Chris Bosh, the oft forgot “third wheel” of the Miami Heat‘s Big Three, had one of his better games of the season last night against an injury riddled Los Angeles Lakers. Bosh finished the game with 31 points, six rebounds and a block. He also shot over 68 percent from the field while taking less than 20 shots, which is the second best shooting percentage of his career.
With Dwyane Wade out for a fourth consecutive game, Bosh was able to operate with a lot more free space, allowing him to be extremely aggressive with the ball in his hands. Last night proved that Bosh is more than capable of handling the scoring load when Wade sits, and because of the strenuous maintenance program Wade is under (most likely missing more games in the future), the Heat’s coaching staff will expect these type of offensive explosions to happen more often from Bosh.
Because of his stellar play recently and Wade’s continued absence, Bosh is beginning to surpass Wade as the second best player in Miami. Although Wade has a higher PER (22 compared to 20.2), Bosh averages far less turnovers and a higher block average per game. Bosh has also averaged 24 points and seven rebounds in the four games that Wade has sat. These are superstar caliber averages that Bosh is putting up when called upon. To put those numbers into comparison, Wade this season has averaged just 19 points and five rebounds.
Bosh, when given the opportunity, can outshine Wade as second best player status on the defending champs roster. The numbers don’t lie, and Bosh (who is seemingly never injured) is a lot more of a stable and reliable force on the basketball court than Wade currently is. The playoffs could be a different story, but if Wade is still banged up heading into May, expect Bosh to be the Heat’s second best player.