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When you think of the Miami Heat and who should have the ball in crunch time, your mind probably immediately pictures Ray Allen. Maybe Dwyane Wade. And for people that aren’t haters, possibly LeBron James.
But, most basketball fans wouldn’t associate the clutch gene with Miami’s lanky big man, Chris Bosh.
Well, that’s because you aren’t paying close enough attention. Bosh isn’t associated with clutchness the way Allen or Wade have been over the course of their careers, but CB has been one of the team’s clutchest players throughout their run to four straight NBA Finals.
Bosh is often the forgotten man in Miami, hidden behind James and Wade, while criticized for everything from his style of play to crazy facial expressions to his declining statistics.
However, people don’t realize that Bosh had to make the most sacrifices and alter his game the most out of anyone on the Heat’s roster in the Big 3 Era.
While Bosh had a power game as a member of the Toronto Raptors, where he was a perennial 20-10 guy, the 9-time NBA All-Star has become much more of a finesse player in Miami, relying on his smooth jumper to contribute.
He also developed a long range game this season, making a career high 74 three pointers during the regular season to go along with 34 percent shooting from deep.
Bosh’s 74 three pointers this season were more than his seven seasons in Toronto combined. His career high 218 attempts were also more than all of his seasons in Toronto combined.
Bosh also posted a career best in shot efficiency this season, registering a 55.5 percent effective field goal percentage, while also having his best true shooting percentage of his career.
Although his propensity to shoot from distance often gets criticized, it has actually become one of Miami’s biggest weapons, not only throughout a game, but in crunch time when it is needed most.
Most fans likely remember the historic Ray Allen game-tying three pointer in last year’s Finals or LeBron’s game winning layup against the Pacers in the Conference Finals.
However, Bosh has had just as many importantly clutch moments, whether it was a shot, rebound, or assist.
In the 2011 Finals against the Mavericks, Bosh hit a 20-foot baseline jumper with 39 seconds left in Game 3 on the road that was the go-ahead score and gave the Heat a 2-1 series lead. Sure, Miami would go on to lose the championship, but Bosh’s jumper put the Heat in position to take command of the series.
How about last year’s notorious Game 6 in the Finals? Bosh had the monster offensive rebound and assist to Ray Allen’s unforgettable game-tying shot in the waning moments that ultimately allowed Miami to tie the series and go on to win it all.
Then, of course there was Bosh’s go-ahead three pointer on Sunday during Game 2 that ultimately put the Heat ahead for good and allowed them to take the game.
To further illustrate that Bosh possesses the clutch gene, check out this stat:
With 10 seconds or less remaining in a game, and his team in need of a game-winning or game-tying basket, Bosh has been the most consistent of his superstar teammates, as he’s the only one to have plus-clutch ratings.
This season alone, the big man shot 53.7 percent from the field in regular season clutch situations (defined as when the score is within 5 points with 5 minutes or less remaining), and knocked down an impressive 14 of his 25 attempts from beyond the arc.
As for the playoffs, he’s shot just under 40 percent from deep in similar situations. Bosh’s knack to hit the clutch bucket has been huge to the Heat’s success in the playoffs this year and in years past.
Time and time again, Bosh has come through in the clutch, whether it’s a big-time shot, clutch offensive rebound, or timely assist. While he may be overlooked, there is a reason that Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra called Bosh “arguably the most important person on the team.”
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