Everybody Hates Chris, Part II: Miami Heat's Chris Bosh Vindication?
Welcome to the second installment of the “Everybody Hates Chris” series that will focus on the exploits and failures of CB4 during the 2010-11 season.
Chris Bosh had a fantastic game Wednesday night against the Phoenix Suns, scoring 35 points in only 3 quarters of work. These are impressive numbers by any standards to say the least…or are they?
It’s important to note that Chris Bosh’s critics range far and wide and until he is able to accomplish a low post dominance on a consistent basis with performances to match his salary, he will continue to be scrutinized.
The game against the Phoenix Suns was not exactly the best test for a team like the Miami Heat who have aspirations of a title in the near future. It was also not a good test for Chris Bosh who is renowned for his scoring exploits against poor defensive teams.
So just how poor are the Phoenix Suns defensively?
Well, they do not even rank in the top 20 teams in the league among important defensive measuring sticks as total rebounds, total blocks or total steals.
The Suns are not in the top 20 teams in the league for total rebounds (they are ranked 24th). Their two leading rebounders include Grant Hill and Channing Frye with 5.4 rebounds each. They are not even in the top 60 individual rebounders in the league.
Is a team like the Suns with no Big Man presence a good test for Chris Bosh?
The Suns are not in the top 20 teams in the league for total blocked shots (they are ranked 27th).
Ditto for total steals (they are ranked 21st).
The Miami Heat are superior to the Suns in all these defensive criteria. In the league Miami ranks 18th in total rebounds, 14th in total blocks and 22nd in total steals.
In the final analysis, the Miami Heat got a much needed win against a hapless defensive team at best. The Suns defense is seriously lacking. Their center (Channing Frye) is not exactly intimidating in the post like a Kevin Garnett or an Emeka Okafor…not even close.
In addition, Grant Hill and Steve Nash’s best days are behind them, unlike the much younger Miami Thrice. While the Suns have shown they can knock down the likes of the L.A. Lakers, their success is not based on defense but on hot streaks in the offensive end.
Indeed, it takes defense to win championships and the Miami Heat are a work in progress at this early stage of the season. In the Heat’s defense, they have the best player in the league in LeBron James and arguably the best shooting guard in Dwyane Wade, both who are highly skilled at both ends of the court.
In order for James and Wade to be successful, they are going to need a strong defender in the post who can handle his own weight against the leagues dominant big men on a consistent basis. Anything less will just drag them down against the likes of the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls to name just two.
Bosh still only managed six rebounds (three quarters of work or not) against a very poor rebounding team.
When a more capable rebounder like Udonis Haslem can come off the bench and grab 10 rebounds in just 26 minutes against the Suns for a fraction of the cost charged by CB4, there is definitely something wrong. And Haslem does it game in and game out.
So far, Chris Bosh has not proved anything he hasn’t already done in Toronto and that is his ability to put up big points against teams with no big man presence in the low post.
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