The third member of the Miami Trio is set to make his first appearance in this series. He gets picked on by fans and even the media from time to time, but he's still an All Star and a huge upgrade (when healthy) over the other bigs on the Heat roster. And he offers more than just scoring and rebounding. He spaces the floor for James and Wade.
This is one of the reasons why Erik Spoelstra has called Bosh the most vital player on the Heat's roster. Without him, it throws the whole offensive spacing off. The 3-point shooters can't shake their defender as easily and the Heat's dynamic duo can't pierce (no pun intended) the Celtics' defense as easily. Overall, the offense hasn't experienced a monster drop-off because of James and Wade's superhuman outings, but they can't keep going 2-on-5 against a defense like Boston's. Without 3-point shooting, the Heat can't survive. With a healthy 6-foot-11 Bosh in the fold, the Heat's attack can be stabilized again. The question is, will he be healthy?
That is a key question. There are some reports that say that he wanted to play a number of games ago but the training staff wouldn't give him the green light. Now he looks like he's gotten it and we'll have to see if he can hold up to the barfight atmosphere these two teams have created. Regardless, you have to prepare as if he's 100% and a legit threat.
There’s no telling how much Bosh will be able to give the Heat, but just by stepping on the court he offers an offensive weapon that has to be guarded and there’s really no one on the Celtics’ roster who can check him besides Garnett. He’s too big for Brandon Bass and too skilled for Greg Stiemsma and Ryan Hollins. Just having Bosh on the floor changes the equation dramatically for Garnett and the Celtics. Their defensive gameplan in this series has been predicated on doubling Dwyane Wade and James whenever possible – mostly Wade – with Garnett either serving as the first line of defense or the last line against everything else that happens.
For his part, Doc Rivers doesn't seem all that concerned.
"I don’t know how much different it will be," said Rivers. "I think Kevin is going to try to post up whoever they throw out there, and we’re going to try to post him up. It’s just another body. Chris is obviously very talented and poses his own problems. But I don’t think Kevin will be that concerned with whoever is there, he’s going to try to play against." Rivers can also understand the challenge Spoelstra now faces in attempting to reintroduce a player into his playoff lineup – even one as talented as Bosh.
The message is clear. Stick to the gameplan, execute, stay aggressive, and it won't matter who's on the court for Miami.