NBA fans didn’t get to see the Draymond Green and Hassan Whiteside battle on the court Monday night like they did on Twitter just a few months ago, but they saw a glimpse of the past and current.
Chris Bosh was a vital piece to the Miami Heat championship teams and continues to play a significant role as the their best player now. He started small ball in this modern era of basketball while playing center for Miami prior to getting Whiteside on the roster. Alongside Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, Bosh saw his fame, popularity, and playing style grow. The Heat went back-to-back in 2012 and 2013 as NBA Champions. They made the Finals four years in a row during the span. While James was getting the best player in the world talk and Wade was seen as the beloved Miami faithful player, Bosh went under the radar but had as much importance to the team as the players mentioned before.
The 2012 Heat had Joel Anthony, Udonis Haslem, Eddy Curry, and Ronny Turiaf as the only bigs on the team outside of Bosh. They were able to win the title with him playing center and putting up averages of 14 points and 7.8 rebounds on on 53 percent shooting from beyond the arc despite battling injuries. In 2013, the Heat had pretty much the same bigs minus Turiaf and with Chris Andersen. Bosh continued his stellar play despite being the only true big in the lineup for majority of games.
Fast forward to 2015 and the Warriors have someone similar: Draymond Green. Like Bosh, Green didn’t have much of a three-point jumper in his first few seasons. Gradually, as the game changed, both players developed smooth long range jumpers. While Bosh was considered underweight coming out of college and into the league, Green was called overweight by some draft scouts. They both worked hard to get into the right physical shape became even better defenders as their careers progressed. Bosh was recognized and still is thought of as one of the best power forwards in the league and now Green has made it clear that he also belongs in the top tier.
The Warriors death lineup is similar to when the Miami Big 3 of Wade-James-Bosh were all on the court at the same time. The Golden State line-up that consists of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Harrison Barnes, and Draymond Green continues to give teams fits.
“They’ve got the perfect team for the style of basketball that they want to play and what the NBA is today,” Wade told reporters after the game.
When Green plays center, the Warriors are nearly impossible to beat. The Cavaliers saw it first-hand in the Finals. Timofey Mozgov was practically taken out of the series while Tristan Thompson struggled to run with the Warriors in the latter half of contests. Barnes has become one of the Warriors best post defenders and does an excellent job on power forwards.
The Warriors showed a bit of that against the Heat on Monday night and the results spoke for themselves.
“I’ve never seen that. Everybody is 6’6 and can put the ball on the floor and shot it and play post defense and move the ball,” Bosh said in awe after Miami lost in Oakland.
Unlike other players and teams around the league, the Heat praised the Warriors. As former NBA Champions, it’s clear that they know what it’s like to have all eyes on you.
“It’s so tough guarding those guys, they pull up from everywhere. They’re very unselfish,” Bosh said.
Bosh dominated the Warriors in the first half, but struggled to find anything in the second. By placing Andrew Bogut on the wing to guard Justice Winslow, Green and the rest of the quicker Warriors found themselves matched up on the 6’11, 235 pound veteran. An adjustment that was made by the Warriors coaching staff at halftime after Bosh was destroying them.
Bosh also compared the Warriors to the Spurs and said that they will make any team pay for turnovers committed against them. And once again, Golden State proved that they can hang with anyone. Despite making the same amount of three-pointers and the Heat having more assists than the Warriors on Monday, the Dubs grinded it out and showed why they are the better team.
It takes Green’s toughness and leadership for the Warriors to win slower-paced type games like this. There was a moment in the game where Green had a two-handed monster jam, and looked over at the Heat bench to send a message. Perhaps a shot at Whiteside? Who knows.
The real comparison here is Bosh and Green. Two players who are similar, All-Stars, and essential parts of their team’s championship ways.