The Miami Heat could not resign LeBron James but they did get Chris Bosh to commit for next season. Bosh has agreed to a five-year, $118 million contract. That’s the most money that Bosh could get in free agency. He wanted to play with LeBron and we thought he would head to the Rockets after Bron chose the Cavaliers. It seems like Bosh’s love for Miami is greater than we thought.
Bosh was always looked at as the weak link but to me he was very important to the Heat’s success. He changed his game the most and he got bashed a lot for it. He only averaged 6.6 rebounds last season but that’s because the Heat’s defensive scheme takes him away from the basket. Bosh is now the $118 million man and people will now say he’s overrated and overpaid. Jay-Z said it best, “Would you rather be underpaid or overrated?” I think Bosh will step up to the challenge and show he is worth this new contract.
Before joining the Heat Bosh had 3 seasons in which he averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds. He was one of the best power forwards in the game. In his last season he averaged career highs in shots per game, points and rebounds. He took about 16 shots a game and still hit on 51% of them. His usage rate which is, “the percentage of a team’s offensive possession that a player uses while on the court” was 28.8%. That put Bosh in the top 10 behind other stars like Wade, LeBron, Kobe, Durant; players who had usage rates as high as 34.2%. Bosh got the ball a lot in Toronto and he delivered. 24 points and 10 rebounds is really good.
In Bosh’s first season with the Heat his usage rate dropped to 23.4%. He averaged 18 and 8.3 rebounds that season. It took Bosh a while to adjust to his new role. His shot attempts dropped to 13 and then eventually 12 per game. Since joining the Heat he only had one season in which he took over 1000 shots. The defensive scheme required Bosh to move away from the basket and guard the pick and roll. The Heat would blitz opponents so was Bosh was further from the basket. Bosh’s rebound numbers went down but his defense improved. He was the best pick and roll defender in the league this past season.
The Heat knew Bosh could shoot the mid-range jumper but to create more space he added a 3 point shot. Bosh is an efficient scorer from mid-range; he shot 51% on mostly jump shots. His true shooting percentage was 59%. He expanded his game and continued to improve his 3 point shot. During the 2012-13 season he took 74 3 pointers and hit 21 (28%). During the playoffs he took 37 and hit 15 (40%). Bosh gained more confidence this past season and took 218 3s and hit 74 of them (33%). In the playoffs he took 74 and hit 30 (40%).
With LeBron gone and the health of Wade in the air, Bosh should be the number 1 option for the Heat. Coach Spoelstra will have to change the offensive scheme and the defensive scheme. LeBron allowed them to do a lot of different things that most teams can’t do. Will Bosh go back into the post? Will he create shots off the dribble? LeBron got Bosh a lot of open 3s with his great vision. His shot attempts will go up but I expect him to still be an efficient player. All eyes will still be focused on Wade because he is the more polarizing figure.
After sacrificing his game the past four seasons Bosh will now have a chance to be the go to guy on offense. People will continue to knock him for being the player that he is but he actually did a lot for the Heat. He has become a 3 point shooter on the fly, an underrated defensive player because he’s not a rim protector and a knock down mid-range shooter. The man can play even though he doesn’t have the biggest numbers. LeBron is gone so now Bosh must be the one to step up and show that he is worth that max deal.