Miami Heat: Erik Spoelstra, Chris Bosh and Why 'Fair' Shouldn't Matter

Ben ShapiroAnalyst IIIJune 6, 2012

Erik Spoelstra is facing growing criticism for his decisions about Chris Bosh's playing time.
Erik Spoelstra is facing growing criticism for his decisions about Chris Bosh's playing time.Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The heat is on. 

Not in a good way, though. Not for the Miami Heat. That's because "heat" is referring to pressure, not the actual team. 

The "Heat" are close to being cooled, shut off and shutdown for the summer months. 

The ramifications could be huge for the entire league. Erik Spoelstra could lose his job. Could the Heat and Pat Riley actually break up the James, Wade, Bosh trio? 

Fans of the Heat would prefer not to find out. 

For the Heat to continue their quest for a ring, they're going to have to win on the road against the Boston Celtics on Thursday night. 

In the immediate aftermath of Tuesday night's Game 5 loss, Erik Spoelstra stepped up and took questions from the media. 

His answers are causing a stir. His comments on Chris Bosh's playing time in particular are getting extra attention.  

"It wouldn't be fair."

The Miami Heat were dubbed the "Big Three," correct? If that's correct, then that means it's not Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and a third guy to be named later.

There's a defined third key cog in that equation. His name is Chris Bosh and his injury throughout these playoffs has impacted the performance of the Miami Heat. 

Game 5 was his anticipated return. He wasn't starting, but he was medically cleared to play. Bosh only played 14 minutes, though. That would be fine if he looked overmatched, out of breath or out of sync on the court in his limited time out there. 

He didn't, though. Bosh looked great. In fact, he scored nine points and grabbed seven rebounds, six of which were offensive rebounds.

In his 14 minutes on the court, Bosh managed to lead all players on either team in offensive rebounding. His defense made life difficult for Kevin Garnett, who was a key part of Boston's fourth-quarter surge to win the game.

What exactly was Spoelstra thinking?

The implication that Chris Bosh—a player receiving a max contract in the NBA—would somehow shrink from the spotlight if inserted into the game in the fourth quarter is somewhat ludicrous.

More importantly, the abdominal injury is not going to end Chris Bosh's career. Players play with nagging injuries all the time, especially in the playoffs. 

Ray Allen of the Celtics has been playing the entire postseason with bone spurs in his ankles. It's not ideal and it's not comfortable, but this is the playoffs. If you lose, you go home. No one wants to go home. So "fair" should not really be a deciding factor in Chris Bosh's playing time. 

This is especially true given the impact he had on the court while he was out there. It's not as if the other players on the court were getting the job done. This was not a case of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

The Heat were breaking down as the fourth quarter progressed. They needed a fix.

Would Chris Bosh have made the difference? We'll never know because his head coach left medically cleared minutes on the table.