Bosh Picking His Spots

Chris Bosh
Photo Credit: Nathaniel S. Butler

Chris Bosh can sometimes be the forgotten guy.

His stature and outgoing personality make that hard to believe, but there are times when the offense just doesn’t go through him. One such instance was in Game 4 of the HEAT’s first-round playoff series with the Charlotte Bobcats.

With the Bobcats making one last run to try and steal a game from Miami, Bosh’s number was called.

Behind Kemba Walker, Josh McRoberts and Gary Neal, Charlotte went on a 9-3 run to cut the HEAT lead to seven with 3:04 left in the game. Bosh answered with back-to-back mid-range jumpers from the right wing to finally shut the door on the scrappy Bobcats.

“I recognized my opportunity about two passes before and that gave me the ability to be ready,” Bosh said. “And that’s just through countless hours of practicing, shooting those shots to knock a couple down, not make it a big deal, get back on defense, get a stop and knock it down again. Those are tough shots to knock down. It’s just all really form and muscle memory and recognition, but I’m happy they went in.”

Before those two clutch jumpers, Bosh’s last field goal came with 9:19 left in the third quarter. That is often the nature of the beast when it comes to Bosh’s shot attempts. As with everyone else on the roster, you need to be ready to help the team win on both ends. Bosh has accepted that challenge.

“I know what’s important with this team,” Bosh said. “The most important thing is wins and as long as we go out there, as long as we win the game, that’s what matters most to me.”

Bosh shot 7-of-12 in Game 4 and finished with 17 points and eight rebounds. However, Game 2 was perhaps his best outing. Bosh got the ball in his spots and as a result shot 8-of-11 from the field for 20 points, including 4-of-5 from downtown. His production on the offensive end was huge, as Dwyane Wade was trying to get into a groove early on in the game.

In the first round, Bosh averaged 14.5 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. He tallied an offensive efficiency rating of 103.1 and an effective field goal percentage of 61.6 percent.

We saw it during the regular season in both matchups with the Trail Blazers; we saw it against the Pacers and Spurs in last year’s playoffs. Before that, we saw it against the Celtics. Quite simply, Bosh comes through in the clutch when the pressure is at its highest.

In fact, over the past three seasons including the playoffs, nobody has shot a better effective field goal percentage on clutch jumpers than Bosh. His 61.2 percent on such shots in clutch moments—last five minutes of games within five points—is the best in the NBA followed by Ryan Anderson who shot 60.7 percent (minimum 50 attempts). In the regular season last year, Bosh had a net efficiency rating of 33.1 per 100 possessions in clutch moments. This regular season, he tallied a net rating of 7.3 per 100 possessions.

“It’s just having awareness, being ready on the offensive end and defensive end and just really being in that moment and making sure you’re not missing one thing,” Bosh said. “Make sure you’re making all you’re checks and reads. Making sure you’re in the correct spots and being ready to make a play when you see it. Just relying on your instincts and if you’re relaxed and aware, good things happen.”

Sure, Bosh can sometimes be the forgotten guy, but his clutch play on both ends of the floor time and time again makes sure that doesn’t hold true for too long.

Statistical support for this article provided by NBA.com/stats.