When Pat Riley spoke of the combination of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh for the first time, he imagined a trio that would produce record breaking numbers. Once the contracts were signed and the inked dried, they were dubbed the “Big 3″.
Riley never thought that the threat of the “Big 3″ breaking up would come only three years into existence. Between the possibly of free agency in 2014 and not completing the three-peat, the “Big 3″ and their NBA reign face some unknowns.
Before this offseason, there was some talk that the Miami Heat would split up the historic trio. Wade struggled with injuries throughout the later part of the season, and Bosh produced the lowest numbers since his rookie year.
Many believe, myself included, that Wade will spend his entire career in South Beach. After all, he did help make the franchise the powerhouse it is today. As for Bosh, he is considered as expendable as the Heat bench players. Right when times got tough for Miami, a majority of analysts thought Riley would unload the struggling All-Star somewhere else and cut his losses.
Bosh has struggled to find his role amongst the “Big 3,” and it really showed during last season’s playoffs. He averaged a career low 12 points and seven rebounds in the 2013 postseason, and was virtually non-existent in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Bosh took the criticism in stride, and has vowed to himself and the team that he will have his best year. “I have that hunger to prove what I can do. It makes me excited,” said Bosh.
Bosh will need to have one of his best years if he wishes to remain in South Beach and continue to be part of history. The Heat organization and the “Big 3″ face a handful of unknowns next summer. Wade, James and Bosh could all opt out of their contract, and there will be plenty of suitors willing to spend a pretty penny.
Miami needs a strong season out of Bosh in order to three-peat and keep the “Big 3″ intact for another year. After struggling in the front court all season, the Heat needs someone to step up, and Bosh should be the first to do that.
I expect Bosh to get back to the low-post game, as well as working hard with the pick and roll. He is a solid mid-range shooter, and tried too hard to expand his range to the 3-pointer. I blame much of Bosh’s struggle on a lack of aggression and confidence.
Bosh will have a much better season all around. It may be early, but the confidence is there for him, “I’m looking forward to putting in the effort to have the best season of my career.” Wade and James aren’t the only ones feeding off the doubters. Look out NBA.