Chris Bosh playing at the 5 full-time will help the Miami Heat create some significant matchup problems for its opponents. However, when Bosh has to face the league's bigger and stronger centers, it will be him who will be overmatched.
Bosh tried to bulk up this summer in preparation for those battles, but it failed. While that means Bosh will still have his speed advantage, it does mean the Heat have to be prepared for Bosh to get pushed around at times by the game's top centers.
Lets take a look at who those centers are and why they will have an advantage over Bosh.
While Bosh and the Heat only have to face him twice this season, Marc Gasol poses a huge threat to them.
Gasol is 7'1" and 265 pounds and should be able to push the smaller Bosh (6'11", 235 pounds) around in the paint.
Gasol has proven to be an all-around offensive threat. He has a solid mid-range game and is truly deadly from up close (68.9 percent shooting at the rim in 2011-12). Plus, with his great mobility, he can get there often.
To beat the Heat, the Memphis Grizzlies will have to feed Gasol. This isn't to say Bosh is a poor defender. Gasol simply has that rare combination of elite size and elite skill that's tough for anyone, let alone a non-true center, to contain.
We saw in the 2012 playoffs that the small-ball Heat can certainly overcome the problems presented by Roy Hibbert, but that doesn't mean they are no longer worth concern.
Hibbert is one of the NBA's tallest players at 7'2". He weighs 280 pounds.
Not only is he enormous, but he can really play.
Hibbert has continued to improve on the offensive end in every year of his professional career. Last season, he finished with a career-high 12.8 points on a career-high 49.7 percent shooting.
Hibbert will be able to push Bosh around when playing one on one, and there's a very good chance he'll convert when he gets up close (51.1 shooting percentage from 3-9 feet).
The Heat can combat these issues with the advantage Bosh will provide at the other end. However, if the team ever loses control of a game against the Indiana Pacers (like in Game 3 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Semifinals, when he posted 19 points and 18 boards), it will be because of Hibbert.
The deal sent Andrew Bynum to the Eastern Conference, which means the Heat will have to face him twice more per season.
A case can be made that Bynum is the top offensive center in the NBA because of his fantastic postgame.
Unfortunately for the Heat, he's only getting better.
Bynum averaged 18.7 points on 55.8 shooting in 2011-12, and was almost a sure thing at the rim, making an outstanding 73.2 percent of his shots from there.
With his size (7'0" and 285 pounds) and array of post moves, he's an incredibly tough matchup for Bosh.
With Bynum now the focal point of their offense, the Heat will have a difficult time maintaining their recent dominance of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Dwight Howard (6'11" and 265 pounds) is undoubtedly the best center in the NBA today and will certainly be a problem for Bosh.
Howard is a physical freak and has a huge strength advantage over the Heat big man. Miami will need to give Bosh help or Howard is going to abuse him down low.
The Los Angeles Lakers' newest star will also dominate Bosh and the Heat on the glass. Howard averaged an excellent 14.5 rebounds per game last season (3.7 of those being offensive rebounds), while Bosh only averaged 7.9 in 2011-12.
With that being said, there is a plus to this matchup for the Heat. Bosh will force Howard, a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, out of the paint, which will open up the lane for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade to attack.
Nevertheless, with Howard's size, strength and athletic advantage, preventing him from getting to and converting at the rim (74.4 shooting percentage at the rim in 2011-12) will be Bosh's biggest challenge.