Dwyane Wade has missed three games, Ray Allen is still rehabbing from offseason ankle surgery, LeBron James has played through minor injuries, and the Heat have not played well defensively consistently, all equally important factors in the chase for ring two.
Yet head coach Erik Spoelstra made a statement after Saturday night’s win against the Phoenix Suns that may shock most people.
“He is our most important player, and he’s as steady and consistent as he always has been for the last two and a half years,” Spoelstra said. “He makes it look easy and he makes it look quiet, and yet he’s so impactful in the game. He was big under the rim and not just his scoring, but the big plays defensively at the end.”
Spoelstra was referring to Chris Bosh. Bosh who has finally accepted the role as the Heat’s center and who ultimately can decide if the Heat can repeat as champions.
The Heat won four of their six straight road games. Wade did not play in the final two games, Mario Chalmers missed the Thursday night game against the Denver Nuggets, and James battled the flu Saturday versus the Suns. Bosh had a tough showing Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Clippers but played well throughout the road trip and has played well throughout the beginning of the season.
Bosh is averaging 19.6 points per game while shooting over 55 percent from the field and is grabbing just over seven rebounds per game. Bosh is playing his best and most efficient basketball since joining the Heat in 2010. His ability to shoot from long range and his ability to get the free throw line is what gives him an advantage at the center position. His ability to be able to both pick and pop as well as pick and roll allows the Heat offense to be more versatile.
Bosh is playing well and Spoelstra recognizes that his play must be at a high level in order for this team to meet their full potential.