Game 1 of the Semi-finals NBA Playoffs between the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers added more pressure onto Southbeach's dynamic duo than ever before. Yes they won the game 95-86, but they lost Forward Chris Bosh for what looks like could be the entire playoffs due to an abdominal strain. In spite of the team's big loss the play of Lebron James and Dwyane Wade has been spectacular. The role players such as Udonis Haslem, Mike Miller and Shane Battier have also stepped in to fill that big void left by Bosh. Now they are up 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals, just two games away from the grand spectacle known as the NBA Finals. And the question remains, do the Heat still need Chris Bosh ?
The answer is a gigantic YES. The importance of someone with Bosh's skill set, length, and height will surely be needed if the Heat make it to the Finals. The reason being that whoever the opponent may be whether it is the San Antonio Spurs or Oklahoma City Thunder have that size advantage in the post against the Heat. Lets have a look at both match ups. If the Thunder somehow win the west they will have a total mismatch if faced with Miami come June. The inside presences of Kendrick Perkins, and Serge Ibaka especially on the defensive side could stifle Miami's ability to score down low. Miami is not a jump shooting team, and surely would struggle if made into one. With Bosh in that line up you have someone that can guard either one of them, but also stretch them out because of his jump shooting ability.
Now looking at the other possible match up. San Antonio has the best post presence in all of basketball right now. Tim Duncan would surely have a clear mismatch with Ronny Turiaf or Joel Anthony guarding him. At 6'll 255 lbs, he is the biggest guy on the court, and we all know the sheer talent Tim Duncan possess when it comes to scoring and defending in the post. If Chris Bosh were to return it would be his responsibility to guard Tim Duncan, not saying he could cancel him out but it would be an upgrade. However the skill set of Bosh to be able to make that 18 foot Jump shot would stretch Spur defenders such as Duncan, Blair, or Splitter out from the post. Allowing his other "Big 3" companions to do damage to the perimeter players and get inside easier. In fact Bosh's presence makes Lebron and Dwyane better simply because none of San Antonio's perimeter players can cancel them out when driving to the lane.
It is apparent that the need for Chris Bosh is monumental if the Heat make it to the NBA Finals. However I won't count Miami out if he doesn't return, simply because the dynamic duo have been playing at the highest level. It would just be a lot more tough for Wade and James. Still the NBA is all about match ups, and if you have a clear advantage the momentum is on your side. I'm looking forward to seeing how this plays out, and hope you will enjoy the rest of the NBA playoffs like I have been.
I want to hear who you think will be in the 2011-2012 NBA Finals, Here is my prediction:
Prediction : Miami Heat vs Oklahoma City Thunder-NBA Finals