NBA Finals 2013: Chris Bosh keeps it weird

Mike Ehrmann

With the Heat facing elimination at home in Games 6 and 7, Chris Bosh had two totally inexplicable performances.

As if the story of Chris Bosh: NBA Star wasn't already strange enough, the final two games of the 2013 NBA Finals sent it all into the void. The player Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is fond of calling Miami's most important scored just 10 points in Game 6, but had two crucial defensive plays late. (By "crucial" we mean "absolutely game-saving.") In Game 7, Bosh went scoreless in 28 minutes, racking up five fouls, two turnovers, seven rebounds, a couple of assists and a block. It was an incredibly impotent performance. Bosh had only gone scoreless one other time in his career, in a 14-minute stint as a rookie that appears to have been shortened by injury. On Thursday, he played 28 minutes in Game 7 of the NBA Finals and got nada.

Bosh's career is on an insanely weird path, and when you consider how much Dwyane Wade showed his age in this series (despite a fine Game 7 filled with cringe-worthy shots that mostly went in), you really do start to wonder about the future of the Big Three. Pat Riley is ruthless. He might not have the stomach (or heart HAHAHAHA this is Pat Riley nevermind) to trade Wade for a younger, more complementary player in the quest for a three-peat. But Bosh is the type of player who would look better on a team more in need of frontcourt scoring than Miami, which has to be feeling pretty desperate for frontcourt defense after 37-year-old Tim Duncan and not-leaving-anytime-soon Roy Hibbert nearly derailed the run for the 2013 title.

As Game 6 showed us, Bosh can be really valuable: he is a very good big man, and having one of those is important. But other than his ability to hit a mid-range shot (he's one of the best), willingness to play center (not a small detail) and unfailing work ethic, he's not a great fit for peak LeBron and an aging Wade. Future editions of the championship-seeking Heat will be less able to survive zero-point, five-foul performances in elimination games. Riley owes it to the dream of a three-peat, four-peat, five-peat to see what he can get for Bosh that might fit better.

(Joakim Noah and Al Horford come to mind as obvious candidates, though I can't see either team making those moves straight up and Miami doesn't have much else to work with. Andrew Bogut is, along these lines, a chin-scratcher.)

Of course, you can't overreact based on a series against a fantastic opponent, especially when Bosh was matched against one of the greatest players ever. But given the Heat's challengers and the way Wade is aging, it'd only be prudent to take a gander around the league's rosters with a Bosh trade in mind. Either way, here's to even more Weird Bosh in the future, in Miami or wherever.

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