Posts Tagged ‘Dwyane Wade’

Chris Bosh probably anticipated the occasional bump in the road when he embarked on his new basketball journey with the Miami Heat however I find it highly unlikely he could have foreseen this much negative reaction over his first nine games in South Beach.  I have already discussed and given my opinions on Chris Bosh and how the Miami Heat will soon learn they are inheriting a solid big man but also one who may not compliment the talented wing combination of D.Wade and Lebron James.

Jason Whitlock of Fox Sports recently wrote a scathing review of Chris Bosh so far in a Heat jersey and basically stated if he hasn’t already, Pat Riley should be looking to move Bosh for a “goon” – a player with toughness, rebounding and tenacity.  Basically he worries the Heat won’t be able to compete in the playoffs with a softy like Bosh leading their frontcourt.  He doesn’t think it will work and he goes on to say the “Big Three” should be replaced by the “Big Two” along with a Horace Grant, Dennis Rodman type – or in today’s game a Anderson Varejao or Luis Scola.

Since deciding to leave the Raptors after seven successful individual season he has been called a third wheel, a luggage carrier, a front runner and even a quitter by his former GM Bryan Colangelo.  Carmelo Anthony was just recently quoted as saying “I’m not Chris Bosh” referring to the latter’s hanging out the Toronto Raptors organization to dry during his departure with his immature twitter-filled escapades.

Bosh went from one of the (if not the) best power forwards in the game with a still bright future to an also-ran, a target for all physical big men in the NBA to devour under the glass, a whipping boy.  Bosh averaged an impressive 24 points, 10.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and attempted 16.5 shots in approximately 36 minutes a night for the Toronto Raptors in 2009/10.

In only 9 games thus far into the new season Bosh is averaging 14.5 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assist and attempts 11 shots a night for the Heat.  The drop in scoring and rebounding was to be expected but perhaps not to this extent.  Playing under the microscope the new Miami team has created will only intensify as the season progresses and especially if the Heat continue to underachieve.

Chris Bosh was the man in Toronto, he had the limelight and he was beloved in Toronto especially after taking over the franchise player role when the apathetic Vince Carter was shipped out of town.  He could’ve continued his ascension up the ranks of the greatest power forwards of all time on a pure numbers basis with the 24/10 he was putting up night in and night out. 

When Bosh was firmly planted on the Heat bench for basically the entire fourth quarter versus his former mates in Toronto I couldn’t help but wonder if he was feeling a bit of regret for the decision he made and the role he has been given on his new team.  I wonder if the feeling for the Miami Heat is mutual and they are starting to get some buyer’s remorse with their max contract power forward.

Bosh has looked lost when on the court and a bit depressed off the court and in interviews he has given.  He detests the “third wheel” tag and the fact that his game is no longer being well respected across the league by most media outlets.  This is the decision he must live with for the next five or so seasons barring a surprise trade, do you think the Heat would accept an offer of Reggie Evans for Bosh?  Hey, I had to ask! 

Maybe it is still too early to deem Bosh a bust with Miami and chances are he will start to pick his game up but come playoff time when the play down low is more physical and intense if Bosh will whilt under the pressure and be exposed by Kevin Garnett, Shaquille (and Jermaine) O’Neal and Kendrick Perkins if the Heat face the Celtics at some point in crucial playoff games.

One thing I know for sure, I can’t imagine this is the type of start he envisioned.

This is the re-write, the first read very harsh and abrasive towards Chris Bosh and the way he ended his tenure, I think the word RuPaul was fairly prominent.  I have come to realize I will miss Chris Bosh but perhaps not as much as he might end up missing Toronto, where he was without question the main attraction.  In the end, life goes on, enjoy.

To discuss Chris Bosh, the Miami Heat and the Toronto Raptors, follow me on TWITTER!  @tdotsports1

*UPDATE – May 24/2011* Lebron James showing the NBA why he is the best player of all time, why the Miami Heat will beat the Chicago Bulls and make it to the NBA finals in their first season together.

Based solely on numbers it is hard to argue that Chris Bosh wasn’t the best Raptor player in franchise history.  If Vince Carter though enigmatic at times was the most talented then Chris Bosh was the most productive.  However I have a feeling Chris Bosh will be the easier of the two to get over and slowly forgotten, something that cannot be said for Vin-sanity.  Make no mistake Bosh will be booed heavily upon his return, that you can guarantee, and the first game back will be genuine ‘from the heart’ boo’s, but after that, they will boo because they feel they have to, not because they really deep down ‘Vince Carter hatred’ want to boo. 

During last night’s interview with ‘Sportsnet’ (a pretty weak effort I must add, not exactly a tough line of questioning) Bosh said he does not regret the past seven years and what was accomplished with the team.  I tried to do the math in my head quickly to try and comprehend the fact that Chris Bosh was a Raptor for seven years, it seemed like a lot less.  For one, he had an NBA body for maybe two of them with a few meaningful games mixed into a mostly unremarkable tenure, even forgettable.  Fact is trade Bosh for Lebron James in Toronto last season and the Raptors are making a deep playoff run.

Just like basketball fans across the world have already forgotten about Chris Bosh, as Dwyane Wade and Lebron James are the two big ticket items in Miami.  Legendary figures Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan didn’t even as much make mention of Chris Bosh when they weighed in on Lebron’s decision to ‘take his talents’ to South Beach.  Chris Bosh can say (and tweet) all the right things and act like it doesn’t bother him, but I can almost guarantee that if he would have known Lebron James was going to ride into town and essentially make Chris Bosh the forgotten and dreaded third wheel almost immediately he might have chosen a different team, maybe even Toronto.

Chris Bosh is a very solid basketball player, but his game has excelled the past few seasons because the ball has been in his hands and he has been counted upon to be a playmaker.  Bosh is not great off the ball, he does not possess the size or strength needed to push his way onto the block or get great position down low.  He gets the ball from 15-feet with his strong face-up game and punishes the normally bigger and slower defender.  As the third option, his numbers will plummet, and the things that the third option normally do (rebound, shot block, hustle, lockdown D) are the things we as Raptors fans know he does not excel at. 

Bosh was our go-to scorer, for better or worse, but he was anything but a clutch rebounder, big time hustle guy or lockdown defender.  You cannot blame one man for a team wide problem but when your power forward is not a huge body or a solid defensive rebounder, it shows, and how many nights Raptor fans were frustrated when the other team just killed us on the glass.  Bosh lacks that toughness, that intestinal fortitude that screams “SPARTA!!!!” 

Chris Bosh will still get his touches and a chance to chip in offensively, but one has to look no further than the defending champions in Boston to realize that for Bosh to contribute to the Heat in a meaningful way, he is going to have to make an effort to adopt the role Kevin Garnett has with the Celtics. 

KG’s PPG dropped from his career high of 24.2 (2003/2004) to 18.8 in his first season with the Celtics.  While Paul Pierce and Ray Allen will never be confused as pass first players, I’d venture to say Lebron James (20 attempts a night, 29.7 PPG last season) and Dwyane Wade (20 attempts, 26.6 PPG) dominate the ball a great deal more than the Celtics duo.  For their careers, Allen has averaged 15.9 attempts per game (12.2 in 2010) and Pierce 16.6 (12.2 in 2010).

What made the Celtics great was Garnett did everything the other two would not.  He was completely selfless as he set screens, hustled down every loose ball, rebounded with reckless abandon and played with an in your face toughness that dared a defender to drive the lane on him.  The Celtics MVP might have been Paul Pierce, but everybody knew who made that team tick, it was a healthy Kevin Garnett.  Chris Bosh is not on KG’s level in any of those categories, this isn’t to slam Bosh as a player but it’s just not what he developed into and what made him so valuable to the Toronto Raptors.

Like I mentioned above, nobody for better or worse will ever forget Vince Carter.  Carter was silky smooth out of the basketball hotbed of North Carolina, we felt lucky to have him and during his peak I think the feeling was mutual.  Bosh was goofy, almost nerdy, with his Kenyan marathon runners build and tiny head perched on top of that long body.  He was tech savvy long before it was trendy, he made funny ‘You-tube’ videos but didn’t convey (and still doesn’t) the ‘South Beach’ style.  Seriously, can you even picture Chris Bosh at a bar or club? 

During the latest interview Bosh awkwardly mentioned Toronto was “different”, again.  This time his defence was the metric system, “You hit the freeway and you see 40 KM per hour and you just know something is different”, relax it’s called the metric system and the speedometer on your Range Rover supports both.  He stated prior that Toronto “even smelled different”, yeah fresh air (compared to Miami) does smell different Chris, you’re right.  He could have mentioned in a country (USA) with a sky-high murder rate Miami (according to recent data) has 2.5 times the National murder rate – that’s different.  Ok, I have wandered off topic.

We’ll have to wait and see how Bosh handles being the forgotten man on the most unforgettable team ever assembled and whether the game and style he brings will mesh well with LBJ and Wade.  He likely envisioned playing second fiddle to Wade but still being highly utilized for the next five or six seasons but that is unlikely now and Bosh and his wonky knee will have to hope his body can grind out the type of work the Miami Heat are going to need out of him to be successful, because it certainly isn’t the 18-foot jump shots he is accustomed to taking.

The sobering reality is they just don’t make enough Roy Halladay’s, one of the greatest athletes to ever play in Toronto, hardworking and classy to the very end.  How did Roy end his time in Toronto, he sincerely thanked the fans, he took out a full page ad in a Toronto newspaper and more importantly did not call us “weird” as Bosh essentially has with his odd and awkward statements. 

Halladay is a CY Young winner, the very best at his position in all of baseball.  Not some skinny, injury prone, undersized power forward who gave us one shallow division title (before the Celtics were re-born) and no playoff success. 

Toronto fans are hoping the next chapter of the Raptors without Chris Bosh is also ‘different’, with sustained winning and meaningful basketball being that missing ingredient.