LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Joel Anthony: Miami Heat's New Big Three?

Nick GreenhalfCorrespondent IMay 8, 2011

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 02:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat smiles after a made free throw with Joel Anthony #50 while playing the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on December 2, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio. 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 Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

You can save the Chris Bosh slander. The Heat's power forward was thoroughly outplayed in Game 3.

But until last night, his playoff campaign had been a solid one.

Consistent hustle without a dominant performance.

Kevin Garnett was the obvious Game 3 MVP—28 points and 18 rebounds. He even got to the line for the first time in the series.

If last night taught us anything, perhaps Chris Bosh isn't Miami's third most valuable player. Joel Anthony could lay claim to that title.

In terms of ability, they're not in the same ballpark.

Bosh is a perennial All-Star, Anthony simply makes the most of what he's got.

But in terms of efficiency, Anthony is the postseason MVP.

The Heat are plus-97 with the undersized big man on the the floor. That's a damning statistic when you consider they're only plus-16 when Bosh takes the court and plus-27 with LeBron James.

It leads us to the question. How does Coach Spo best manage Anthony's minutes?

With Joel on the floor, the Heat are a better defensive team and more potent on the offensive glass.

But Anthony's game is a physical one, he's not afraid to use his fouls and make contact.

If the Heat are relying on Anthony to play extended minutes, will his shot-blocking and defensive instincts be tamed in order to escape foul trouble?

Let's hope not.

First and foremost, the Celtics won Game 3 by stopping the Heat from doing what they do best.

Wade and James weren't allowed easy points in transition and both had to fight for their shots.

The downside of relying on three superstars to carry the bulk of the load is that when two of them struggle, there's only one guy left to pick up the slack.

Last I checked, that guy wasn't supposed to be Joel Anthony.

For the record, Anthony had 12 points and 11 rebounds. That's a scoring-high for the season.

The Celtics were barely troubled in the second half and ran out winners by 16 points. The Heat were still plus-five with Anthony on the court.

Talk about valuable.