Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Since the Big Three came together in Miami in 2010, the comment has repeatedly been made that center Chris Bosh is the most important player on the team. If that’s true, then the most important player has completely disappeared at a most inopportune time.
Since the Eastern Conference Finals began, Bosh has had one solid half of basketball in the first two quarters of Game 3. Other than that, Bosh has largely been missing in action during the matchups with the Indiana Pacers.
Bosh has been getting his points, averaging 14 points per game, but for a player who is an inch away from seven feet tall, the Heat center has averaged just 3.3 rebounds per game and just 0.5 offensive rebounds per game.
“We had them right where we wanted them, but every time we would get a stop, especially in the fourth quarter, we didn’t come up with the rebound,” Bosh said. “It was there for us, but we didn’t capitalize.”
On the other side, the man Bosh is guarding, Pacers center Roy Hibbert, has been completely abusing Bosh on the low block. Hibbert is averaging 22.8 points and 12 rebounds in 39 minutes of action per game in the Eastern Conference Finals.
In the Heat’s two losses to the Pacers in the series, Bosh has scored a total of 24 points and pulled down a total of eight rebounds, only one of which was on the offensive glass. In Game 4, Bosh was 1-6 from the field and had more fouls than he did rebounds while battling injuries.
If the Heat are to advance past the Pacers, it’s either going to take a Herculean-effort from LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, or Bosh will have to shake off his struggles and move back down to the post to establish his presence again.