View Full Version : Chris Bosh is having a career year... who knew?

11-19-2010, 01:53 PM
This is a fantastic article... and emphasizes what i have been trying to tell everyone regarding Chris Bosh:

The season is only three weeks old, but the compelling chemistry experiment known as the Miami Heat is struggling, at least in the eyes of some observers. Miami’s 7-4 record puts it third in the Southeast Division, and the knee-jerk reaction by many has been to look for someone to blame. That person, based on numerous critical columns in the past week, is apparently Chris Bosh. But is Bosh really failing to live up to expectations? And is the Heat really struggling?

Chris Bosh’s scoring average is down in his first season with the Heat, but so are his scoring attempts per game. His scoring efficiency is up slightly.

Those who expected Bosh to continue to put up 20 points and 10 rebounds per game with the Heat did not properly consider the effect that reduced opportunities would have on his statistics. With the Raptors, Bosh averaged 37.0 minutes and 17.7 scoring attempts per game, but with the Heat those figures are 32.1 and 13.9, respectively.

Coming into this season, a reasonable prediction for Bosh’s scoring efficiency would have been 1.14 points per scoring attempt, which was his average in Toronto. Given his current rate of 13.9 scoring attempts per game, that works out to a scoring average of 15.8 points per game. Bosh is actually averaging 16.4 points per game this season, more than a half point per game above what we might have expected given his reduction in scoring opportunities.

Bosh’s shot distribution in Miami is very similar to his shot distribution in Toronto, with a majority of his attempts coming on mid- to long-range jump shots. Those who expected Bosh to come to Miami and take 75 percent of his shots from close range (as Dwight Howard does) simply did not look at his history in Toronto.

Although no one seems to have noticed, Bosh has shown a remarkable ability to avoid turnovers so far with the Heat. Bosh turned the ball over on approximately 11.1 percent of his plays with Toronto, a solid but unremarkable figure. But this season his turnover rate has plummeted to 4.4 percent, a figure that, if it stands, would be one of the lowest in N.B.A. history.

If Bosh has had any weakness so far, it’s his rebounding. Bosh was solid on the boards in Toronto, nabbing approximately 14.9 percent of all available rebounds. With the Heat, though, his rebound rate has dropped to 11.1 percent. This cannot be explained by Bosh’s reduced playing time, as rebound rate is adjusted for a player’s time on the court. But how much has this hurt Miami? A rough estimate is that the decrease in Bosh’s rebound rate has a value of minus-23 points, a number that cannot be ignored. However, the reduction in Bosh’s turnover rate (plus-13 points) and the increase in his scoring efficiency (+6 points) all but offset the negative effect of his rebounding.

A closer look at the numbers reveals that the shots directed toward Bosh are misplaced. In fact, despite the four losses, an argument can be made that the Heat is not really struggling. Through Wednesday’s victory over Phoenix, Miami is outscoring its opponents by an average of 11.0 points per game, a mark that over a full season would be the fifth best in N.B.A. history. Yes, the Heat has struggled against some opponents, but that’s not entirely surprising given the unprecedented overhaul of their roster.

On the occasions when Miami has been hitting on all cylinders the team has been incredibly good. The bad news for the rest of the league is that those occasions will probably become more common as the season progresses, and when that happens, it’s a safe bet that Bosh will be one of the key reasons why.

Everyone knew that Bosh would have to accept a lesser role with the Heat. However, now that it’s happened, people still seem surprised that his scoring numbers are down. But per-game statistics hide the fact that he’s having the most efficient season of his career and far more efficient than Wade and LeBron.

Bosh’s 125 offensive rating (a measure that estimates how many points a player scores per used possession) tops his previous high of 118, which he set in 2005-06. Wade, averaging 24.0 points, and LeBron, averaging 22.1 points, have topped him in the traditional scoring column but thanks to their propensity to turn the ball over this season, Wade and James haven’t been nearly as efficient with the ball. As a result, Wade and LeBron’s offensive ratings check out at 111 and 109 respectively.

But here’s the amazing thing: Bosh hasn’t turned the ball over in any of his isolations this season. Bosh has taken his man off the dribble 32 times so far in a Heat uniform, according to Synergy, and none of those possessions has ended with a turnover. He and Steve Nash are the only players in the NBA to do that this season. As of today, no player has been more efficient on isolations this season, as he’s scored 44 points on those 32 plays (1.38 points per play). How? Free throws. The Georgia Tech product has been superb at drawing contact and getting to the charity stripe off the dribble -- something he did seemingly every time down the court against the Suns frontline. No one's gotten shooting fouls more often than Bosh has in iso situations.

It’s time we give Bosh credit where credit is due. He’s not simply riding on the coattails of LeBron and Wade with wide open looks on the perimeter. He’s been incredible taking his man off the dribble as well. You wouldn't know it by the box score but he’s been putting on a clinic once he decides to score.