Chris Bosh stat line of 12 points, nine rebounds and three assists following the Miami Heat‘s pummeling of the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night wasn’t exactly a dominating offensive performance, but what gets left out of the box score is the tremendous job Bosh did of defending All-Star center Anthony Davis in the second half, limiting Davis to just six points and two rebounds. Considering Davis finished with a line of 24 points and 12 rebounds, you can see how much of a defensive difference it made switching from Rashard Lewis guarding Davis in the first half to Bosh in the second.
Bosh has become one of the better shut down defenders in the league, and although he typically doesn’t get noticed for his defensive prowess amongst the league and NBA fanbase, his contributions on that side of the ball haven’t gone unnoticed by the Heat’s coaching staff and players. Head coach Erik Spoelstra told ESPN:
“It’s always a team concept with us, but CB is an elite, elite defender in this league. He’s proving it every single night. We see it. He anchors our defense. We’ve talked about all the pick-and-rolls you have to defend on a night-to-night basis, recovering back, challenging jump shots, challenging in the post. He’s having as good a defensive year as a big has had recently.”
The Heat’s issue of lacking true interior defense has always been an Achilles heal of sorts for this team, but Bosh’s improved efforts in terms of rebounding and blocking have never been better. The biggest jump comes through Bosh’s defensive rebounds, where he has shot up to 5.3 a game, 0.5 more than he averaged last season. His blocks average is also on par with his average from last season, which tied his career-high (1.4 per game).
Bosh’s value on the offensive side ball has always been known, but his true defensive prowess typically goes unnoticed. With his improved play on the defensive side of the ball, don’t be surprised if Bosh ends up making the NBA All-Defense Second Team.