Miami Heat: Missing Bosh Is More Important Than LeBron 'Deferring'

Ethan Sherwood Strauss@SherwoodStraussNBA Lead WriterMay 16, 2012

MIAMI, FL - MAY 15:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat rebounds the ball during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs against the Indiana Pacers at AmericanAirlines Arena on May 15, 2012 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Pacers beat the Heat in a close one—let the rending of garments and screaming commence. 

But first, a dirty secret about the NBA: Teams tend to stink in last-shot scenarios. Kobe Bryant, for all the mythology surrounding him, has nearly as many airballs in the final 24 seconds of playoff games as he has makes (via ESPN.com).

So the goal is more to prevent your team from needing such a shot than to be fantastic at them. Because, to be "fantastic" at such tries, is to convert 40 percent of the time. 

There will be much analysis of how Mario Chalmers got the pass when the Heat were down three with seconds to go, but a Chalmers chuck is about as well as you can do in such a scenario.

There will also be questioning of the Heat possession before it, when LeBron James' pass to Dwyane Wade led to a wide-open layup. Wade missed, but does that mean LeBron should have just heaved a contested shot?

James' real error was missing three crucial free throws, something I might ascribe to "choking" had I not seen him make FTs in similar instances. 

Look, the real problem is that Chris Bosh is the Drano of Miami's offense. A big man who shoots is a rare commodity in the NBA, which is why the Heat love his presence despite all the "Two and a Half Men" jokes.

His shot draws the lumbering Roy Hibbert out of the paint, opening lanes for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Defenses then help out to close those open lanes, leaving three point shooters free. 

So without their power forward, we might see more 34.6 percent FG games from the Heat. We might see more 1-of-16 three-point shooting performances as well. And make no mistake, going 1-of-16 on threes is a much bigger issue than "LeBron passed when the game on the line." 

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