Since the formation of the Miami Heat‘s Big Three, Chris Bosh has been considered the weakest link. Even with the praise that Bosh has received from not only Erik Spoelstra, but from both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, it seems that Bosh is the typical scapegoat when it comes to the Heat’s limited failures.
The way that Bosh played against the Atlanta Hawks in the Heat’s first pre-season game, it would seem that he got the message. In 20 minutes of play, Bosh scored 21 points and brought in 5 rebounds. Outside of the numbers, what was most impressive about Bosh’s play was how aggressive he was on the floor right from tip-off. In a recent Heat scrimmage, ESPN writer Mike Wallace noted the improved play of Bosh almost immediately.
“Bosh finished with a team-high 17 points and 10 rebounds during a scrimmage, with the teams playing four 10-minute quarters. Bosh was aggressive and assertive throughout, while James and Wade spent parts of the scrimmage playing to the crowd and attempting highlight plays. Bosh kept it steady and simple, attacking the paint on offense while rebounding and playing aggressive defense.” (Wallace, ESPN)
Although this was a basic scrimmage, the shear fact that Bosh is already playing at an aggressive level has to be opening eyes throughout the Heat organization. It hasn’t been an easy transition for Bosh, going from heavy minutes at the forward position to heavy minutes manning the paint and providing the defending champs a solid defensive center. Over the course of the last few seasons, Bosh’s points average has taken a hit, but what is promising is his increase in steals per game and offensive rebounds per game. These small tweaks to his game are allowing Bosh to become more versatile on the floor. Bosh is still arguably one of the best midrange shooting big men in the game, but by adding a defensive edge, Bosh is becoming the center the Heat have always dreamed about.
The Heat will need to continually reinvent themselves in order to stay on top of the Eastern Conference. Teams have built rosters with the sole purpose of taking down the defending champs, with an emphasis on size to pound the rock in the paint. If there were any season for Bosh to embrace the big man role the Heat organization has so desperately craved, it will be this one. With a three-peat on the line, Bosh’s improved aggressiveness in the paint is exactly what the Heat organization wants to see out of tenacious all-star center.
Jared Doyle is a Miami Heat writer for RantSports.com.
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