Chris Bosh has been quite the crucial piece for the Miami Heat during the 2013 postseason run, even if he rarely receives anything close to the credit commonly doled out to both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
The big man has averaged only 13.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game during the playoff efforts, but he's also performed in remarkably efficient fashion. Bosh has shot 48.7 percent from the field and 40.9 percent beyond the arc, making him a reliable option whenever one of the other stars is struggling.
But there's been a drastic shift in how he's played.
Bosh has almost completely abandoned the post in favor of spotting up beyond the arc. It's worked rather nicely, and he explained some of the reasoning to Grantland's Zach Lowe:
Bosh on posting up: "I don't bang with anybody anymore. It's a tired thing for me. It's not my strength."— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) May 24, 2014
Bosh also says Heat's style of defense is exhausting, and that he already gives up 20-30 pounds to most bigs. Posting up saps 2 much energy.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) May 24, 2014
That's honesty right there. Let's not leave out the humor, though, as Bosh is widely known as one of the sillier players in the league:
On when he made that decision about his game: "When I found out you could get one more point for shooting 3s."— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) May 24, 2014
I'm going to give the big man the benefit of the doubt here. It feels like a safe assumption that he didn't suddenly discover there was a shot worth an extra point this deep into an NBA career that started when he was drafted by the Toronto Raptors in 2003.
Then again, if he did just figure out that three is greater than two, I could easily see a future in analytics for the 30-year-old.
Kidding aside, he just figured out that he could make them. Take a look at the volume and efficiency with which he's performed from downtown ever since coming to South Beach:
|3PA||3P%||3PA Rate (percentage of shots that are 3PA)|
Not only is Bosh taking triples far more often than ever before—as evidenced by both the first and last columns of numbers—but he's also splashing them through the net with incredible efficiency.
To put things in perspective, only 14 players this postseason have made 40 percent of their looks from downtown while taking at least four per game, according to Basketball-Reference.com. During the regular season, just 13 qualified players were able to top both marks.
Of those many shots Bosh hit, though, none were bigger than this one:
"He is going to be open. That much is certain. It’s just a matter of whether the Heat’s atypical center hits his shots," wrote Joseph Goodman for the Miami Herald before the start of the series with the Indiana Pacers. "So far, he hasn’t missed many."
Bosh has admittedly struggled a bit since the Eastern Conference Finals started. As Goodman reveals, he entered the series shooting 48.6 percent beyond the arc, including a stunning 8-of-11 showing from the corners.
However, he went 0-of-5 during a difficult Game 1 outing, then followed that up with a 1-of-4 performance in a Game 2 victory.
How Bosh bounces back could very well determine Miami's ultimate fate in this series, even if the focus typically rests on the high-scoring exploits of LeBron and Wade. Make his shots and the Heat should advance. But miss them and he could spend a lengthier offseason honing his stroke from above the break.