Wednesday, October 27, 2010

SPORTS: On the Whole, the Sixers Would Rather NOT Be in Philadelphia...Tonight

Well, what's going to be the point-spread tonight when the final whistle blows on the Philadelphia 76ers-Miami Heat game? It's going to be huge. The Sixers might very well be playing without Andre Iguodala and the Heat are coming in off an embarrassment last night against the Celtics that looked like it was edging into humiliation territory one quarter in.

Then, LeBron James turned his team into Cleveland redux, going one on one with the Boston team. It must have felt like old times for the Kingly One as he couldn't get any other teammate to step up and take the pressure of making the game competitive off his shoulders. So he gets his 31, a few rebounds and a few assists and a loss in crunch-time. He left Ohio for the scorn, ridicule and THIS?

But what of the other peripatetic wandering south soul, Chris Bosh?

Bosh's comments to Dave Feschuk in the Toronto Star today paint an incredibly sorry picture. He had to leave Toronto to get on TV. How incredibly vain. Oh, he's going to get on TV but it will be completely obscured by the bright lights shining on James and Dwyane Wade. Despite Wade's virtual complete absence in training camp due to injury and legal proceedings, I don't remember the Heat running a single play for the once-focal point of the Toronto Raptors. Having shucked his hairdo, his number, and by extension his nickname (CB4) in his haste to beat it out of Toronto, Bosh has been looking for a new nickname. Since team play dictates he might have to rebound a few misses and toss them back to get his own points, it's tempting to refer to him as The Garbageman. But that's disingenuous. Nope. Chris 'The Valet' Bosh, I now dub thee.

The Heat weren't going to go 82-0 and even after tonight's piecing of Philly, won't go 81-1. The Heat have holes, largely in the forecourt where Bosh and Anthony were called 'undersized' all night by the broadcast crew. Two seven-footers undersized? Well, yeah. Bosh has never been a good on the ball defender, getting a few blocks coming off his man to make him look better than average at some points. And Anthony blocks shots occasionally. But big, aggressive front lines will give the Heat fits. The Heat's half-court offence is going to be dependent on three things: James' driving ability, James' three-point shooting and the ability for some of the scrubs to hit three-pointers when James and Wade don't have the ball or are in a passing mood. On some nights, one, two or all three of those dependencies won't be operating, making them beatable.

Bosh is going to pay a heavy price for his TV jones. I heard some touts saying he'd drop from 24 pts and 10 rebounds nightly to 20 and 8, based on fewer scoring opportunities and fewer misses by his teammates. Now every team Miami plays isn't going to be the superior Boston defence, but the Miami offence has options 1 (and 1A) in James and 2 in Wade. There is NO WAY IN HELL that Bosh gets a sniff of 20 a night on the scoresheet.

Not if they don't run any plays for him. But at least he'll get an 'also starring' credit on the TV.

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