Breaking Down Why Chris Bosh Will Thrive Against Bigger Centers

Brendan BowersContributor IINovember 5, 2012

MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 19: Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat shoots during a game against the Orlando Magic  at American Airlines Arena on February 19, 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

Chris Bosh is a matchup problem for anyone in the NBA who tries to defend him. 

Playing center for the Miami Heat, Bosh's ability to knock down jump shots, beat his man off the dribble and move into scoring positions without the basketball will allow him to thrive specifically against bigger centers. 

His ability to defend the rim will also help negate any size advantage he may give up on the defensive end of the floor.

If Bosh plays the majority of his minutes at center for the Heat this season, expect him to average more than 20 points per game for the first time since leaving the Toronto Raptors

Bosh will pull bigger centers away from the basket by knocking down jump shots consistently. 

Bigger centers are not used to stepping out of the paint and playing perimeter defense. Dwight Howard, Roy Hibbert and Andrew Bynum, for example, all averaged fewer than one made field goal per game last season on shots taken 10-23 feet away from the basket. From that same distance last year, Bosh connected on an average of 2.8 field goals per game.

The second, third and fourth baskets that Chris made in the video above against the Denver Nuggets this season were all from that 10- to 23-foot range. This helped Bosh erupt for 40 points from the center position against the Nuggets—his highest total ever as a member of the Miami Heat.

If bigger centers come out to challenge his jump shot, Bosh will beat them off the dribble.


When bigger centers come out to contest his jump shot, Bosh has the ability to dribble right past them. Last season, when Bosh did get to the rim, he converted on 69.9 percent of his attempts from that area. So you really don't want to let him get to the rim. 

In the second video, Bosh's defender came out to challenge that shot 20 feet away from the basket. Chris used a head fake, got his defender off-balance and blew right past him to the hoop. His defender was not quick enough to recover and Bosh finished the play at the rim as a result.

Bosh will find scoring opportunities in the paint by moving quicker than opposing centers without the basketball.

As Jeff Van Gundy noted in the highlight above, Bosh did play center at times last season. He was effective in this play and will continue to be moving forward, because of the attention that LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are able to create around him.

Bosh's defender gets lost following the action in this particular play. Where bigger, more traditional centers might have the tendency to become stationary, Bosh remains active. He eventually finds open space, ducks in and receives the pass for an easy two.

As James and Wade continue to attack the basket this season, opposing centers will be asked to step in and help against that drive. When they do, Bosh will move into these open areas and create additional opportunities to score.

Bosh will defend the rim and play solid help-side defense from the center position.   

Bosh will have a difficult time defending some of the bigger centers one on one in the painted area. But besides the fact that those centers will have more of a problem covering him, Bosh will also thrive as a help-side defender from the center position.

He's averaged more than one block per game for his entire career. Playing center, Bosh will have opportunities to leave his man and defend the basket when needed, as he did against the Celtics this season in the example above.

Bosh's defense led to offense at the other end of the floor because he was in a help-side position to defend the basket. His blocked shot led to a fast break that LeBron inevitably converted for Miami.