Chris Bosh Injury: Loss of Heat Big Man Places More Pressure on LeBron James
The news of Bosh's injury comes from ESPN.com's Tom Haberstroh:
Heat announce MRI on Chris Bosh revealed a strained abdominal muscle. Out indefinitely. More later.— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) May 14, 2012
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Well, they are going to have to do something similar to that for four full quarters as long as the big power forward remains out. However, the pressure on James is much higher than it is on Wade for one reason.
Bosh's 18 points per game will be hard to replace, yes, and it's very unlikely that guys like Ronny Turiaf, Udonis Haslem and Joel Anthony will pick up that slack on offense. Those facts are undeniable, but as long as the Heat find a way to push the pace, they will be fine on the offensive end.
Who is Miami's most important player in Bosh's absence?
Essentially, if the Heat are playing a fast-paced game, the loss of Bosh on the offensive end is as close to negated as possible.
Furthermore, the Heat have other shooters who will have to step up in Bosh's absence. Mario Chalmers can't score four points every game, while Mike Miller and Shane Battier need to find a way to get some open looks from three.
Despite what Game 1 showed us, James and Wade don't have to score 90 percent of Miami's points with Bosh out of the lineup.
There are plenty of ways Miami can make up the slack on the offensive end, but only LeBron will be up for the task of guarding David West.
Even with Bosh out in Game 1, James stayed on Danny Granger for most of the second half, but sooner or later, West is going to start torching Haslem or whoever Miami puts on him.
The Pacers love to run the pick-and-pop with West, and with a slower big man on him, West is going to be seeing that open mid-range jumper all day.
And that is his favorite shot.
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
He finished 6-of-12 on Sunday, but he missed some big open looks. In the future, he won't be missing those.
Eventually, James, who can guard any position effectively, will have to slide down, pick up West and disrupt Indiana's effective pick-and-roll.
Also, James will be a big part in keeping West, who pulled down 12 rebounds—which is nearly double his season average—off the boards
There's no question that West, who has been terrific in these playoffs, is Indiana's most important player in winning this series.
With Chris Bosh out and the defensive options less than ideal, that makes LeBron James Miami's most important player on both sides of the ball now.
As if he didn't already have enough pressure.
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