The uncertain status of Chris Bosh’s potential availability ended on Wednesday as the Miami Heat officially announced he will not play in the 2016 postseason.
Bosh hasn’t played since the All-Star break, and while the announcement doesn’t change Miami’s status quo moving forward in these playoffs, it provides an opportunity to look at how the Heat have changed in the absence of their 11-time All-Star power forward.
Miami’s season breaks into three distinct segments:
• Before the All-Star break with Bosh in the lineup
• The five games after the break without Bosh but before the team acquired Joe Johnson
• Since Feb. 28, when Johnson made his Heat debut
With Bosh in the lineup, the Heat’s offense scored 101.4 points per 100 possessions, which ranked 24th in the NBA. And while Bosh’s 81 3-pointers ranked near the top of the league among bigs, the Heat still ranked 27th in made 3-pointers.
After treading water to the tune of 102.6 points per 100 possessions in the first five games without Bosh following the All-Star break, the Heat’s offense took off once Johnson made his debut.
Since Feb. 28, Miami’s offensive efficiency of 109.1 (including the regular season and playoffs) ranks fourth in the NBA, behind only the Warriors, Cavaliers and Thunder. Though Johnson himself hasn’t been the primary reason for the Heat’s offensive awakening, his presence has been the catalyst for the Heat’s major shift in evolving into an almost entirely small-ball outfit.
Over that span, the Heat have had 16 different five-man lineups that have played at least 20 minutes. All 16 of them have featured a lone big man -- either Hassan Whiteside or Amar'e Stoudemire -- with either Luol Deng or Justise Winslow playing power forward.
The most commonly used Heat lineup of Goran Dragic, Dwyane Wade, Johnson, Deng and Whiteside has logged 199 minutes and outscored opponents by 68 points over that span. Those five have clicked on offense, averaging 111.8 points over 100 possessions, while shooting over 50 percent from the field.
As a result, this group has collectively outscored opponents by 17.7 points per 100 possessions. Just how good is that?
Of the 21 NBA lineups that have logged at least 150 minutes since Feb. 28, only the Golden State Warriors' starting lineup has been better.