The Best Of The Big Three
The Heat have taken heat for their lack of creativity on offense. They continually and consistently relied upon one on one matchups to create their woeful offense against the Bulls (averaging under 90 points per game). The image of LeBron as the point forward for this team has taken a hit, not because he isn’t a gifted passer, he is. But he doesn’t know how to run an offense the way a true point guard does. This has lead to the Heat’s anemic assist totals. In the five games they played against the Bulls they totaled 11, 18, 20, 11 and 12 assists. While averaging under 15 assists per game generally fall on the whole team and coaching staff there is a single player that deserves a reprieve from the scorn of people that love good offense everywhere. Sound the trumpets, obviously we are about to talk about King James… actually James deserves the blame as much if not more so than anybody. Chris Bosh is the only player that has been consistently running the offense, slicing to the bucket, and being active without the ball throughout the course of the series.
Bosh has been on the scoring end of an assist 36% of the time this series. That destroys every other person on his team. Wade averaged 16% and James averaged a measly 11%. While this is in part because they are able to score off the dribble more effectively than anyone else on the team, relying on that ability alone will end up destroying the offense. Other players become lethargic, there are zero easy baskets, and your superstars get worn into the ground. Not to mention that if you run into a team that has an elite wing defender (not a knock on Bogans and Deng, but they aren’t elite) then your entire offense can disappear.
While Bosh isn’t known for being a great hustle player, or a guy that specializes in getting the dirty work done, he has done just that in terms of his offense. He is averaging over five scores off of assists per game versus the Bulls. That is Bosh understanding where to be and when to be there in order to help his team, and this is the key, when he doesn’t have the ball. For all of the accolades that James and Wade have gotten neither of them are great about moving without the ball. They thrive on beating their man but they don’t do it until they have the ball. This begs the question of which way is a better or more effective way to score?
If you only look at the total points scored in the Chicago series The King sits on top with 129 points, followed by Bosh at 116 and Wade at 94. But if you take a deeper look into it those numbers are slightly skewed by the number of possessions that each player uses in order to get to that point total. There are three ways in my calculations that a player can use a possession. The most obvious is to shoot a field goal, but turnovers and trips to the free throw line also consume a possession. According to this method of looking at it Bosh is a much more efficient scorer than either James or Wade. Bosh averages 1.22 points per possession whereas James averages 0.98 and Wade, coming off of a rough series, averaged only 0.81 points per possession. Even if you feel that it is unfair to include turnovers because Wade and James handle the ball so much more than Bosh he is still scoring almost 20% more efficiently than James and close to 40% more efficiently than Wade. Without turnovers in the equation Bosh scored 1.36 points per possession. James scored 1.14 and Wade was still at less than one point per possession at 0.98.
For once, the leader of the Big Three is Bosh. If Wade and James can follow his lead and do the little things instead of relying solely on their (unbelievable) God given talents this team could be completely unstoppable, but until they do the Mavs have a chance to get revenge for the 2006 Championship.