The Big Three.
The Big Three this. The Big Three That.
How many times this NBA season have we heard about how good the Heat's Big Three are? After all the annoying hype last offseason, the biggest focus this season has been about how dominant the Heat and their new players are.
The Miami Heat are a very dynamic basketball team. They have a few of the best basketball players on the planet. The skills of these superstars have pointed this team in all the right directions this season.
But Chris Bosh is not one of the players responsible.
Bosh's player efficiency rating was 19.4, a bit better than the league average of 15. But while 19.4 is by no means a bad rating, Wade and James were rated at 25.7 and 27.3 respectively.
In the player efficiency rating reference guide, a 19.4 rating is in between a solid second option player and a borderline All-Star. Way up in the higher 20's are the players who are considered superstars.
Although PER is a good way of judging a player, it mostly just looks at their offensive, and doesn't include much about the defense that Bosh struggles more with.
Bosh is a solid NBA player, but shouldn't be put in the same category as these two superstars. "The Big Three" symbolizes that all three of these players are of similar talents, which they are not.
The following are five reasons why Bosh doesn't deserve to be included in "The Big Three" title.
The whole offense happened around Bosh, and he delivered, averaging more than 20 points per game over his last five seasons with the team.
But just because Bosh produced good numbers doesn't mean he was a superstar.
Only twice in Bosh's career did the Raptors make the playoffs, and in both times they lost in the first round.
Superstars lead their team deep into the playoffs.
When you are the best player on a bad team, you tend to take most of the team's shots. Bosh had way more opportunities to score than most other players on any other NBA team. Similar to LeBron when he was with the Cavs, there was no other relevant player on the team Bosh was playing on.
When anyone gets enough opportunities, they can cash in enough to have a good stat line. During these five high-scoring seasons with the Raptors, Bosh averaged no less than 15 attempts from the field per game.
Including his average of no less than eight free-throw attempts Bosh attempted per game, you can do the math to figure out how many chances Bosh had to rack up stats.
There's no good stat to measure how well Chris Bosh plays defense, but he is definitely an offense-first-minded player.
Because of his 6'10" figure compared to the rest of the regulars on the Heat, Bosh usually has to guard the other team's big man. Bosh is relatively light for his position at 235 pounds, and bigger centers have easier times posting up on him.
Bosh plays soft in the paint, even with his height. Like most NBA players in the regular season, he doesn't try as hard as he should.
When looking at how good a player is, most people just look at the offensive side because all the stats are about what a player can do with the ball.
People must look at the defensive for how good a player is too, because defense is half the equation in the making of a good player.
The two best defenders will focus all their efforts on stopping Wade and James, leaving Bosh available to play against an average defender.
When there isn't as much pressure in his face, it is easier for Bosh to show off his skills.
For a 6'10" big man, Bosh doesn't do much posting up. He doesn't like to go hard in the paint on either end of floor, unless he is going up for an uncontested dunk.
That leaves Bosh to hang around the perimeter, even though he doesn't have very good dribbling or passing skills for a perimeter player.
Luckily for Bosh, he has mastered the 15-18-foot jump shot, in which he scores the majority of his points.
This season, 71% of Bosh's shots came from the jump shot. For a big man, that is a very high percentage of shots coming from jumpers, seeing that fellow big men Joakim Noah and Dwight Howard shoot jumpers for 29% and 32% of their shots respectively.
Anybody that has mastered this one mid-range jump shot skill that Bosh has done can be very effective on a team that has two superstars.
But mastering one skill does not make Bosh a superstar himself, instead it makes him a very good third player on the team.
Chris Bosh benefits from being the third best player on his team more than anyone else in the league.
As stated before, the opponent's entire defensive scheme is to stop the penetration of James and Wade. Almost never are the defenders good enough, and the whole team goes and swarms the ball.
That leaves Chris Bosh wide open and available for a dumped-off pass, which he usually hits because nobody is around him.
James and Wade make Bosh look like a superstar because he is the first option they look at other than themselves. And when Bosh receives a pass from one of the superstars, it is usually because they are being guarded by most of the defense.
Bosh takes advantage of having two super weapons on his team, putting up a stat line as if he was a superstar himself.
Bosh's assisted field goal made rate was 66% for jump shots and 51% for inside shots. This means that way more than half of Bosh's made shots this season were from the help of his superstar teamates.
Meanwhile, 37% of Wade's total field goals made were assisted, and he averaged more than six points per game better than Bosh.
Only 32% of James's total field goals made were assisted, and he averaged a total of eight more points per game than Bosh.
Bosh's superstar teammates are doing a good job of assisting others, but Bosh isn't doing much assisting of his own. He only averaged 1.9 assists per game this year, while Wade and James averaged 4.6 and 7.
While James and Wade are so talented because they have the ability to create their own shot and set up other people's shots, Bosh doesn't have the ability to create shots for others and uses what James and Wade give him to score his own points.
Are you really a superstar when other players are doing the hard part for you?