On paper, the Miami Heat should have easily held the upper hand against the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night. Sure, the Heat were playing without one of the best shooting guards in the NBA in Dwyane Wade, but the Bulls were entering this contest without Derrick Rose, which you probably know, and with Jimmy Butler also sitting, which you might not have known.
Ultimately the Bulls’ injuries and short-handed roster didn’t hurt them too severely as they were able to deliver a masterful defensive performance on their way to a convincing 107-87 victory over the Heat.
LeBron James put up decent numbers, but he certainly wasn’t as dominant as we’ve gotten accustomed to him being over the past couple of MVP-seasons. He finished the night with 21 points, five boards, two assists and three steals, but shot only 7-17 from the floor and 1-4 from long-range. However, Chris Bosh really failed to rise to the occasion and struggled with the Bulls’ big front line.
In 27 minutes on the floor, Bosh finished the night with only 10 points, one assist, two blocks and a pretty inexcusable two rebounds while shooting just 4-11 from the field. With Wade out for this game and Bosh playing that poorly, this Miami team never really stood a chance.
Though I understand that Bosh was playing against a premier defensive team and one of the best defensive centers in the league in Joakim Noah, he has to find ways to be successful when the Heat need him. As a player who has developed his outside jumper, it would have been nice to see him try and stretch the defense a bit on Thursday, but he didn’t take a single three-point attempt on the night. He was simply ineffective.
Bosh gets a bad rap that he wholly doesn’t deserve. He’s an underrated defender and still an integral part to the defending champs. However, it’s games like this when he somewhat earns that reputation. On national television when his team needs him, he came up small. If you’re looking for ways that the Heat can improve, Bosh’s play in situations like this are certainly an area to focus on.