I was watching the Heat-Pacers game last night to see how the Heat would respond now that 25% of their big three is out for the series. I thought Indiana would take this one by 8-10 but the Heat surprised me and put themselves in a position to win late. Unfortunately, their best player and three time MVP decides to hide cowardly during the last three minutes of game so they ended up losing by three.
But back to my point. Chris Bosh is most likely out for this conference semi-final series against Indiana. Everyone rags on Bosh, calling him soft and calling the big three “Two and a Half Men”. But realistically, the Heat need Bosh if they want to win a title. If they’re going to rely on Joel Anthony, Udonis Haslem, and Rony Turiaf to command the paint down low, then they will not be hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy in June.
Erik Spoelstra has a lineup that he turns to every time the Heat are in a close game late. This is Bosh at center, LeBron at power forward, Shane Battier at small forward, Dwyane Wade at shooting guard, and Mario Chalmers at the point. This lineup gives LBJ and Wade so much freedom to get into the teeth of the defense and do what they do best. Without Bosh, they have to have any combination of the three bigs I mentioned in the previous paragraph play crucial minutes down the stretch. These three stiffs (with the exception of Haslem) can’t play offense let alone knock down an 18 foot jumper like the Bostrich can. It’s kind of like in Hoosiers when Coach Dale tells Strap to not shoot it unless he’s wide open right under the hoop. I’m almost positive Spoelstra gives the same exact speech to Anthony and Turiaf. Anyway, without Bosh, this leaves Roy Hibbert or whoever Indiana has covering a Miami big guy to roam around and help if LeBron or Wade beat their man off the dribble.
Can the Heat beat the Pacers in this series? Yeah, sure they can. After all they have two of the best five basketball players in the world. But I think this series is going deep, and it’s going to come down to a best of three when these teams split in Indianapolis.
COSBY SWEATERS COUNTERPOINT: “Missing Bosh shouldn’t really matter”