh shoots 5 times less per 48 minutes, scores less, gets to the line half as often then normal, gets fewer assists and basically gets fewer touches. And even wen KG sits, Bosh shoots just 25 percent against Boston.
Stoudemire is less of a problem, Bosh shot 60% when they were on the floor this season, and was good with assists and rebounds. The Knicks don’t have a shot-blocking, dominant big man behind Stoudemire, either.
Bosh is just like the Heat here — he looks good against a Sixers team that plays hard and is getting as much out of the talent on the roster as they can, but that is just overmatched.
That will not be the case next round. Especially if that is Boston. The Celtics make protecting the paint a priority and Bosh has struggled with them.
But the Heat are going to need this same Bosh in the second round and beyond if they plan to keep advancing.
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