With Rajon Rondo out of the lineup, Chris Bosh clearly wants to be an All-Star starter, for reasons both common and unique. As for the unique one, if Erik Spoelstra gives him the starting nod, the Heat will have the first tri-starter All-Star team in 23 years. Via foxsportsflorida:
"If it happens, the Heat would become the first team to have three All-Star starters since the 1990 Los Angeles Lakers had guard Magic Johnson and forwards James Worthy and A.C. Green."
That would be a cool accomplishment, though of course, it would come with a slight asterisk. Fans voted Kevin Garnett in as All-Star starter, not Bosh. Of course, fans were probably incorrect for voting KG in, so the issue is a bit fraught.
In any event, Chris Bosh's wish hints at a phenomenon that we've largely ignored in favor of whining about his lack of rebounding: This is Bosh's best season since coming to the Miami Heat.
Yes, he's only rebounding 7.1 snags per contest. Though a mitigating factor would be his minute allotment (fewer than 34 per game), Bosh is still not rebounding anywhere near his Toronto-levels.
That's one flaw, amid a largely fantastic overall game. Also, his defensive duties under Spoelstra helped cause the cut in that rebounding total. In Spo's system, Bosh spends a lot of time closer to the three-point line, away from the rim.
On offense, Bosh is an elite frontcourt force. The threat of his jumper allows Miami to space the floor on pick-and-rolls, but this season, his success on that shot has been scarier than perceived.
This season, Bosh is shooting 56.4 percent on his shots between 16-24 feet. That's an incredible feat, especially for a big man.
Among power forwards and centers who play over 30 minutes per game, Bosh is second in true shooting percentage (.605), which is especially impressive since he does it while shooting mostly jumpers.
The first-ranked true shooting guy would be Bosh's main competition for that starting spot, I suspect. I'm referring to Tyson Chandler, a player who offers supreme shooting efficiency while also rebounding at an elite level.
Given the choice between the two, I believe that Erik Spoelstra should eschew history-making and select Tyson Chandler. Great as the LeBron-Wade-Bosh triad is, the Miami Heat haven't exactly impressed this season. They've been neck-and-neck with the Knicks all year.
New York deserves two All-Star starters just as much as Miami does. Also, and more to the point, I'd have to give the edge to Chandler over Bosh based on their respective individual performances.
While it's true that Bosh offers a strategic advantage with his deep shooting, Chandler offers a strategic advantage with his dominance of vertical space. Defenses must respect the threat of a lob to Chandler, and that opens up room for everyone else in New York's offense.
It's a great year for Bosh, and he isn't getting enough credit. But in this specific instance, "All-Star starter" might be a bit too much credit.