It’s official. Two-time champion, 11-time All-Star, and Olympic gold medalist Chris Bosh is a Hall of Famer. It took a while. Bosh was not included in the ballots in his first year of eligibility. But the past seems trivial now that Bosh will forever be regarded as one of the best.
In celebration of his induction, let’s recall how good Bosh was during his prime. He’s more than just the third star of that Miami Heat squad behind LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. He’s one of the main reasons why the team won two titles in four trips to the NBA Finals.
Bosh had one of the finest lefty shooting strokes in the game. Whether it be a jump shot from the post, a midrange pull-up, or a wide-open three-pointer, he practiced perfect shooting mechanics. He shot 49.4 percent from the field in his career. This is extremely good given that he knocked down his shots either in the paint or outside of it. In terms of three-point shooting, he shot 33.5 percent for his career which is also respectable. In the 2007-08 season, he even shot 40.0 percent from deep.
Bosh’s inherent ability made him the perfect teammate for LeBron and Wade. In fact, he was the prototype big man for all of LeBron’s championship teams. Before Anthony Davis and Kevin Love, it was Bosh who opened up the floor for LBJ. It was Bosh who was the recipient of those nifty passes from The King. There is no question that if Bosh wasn’t part of the Heat, then they wouldn’t have won those two titles.
Pump Fake Master
Bosh knew what his strengths were and how they affected the mindset of defenses. As a defender, the way to defend a jump shooter is to try your best to contest every shot. Bosh took this principle and turned it to his advantage. For his entire career, he had that ridiculous pump fake that fooled almost everyone in front of him. The realism of his pump fakes was just one aspect. The other aspect is how patient Bosh was when going to work. He carefully observed how his defenders were reacting or not reacting to his pump fakes or jab steps. He also kept note of the space between him and his defender. Once he had all the information he needed, he’ll go right in with the right shot for the situation.
From the pump fake, Chris Bosh managed to keep everything in control. If he drove to the hoop, he unveiled more from his offensive toolbox: Spin moves, teardrops, a one-dribble pull-up, filthy dunks, acrobatic lay-ups, and a whole lot more. This made Bosh a handful to defend. Even in his reduced role with the Heat, Bosh was given the keys to run isolation plays because he was just so good at it. LeBron, who’s always been an orchestrator, was allowed to take a backseat in several plays and let Bosh do the work.
Ray Allen’s game-tying three-point shot in Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals is considered one of the best clutch shots of all time. However, this wouldn’t have happened if Bosh hadn’t snagged the clutch offensive rebound and had the presence of mind to dish it out to Allen—all amid immense pressure. And just a reminder, Bosh blocked Danny Green’s game-winning attempt in the following possession. In those moments that decided the Heat’s fate, Bosh was right there.
And it wasn’t just in the NBA Finals where Bosh showed how cold-blooded he was. He was an absolute clutch performer both with the Toronto Raptors and the Heat. He was the best player when he was with the Raptors and it was only right that he was assigned to take the final shot. He delivered almost always when he was given the keys to operate. The same thing happened with the Heat. Since all eyes were usually on LeBron James or Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh was often given the ball during clutch situations and he made defenses pay every time.