The Heat entered this season with such high expectations that they were sure to get criticized heavily as soon as they hit a troublesome patch. It should also come as little surprise that Chris Bosh(notes) became the easiest target for jokes due to his obvious third banana status and poor play to start the year.
As the leader of the Toronto Raptors for seven seasons, Bosh was expected to score as much as possible. In Miami, his role is quite different, requiring some scoring but consisting mostly of rebounding, playing quality defense, and generally being the best third option in the NBA.
It took Bosh some time to adjust to that role, but he's played quite well lately. Now, he's readjusted his priorities, as well. From Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald:
Chris Bosh, who has played very well in several marquee games recently, said Tuesday, ``For some reason, people think I can't play basketball. I'm a very good basketball player. I can perform when it's time. For some reason, coming into this situation, people were just nitpicking. It gives me an added sense of motivation to do well because I know more people are watching, and just to shut them up. To be frank.''
Bosh, averaging 8.2 rebounds, said, ``Ten is my number. I'm going to get there. It's going to be a little tougher than it would if I would have gotten off to a better start. Once I get to 10, I'll be happy.'' He averaged a career-high 10.8 last year.
Note that Bosh didn't say he would aim for a certain number of points or a high field-goal percentage. He's interested in the nitty-gritty aspects of the game, rebounding, and will look to grab as many as he can.
Ben Golliver crunched the numbers at NBA Facts & Rumors yesterday and found that Bosh currently logs 8.2 rebounds per game and will need to average 11.2 the rest of the way to meet this goal. For point of reference, Bosh's best average for a season is his 10.8 from last season, and 11.2 would be better than all but seven players in the NBA right now. This will be difficult, clearly.
But we shouldn't take Bosh's ability or inability to meet this goal as the final word on his rebounding. Even if he can't average 11.2 rebounds from now on, even grabbing 10 per or something slightly higher would be an impressive feat and show that he's doing the little things to help the Heat win. It's a good sign that Bosh is even talking about committing himself to the glass in this fashion. The final numbers will be the ultimate rubric for his success or failure, but he seems to be on the right path.
- Chris Bosh