This could be one of the worst things to happen to Chris Bosh in a long time.
Not only is he not able to put his staple in a second-round series and prove that Roy Hibbert was small potatoes, but his indefinite absence due to an abdominal strain has also put an asterisk next to his career with the Miami Heat.
When Bosh left the game after a defensive play against Hibbert left him on his hands and knees as the rest of the team pushed to the other side of the court, Miami was supposedly in trouble. They were facing a very strong offensive punch in the low post from both Hibbert and Indiana power forward, David West.
West had been carrying the Pacers in the paint since the Orlando Magic series and had continued to do so in the first half of the first game of this series.
All coach Erik Spoelstra did was push LeBron James to the 4 and played him as the team’s power forward. All was well.
With LeBron at the 4, Miami outscored Indiana by 15 points and seem to be a better franchise all around.
How long they can sustain this type of victory while playing this way will determine whether or not Bosh will be looked at as a pertinent piece of the puzzle in winning a championship.
If the Heat go on to expose the Pacers in transition offense, slick lobs from either James or Wade and easy post points, Bosh will begin to look less and less important to the franchise. Remember, it was the low-post battle that was supposed to churn out the winner or the loser.
If Miami proves that the fight can be won with the heightened effort of James’ defense in the paint, Bosh does not look so vital.
The argument can be used that Miami still needs his offensive contributions. Sometimes Wade or James can grow stagnant and need a shot of adrenaline to bring the offense back to life. Bosh is usually that shot of adrenaline, averaging 15.0 PTS in the New York Knicks series.
Still, Bosh has a massive contract to the tune of $17.545 million on Miami’s books for next season, causing the Heat to possibly lose the battle of signing free agents looking for more money than Miami has to offer them.
If the Heat could move Bosh’s contract to any franchise looking to build a strong offensive frontcourt, this series would allow them to make the decision more freely. This is only counting on the fact that Miami wins this series without him.
If Miami struggles against the Pacers and the series goes to seven games, an alternate decision will be made. Yet, we can not think that his absence will not speak volumes about how much presence really means to the franchise.
One way or the other, this series could change a lot of things for the Heat.