Chris Bosh played a major role in the Miami Heat's Game 7 victory over the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. After scoring a total of 16 points in Games 5 and 6 combined, Bosh torched the Celtics with 19 points hitting eight of his 10 shots from the field in that decisive Game 7.
The Heat are going to need more performances like that from Bosh if they want to win four games against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Finals. And they are going to need to continue to bring him off the bench.
Bosh brings a different element to the team when he comes off the bench. By pitting him against second-team players rather than their opponent’s first unit, it gives him a chance to exploit mismatches he wouldn’t normally see as a starter.
Bringing Bosh off the bench also helps to get him more touches. When he is on the floor with both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, he is only the third option on offense. He can get more second-option opportunities when coming off the bench.
Mostly because that allows either James or Wade to get a breather knowing they have a reliable scorer coming off the bench. Miami’s bench and role players have been maddeningly inconsistent scoring the ball which puts a lot of pressure on James and Wade to stay in the game.
Lastly, Bosh’s bench production could offset the bench production the Thunder get from James Harden. The Heat will still need to find a way to get Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook off their games but if they can then Bosh could tilt the matchup since he is a much better player than Harden.
But of course Heat coach Erik Spoelstra won’t stick with the plan. At some point he will try to re-insert Bosh into the starting lineup forcing Wade and James to play even more minutes than they should and effectively lessening Bosh’s production.
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Roosevelt Hall is an NFL Blogger for The Sport Mentalist and an NBA Blogger for The Sport Mentalist 2. He is also a Sports Reporter for Pro Sports Lives. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to follow him on Twitter @sportmentalist.