A lot will be made in the next few days about the performance of Dwyane Wade and James Jones against the Boston Celtics on Sunday, and rightfully so. However, I feel fairly confident in stating that the Miami Heat cannot expect Jones to replicate this type of performance again against the vaulted Celtics defense. This matters in the grand scheme of things because Miami absolutely needs for a third scorer to show up consistently in this series.
In Game 1, James Jones was that guy. But what about Chris Bosh? He was presence on the boards (12 rebounds), did a good enough job on defense (one block) and also tried for the most part to stay out of the way of both Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.
With that said, the Heat did not make a huge spectacle about signing James and Bosh to the team last summer just to have Bosh rebound the ball and avoid congesting the lane for the team’s superstar wing players. Indeed, the former Raptors star was brought in to stretch the court and score on the low block.
In Game 1, Bosh seemed to rush shots when given the opportunity to go at Kevin Garnett and Glen Davis. He took quick shots and fired up some questionable fall away jumpers with Celtics players putting a hand in his face.
At least once per game, Bosh will in one sequence put a spin move on his defender, pump fake him and then get the shot up all the while drawing the foul. The Celtics defense was ready for that move in Game 1 as well as everything else the power forward brought to the table offensively. Boston dared him to throw some counters at them and he could not.
When Bosh caught the ball on the move going to the basket, he was effective and found ways to score (whether for himself or others). When he got uncontested shots, he made them.
Boston’s defense obviously did not give him many opportunities to showcase his talents, as evidenced by Chris Bosh’s seven points on 3-for-10 field goal shooting.
Bosh was somewhat passive throughout the course of the game, save for a possession in the second half where he caught the ball on the left side of the court close to the baseline with the shot clock running down. He made a decisive move as he dribbled left and then crossed over Garnett to the right, went to the basket and got himself to the free throw line. Those were his only free throws of the game.
Garnett’s defense prevented Bosh from establishing any type of post position, but the Heat power forward still has the quickness advantage on the Celtics star. It would behoove Miami to make an adjustment and have Bosh try to take KG off the dribble on a few occasions, much like Stoudemire did in the first round of the playoffs against the Celtics.
If Bosh cannot pick up his scoring, he is no better than Joel Anthony. And with all do respect to Anthony, he was not one of the prize free agents of last summer. Bosh was. Let’s see if he can remind us of that going forward.