On a team like the Miami Heat, shots are going to come sparingly to those not associated with the big three.
It's basically set up like 'Reaganomics' or the trickle-down effect where the biggest stars get the most shots and the role players get the remainder of shots that are left to take. The only problem with that is there aren't too many shots for players like Mario Chalmers or Mike Miller to get into a stable rhythm, and it could cause the offense to lean too heavily on the shoulders of the big three.
Most of the time though, the big three becomes a big two with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade playing the role of the duo and Chris Bosh on the outside looking in. Can you blame them though?
They're the two most prolific scorers and finishers in the game and could change the outlook of any game within seconds because of how quickly they work. If you want to win a game, James and Wade have proven many times before that they're the ones to call.
The Miami Heat finished 58-24 with a No. 2 seed, an Eastern Conference crown and an NBA Finals appearance thanks to those two leading the way. With James and Wade constantly threatening slashing over the course of the game, it allowed the Heat to tire out their opponents by the fourth quarter, which gave them the advantage on both sides of the ball.
Athleticism greatly played a huge role under those circumstances since Wade and James were able to persist into the fourth quarter while the oppositions defense might have been too winded to keep with the two for another quarter.
It also helps when you have three different players that you could rely on at any time to keep your team in contention throughout the entirety of the game.
We know how James and Wade play, and we know how prolific they can be when leading their team to victory. In the second half of just about every game during the post season, those two were being depended on to end games against the likes of the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls and Dallas Mavericks.
The only problem was that the coaching staff failed to acknowledge that there was a third option just as capable of supporting a team than either of those two.
Chris Bosh spent his first seven seasons on a Toronto Raptors franchise whose second best player was Andrea Bargnani or Jose Calderon for most of the time. A player who had averaged over 20 points per for five consecutive seasons before joining the Miami Heat was being vastly ignored on too many occasions throughout the season, and it might have cost the team a title considering that they were still attempting to work LeBron James into the offense rather than giving Bosh an increased role.
I've stated before that Bosh may be the most important player on this team, and I'll continue to stand by it because of just how significant he is to this Heat team. He's the best rebounder on the team not named Udonis Haslem, the most consistent mid-range threat, and is a terrific slasher for a player of his size. Bosh is one of the fastest players off the dribble, and there aren't too many power forwards or centers who can stay in front of him.
With so few consistent jump shooters on this team, you would think that the Heat would defer to Bosh a little more than they usually do. When there are no jump shooters on the floor, it allows defenses to collapse on slashers like Wade and James who spend the majority of their time in the paint and prohibit the offense from moving, which then makes it stagnant and keeps the ball at the perimeter.
The Miami Heat proved to us last season that they're built for the postseason, and it clearly showed when they went 8-2 against the Celtics and Bulls as opposed to the 1-7 they went against both teams in the regular season.
Knowing that this team is most likely to coast through the regular season one more time, why not give Chris Bosh a chance to prove that he can lead an offense by letting the ball run through him?
I only remember a few occasions where the Heat made an effort to feed Bosh throughout the game with one of those instances coming in an early season against the Phoenix Suns where he scored 35 points, and throughout their Conference Finals series against the Bulls where Bosh dropped over 30 points twice and proved to be the X-factor in a series where the Heat trampled Chicago to a five-game series win.
If the team is going to allow Bosh to be a first option, they're going to have to feed him early on. He's an extremely emotional player, and he thrives heavily on his confidence which means that the ball is going to go to him early so he can establish a rhythm that he can carry on for the rest of the game.
Once Bosh gets into a good shooting rhythm and has the confidence to attack, he's capable of being one of the deadliest players in the league because of how multi-dimensional he is.
Aside from just feeding Bosh for his scores, it also means that the offense gets into a better flow that allows James and Wade to learn how to play off the ball. The Heat attempted to run the offense last year with neither player controlling the ball, and it was an ugly sight sometimes considering that neither player had played in a system where the offense wasn't revolving around them since joining the NBA.
With the ball in Bosh's hands, you draw attention off of the perimeter which is already a huge advantage for the Heat since they have two slashers who crave driving any chance they get. The focal point of every team's defense when they play the Miami Heat is to limit Dwyane Wade and LeBron James at all costs and the team could throw a wrench into those plans by establishing Bosh as the focal point of their offense instead.
The opposing defense then gets centered around Bosh, which allows more room for Wade and James to cut to the rim and continue learning how to play without the ball in their hands. The beauty of this Miami Heat team is that even though there's an extreme drop off in the quality of the players on this team after Bosh is that the team could still greatly rely on two of those three players to carry them in an entire game.
Most of the time though, all three players are working at a high rate since they're all terrific offensive stars and two of them are famed defenders. Another great thing about the Heat is that it's impossible to limit all three of them since a double-team is needed to at least stop one player against the majority of teams. It's a rare sight to see Wade or James get shut down by one player, and it causes other teams to load up on those players.
Bosh as a first option will be an experiment that needs to be seen at least a few times during the regular season in preparation for the postseason. To be equipped with a deadly mid-range shooter and one of the fastest power forwards and not use him correctly is something that the Miami Heat are going to need to improve on and soon.
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