Defending Chris Bosh

Against Toronto Raptors fans, no less! I never thought I’d dedicate a post to Toronto, especially on a day as holy as this(National Kobe Day). However, I feel like Bosh is taking a lot of heat from his fans that he shouldn’t be taking. After checking out one of the most popular and up-to-date Raptors sites on the web, I found out a lot that I didn’t know.

Apparently, Chris Bosh is a terrible defender. Wait, I already knew that. The guy doesn’t get paid for his defense, he gets paid to put the ball in the basket and grab some rebounds. SOME rebounds, not ALL rebounds. There’s a difference. We can all agree that rebounding is a part of defense; so when the guy takes criticism for his lack of rebounding AND his less-than-stellar defense, it becomes redundant. Toronto executives knew what they had with Bosh after his first few years.

Seriously, we’re talking about a guy who, before this year, has averaged double digit rebounds only twice since entering the league in 2003. This year, he’s averaging a career high in rebounds. Once again, rebounds are a part of defense. A lot of the attacks coming from Raptors Republic were about how Bosh holds the ball on offense, which causes stagnation, and about how he couldn’t stick with Andrew Bogut.

First, Bosh is the best player on a team of over-paid guys that would be the third-to-fourth best players on a contending team. His skillset offensively should not come into question, because there’s no way you can score 44 points(January 20th) without having some type of game. There isn’t another player on that team that can do what he does consistently, and therefore I don’t blame the guy for taking matters into his own hands. The problem with Bosh is that he’s never going to be the number one guy on a championship team. It’s just not in the cards for him.

Chris Bosh, taking a break from the multitude of responsibilities assigned to him by Toronto.

He’s a unique build; an under-sized big man(they list him at 6’10”, but the guy’s a tall 6’8″ in my estimation) with the skills of an elevated number two guy on a championship team. He’s almost a no-man’s land type of player, because he tantalizes you into thinking he can be a number one with his impressive but empty statistics on bad teams, and at the same time he has more skills than the traditional second fiddle. He’s a rare breed of player, and a very confusing one for coaches and general managers because it’s hard to determine how much to pay a guy like that.

I’m surprised he hasn’t had one of those moments often seen in movies/shows where the teenager tries to stop the parent from living vicariously through them. I can just see it building inside him as he finally explodes: “STOP IT! STOP IT! Can’t you just understand that I’m never going to be who you want me to be! Just let me live my own life! ::throws the basketball into the wall::” I mean, it’s not a dramatic moment until something breaks, right?

Second, like I said earlier, the Raptors executives knew what they had with him. He was never going to be the guy that routinely snatched down 15 rebounds a game, because it’s just not in his DNA. He’s also not a lockdown guy. Bosh is not going to shut down an explosive offensive big man, especially when he’s guarding guys above his own weight class. The crap he takes for his inability to do so should be a reflection of bad management, not Bosh’s deficiencies.

If not for bad draft pick choices and free agent signings, the Raptors and their fans wouldn’t have to worry about a guy like Bogut(who is a legitimate 7-footer) scoring over Bosh at will. The Raptors should have invested in a legitimate center, not a Dirk Nowitzki-wannabe(Andrea Bargnani), and covered up Bosh’s weaknesses on the court. That’s how championship teams are made: with super stars, good chemistry, good defense, and guys that take off some weight from the super stars’ shoulders and don’t make fatal mistakes.

Chris Bosh plays on a team full of foreign-born players who aren’t known for their defense. The best players on his team are all offensive guys, so of course the offense is going to get stagnant when he has the ball. I do agree that the team needs to find a better way to mesh offensively, but I do not agree that Bosh should be blamed for the team’s weak defensive rating.

Call me a softy, but I think the problem here isn’t with Bosh, but instead with the responsibilities put on him by management, on top of their inability to get him the kind of help he needs. Bosh doesn’t need another big man that lives on the perimeter, he needs another big man that can make little guys think twice about venturing into the paint, or keep opposing bigs from setting up on their sweet spots. Bosh doesn’t need a 6’9″ small forward to handle the ball when he has two solid point guards(who albeit haven’t played especially well this season); he needs a 6’7″ swingman who can knock down the three ball, slash, and defend the opposing team’s shooting guard or small forward.

Bosh is not a number one guy. He’s a glorified number two guy that might not be able to fully self-actualize until paired with a legitimate number one guy. Give ’em Dwayne Wade and see how much flack he takes then. Seriously.

I write this knowing full well that any Raptors fan will probably refute everything I just said, but I don’t care. I fight for injustice, like Martin Luther King, Jr., only without the doctorate. And without graduating from college at like 15. And without the historically significant cause. Oh, and without the tremendous rhetoric or ability to change the world.

Okay, I’m nothing like him, but I can say his name 10x’s fast without going into anabolic shock, mostly because I’m not a diabetic. Yet.


17 Responses to “Defending Chris Bosh”

  1. Nate Brew Says:

    I didn’t know they had fans, excluding myself of course.

  2. Fred Says:

    Oh boy, Raptor fans are about as bad as Eagles fan. They love to throw their players under the bus yet do not realize if it weren’t for “that” player they would be stuck in the lottery. Mediocrity/Playoff contention is a lot better than taking May and June off.

  3. Anthony Burrola Says:

    I would have to disagree with that alone, because taking May and June off has more of an upside than being a 8 seed with no chance of winning the title. The problem with Toronto is that they waste their number draft picks on guys like Bargnani, and their money on guys like Hedo.

  4. Fred Says:

    I can agree with that point but there are also upsides to making the playoffs. Experience, revenue and even a chance of a upset. Although if you have a player of Bosh caliber with the team around him, I can’t really see them falling to the bottom 5 of the draft. Plus with all the crazy series that we have experienced the past few years, GS vs D, Chi vs Bos and Atl vs Bos to name a few, anything can happen(especially if you play Bos!)

    Really depends on the perspective, as a fan I loved it when we made the playoffs and took PHX to 7. It was very hard for me to hate Kobe particularly, those were my prime Kobe Hatin’ days.

    Also I suppose the strength of the draft class alone can be a factor. This year looks like its John Wall and than a huge drop off.

    You can’t blame Toronto because they want to be the whitest team in the league!!!

    Btw – I see that little smile mocking me as I type this.

  5. Anthony Burrola Says:

    Haha. Well I think there’s an upside to both perspectives, it just depends on how much into the future you’re looking. The strength of the draft is always important, but if there aren’t any guys(like this year) outside of #1, then trade.

    The one place you don’t want to be is the NBA’s no-man’s land. Yes, playoff experience is good, but in those same examples you brought up, look what happened to those teams afterward due to failure to get a good pick: LAL follows up a 45-37 year with a 41-41 year. GS follows up that tremendous upset year with a terrible season that sends their star players save Monta all around the country. Chicago is still a very flawed team that has no chance of advancing past the first round unless they trade for a big man, and they weren’t even beating a healthy Boston team.

    And as for Bosh’s caliber-of-player argument, look at last year-they landed the 9th pick with a Bosh-led team.

    No Man’s Land.

  6. Fred Says:

    Yeah pretty much, every league in every sport is setup where most teams will be stuck in No Man’s Land. Blow up the team and try again baby!

  7. Morning Coffee – Jan 22 | Slam Dunking Says:

    […] Defending Chris Bosh « An Epic Mess First, Bosh is the best player on a team of over-paid guys that would be the third-to-fourth best players on a contending team. His skillset offensively should not come into question, because there’s no way you can score 44 points(January 20th) without having some type of game. There isn’t another player on that team that can do what he does consistently, and therefore I don’t blame the guy for taking matters into his own hands. The problem with Bosh is that he’s never going to be the number one guy on a championship team. It’s just not in the cards for him. […]

  8. Swirsky's Soldier Says:

    I think you have Raps fans a bit off…. we don’t throw Bosh under the bus… we just expect more from Bosh than any other player.

    For instance… you mention he is not a good defender (which no one would deny I think) and yet how many other guys that are Max money are not “good defenders”? Kobe, Lebron, Wade, D-12, Duncan, KG etc etc. These guys make the team better…. GMs don’t have to cover any of their weakness.

    Andrea Bargnani is a far superior defender to Bosh. Bosh is the weak link on Toronto’s defense (although not the only problem). He does however compensate for a lot of it on the boards and on offense. But if you want to criticize a team for being the worst defensively in the NBA… you sure better look to where all the $ are wrapped up

    The only injustice here is that you haven’t watched enough Raptors games to fully understand what Bosh does and doesn’t bring to his team. The guy is a money 20-10 guys…. but then again so is Zach Randolph, are you going to his defense next?

  9. Alpha Says:

    All this is is another Bosh defender sticking up for a guy who he himself admits is not a #1 guy. The problem isn’t so much Bosh as it is Triano, and Smitch before him. The teams offence is set up around Bosh…You know it, I know it and every coach and player in the league knows it. Just ask Lebron who knew exactly where the ball was going when Jose tried to be Peyton Manning.
    And when the offense only has eyes for Bosh..the Raps are pretty easy to defend.
    Bosh needs to learn to trust his teamates..he never has, That Bucks game was an anomaly,,, it most games this year we have plenty of offence..just not enough passes to go around

  10. Daniel Cool Beans Lee Says:

    lol I can’t tell whether you’re actually defending him or not throughout the whole thing.

    “So what if he sucks at defending? We already knew that. We don’t pay him for his defense!”

    :Chris Bosh (in his jersey) hangs head in shame:

  11. Ripp_ Says:

    He is 6’10.25 w/o shoes….

    Or at least that was his height when drafted, perhaps he has shrunk since then:P

    Regarding defense…he is not a center. He does a average to above average job on other PFs, but unfortunately is forced to guard the other team’s center half the time.

    It isn’t clear to me that he is a second banana. Or stated differently, he is as much a #1 guy as Dirk is. Comparing the two, he is a more efficient scorer (on similar point production), better rebounder and defender.
    Mark Cuban has done a great job of surrounding Dirk with complementary pieces (rebounders, second scorers who can create offense like JET, healthy Josh Howard, a bunch of good defenders, defensive-minded coach.)
    Raptors management…not so much.

    To some extent, I think the best thing Bosh can do for his career is to leave. Otherwise he will always have this reputation as a second-tier star, poor defender, etc, when he is really a hostage of management’s lack of foresight and wisdom. I mean, look at Kevin Garnett and all those wasted years in Minnesota…stupid management can really hurt one’s career.

    Anyway, he is only 25 years old, so the story isn’t quite over.

  12. Tommy Hancock Says:

    I really do not get how Raptor fans can complain. That would be like if I, when Boston couldn’t make the playoffs, started talkin ish on Pierce instead of wishing there was something built around him or even a #1 guy to play with him. Which thank God they got, but thats the kind of thing TOR should be talking about, not how bad their best player is. Your points are all dead on here sir. Signing a premier player should be their #1 goal, btu without losing Bosh. Also they should ditch Hedo while hes still good trade bait, I’m not saying he’s a bad player but a team like this needs to build for the future. There is no future in Hedo, but there are good young players out there they could get for the same price. they don’t stand a chance of doing anything in the post season without defense.

  13. Anthony Burrola Says:

    Alpha-thank you for proving my point.

    Swirsky-You know how to read, you know how to type, and you know how to work the internet, so I can safely assume that you’re at least 8. 1. Those guys you listed are max-money guys, while Bosh is only max on his rookie contract extension. He should not be receiving that kind of money this off-season BECAUSE he has to have other players make up for his weaknesses. 2. I said the problem was management. 3. I admitted Bosh wasn’t a number one guy.

    You obviously didn’t read the entire piece, because if you did you would not have said half the things you did(which I already said), or you did and you’re just not all there. Comparing Zach to Chris is far off base because Zach, up until this year, went for his own numbers, while Chris always tries to win. On top of that, how many Zach Randolph-led teams are going to lead their team to the 5th seed of the playoffs(TOR@ORL)?

  14. Klasky Says:

    Haha, swirsky didnt even read the article. He looked at what he wanted to look at and then decided to argue.

  15. Venetiaanse zonwering Says:

    This was a nice post! I am looking for some related pictures. Anybody got some good ones?

  16. Raptors Take a Bite out of Lake Show « An Epic Mess Says:

    […] same cannot be said for Chris Bosh. I love the guy, as evidenced here, but he’s ill-equipped to deal with men of Mountain Drew and Pau Gasol’s size. They […]

  17. chappy81 Says:

    I don’t see why Raptor fans would ridicule him. This is just stupid. Predator is all they have up there. Do they want Calderon’s struggling ass to take more shots? They’re better off with Jack at the point than him. I think Toronto is just paving the way for Bosh to leave, since everybody knows that’s what will happen. They may as well blame everything on their best player, so they don’t feel like they lost all that much when he does get traded or leaves. Bosh for Bynum would be a good deal for them!

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