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Fantasy Sports Fantasy Basketball

Fantasy Basketball: How Much Better Can Chris Bosh Be In 2014?

Chris Bosh

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

 

Well, a consolation prize is better than no prize at all, right?

The Miami Heat were very heartbroken to see LeBron James return to Cleveland, but things definitely, definitely could have been worse. All signs were pointing towards Chris Bosh departing to Houston, but Miami offered him a ton of money, and he stayed. Bosh loves Miami more than anyone on the Heat, so it isn’t a total surprise that he stayed. And perhaps Bosh wants to prove that he is still a great player in this league, and without LeBron, he’ll have a terrific opportunity to do just that.

And then some.

Bosh can still score in bunches. Good size, the ability to step back and hit the three and consistent 17-foot jumper, Bosh will just find different ways to beat you, no matter how goofy he may be. A perennial 20-point scorer during his time in Toronto, Bosh didn’t see the same usage when he joined the Heat, as LeBron and Dwyane Wade warranted plenty of touches, too. Usage means a lot in fantasy sports in general, but especially basketball.

Bosh in Toronto

Bosh Usage

 

Bosh was the go-to guy in the Raptors offense, and it wasn’t even close. He averaged just over 16 shot attempts per game during those four seasons with Toronto, and set a career-high in usage rate back in 2009 (25.9). The offense ran through him, and as a result, he averaged at least 22 points in all but his first two seasons with the Raptors.

Bosh in Miami

Bosh Miami Usage

 

Obviously, playing alongside LeBron, who always ranks inside the top-10 in usage rate, Bosh saw his volume drop significantly. His highest rank in the usage category was 85th during his time in Miami, and last year, he only touched the ball about 50 times per contest. The highest points he averaged in a season is 18.7, while averaging only 13 shots per game during his tenure with Miami. And Bosh was more of a perimeter big man in Miami, as LeBron and Wade attacked the rim, kicking it out to Bosh for that 17-foot jumper. Last year, he only averaged 3.2 close touches per game (touches originating within 12-feet of the basket). With LeBron out of the mix, Bosh should get a lot more looks closer to the net, which should only help his fantasy prospects. Sure, Bosh can hit the three, but you don’t want him taking three triples per game like he did last year.

But it won’t just be points heading Bosh’s way. Bosh should see more rebounding opportunities with LeBron gone, as he only saw 10.7 rebounding chances per game last year, which ranked 68th in the NBA. Also, Bosh is a very underrated passer, and while his career two assists per game aren’t very telling, the skill-set and versatility is there, and with more offensive touches will also come more passes.

It’s blatantly obvious that Bosh’s value is going to skyrocket with the departure of James, but this Miami team still has talent around him. Wade came back, the team brought in Luol Deng and Danny Granger, so this won’t be a lost year for Bosh or the Heat.

Adam Pfeifer is a lead fantasy sports writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.