Heat need LeBron to pick up slack for Bosh

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Chris Bosh is out indefinitely after suffering an abdominal strain in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.The Miami Heat will be without Chris Bosh indefinitely after an MRI showed an abdominal strain.

Miami Heat This Season
Including Postseason

Bosh missed nine games during the regular season, with the Heat going 4-5 in those games. It’s interesting to note that LeBron James missed three of those nine games and Dwyane Wade missed four of them. They were 2-2 when Wade and James played without Bosh.

When the Heat have needed him, Bosh has made some big shots during the regular season. Bosh led Miami with 19 game-tying or go-ahead field goals in the fourth quarter or overtime during the regular season. By comparison, Wade made 18 while James made 15 such shots.

Big 3 Combos, This Season
Heat Pts Diff per 48 Minutes

When James and Wade played together without Bosh on the floor, the Heat outscored their opponents by over 17 points per 48 minutes. That was easily the best out of any combination of the three players.

The Heat will miss Bosh’s scoring production in the front court. Miami had the third highest scoring production during the regular season from their front court starters, who averaged 45.6 points per game. The Orlando Magic (46.5 PPG) and New York Knicks (46.0 PPG) were the only teams ahead of Miami.

With Bosh out indefinitely, look for James to be more aggressive. In six games without Bosh during the regular season, James increased his scoring by four points and also shot a higher percentage from the field than in games Bosh played.

Heat with Chris Bosh On/Off Court
2011-12 Regular Season

On the flip side, Wade’s production decreased across the board in five games without Bosh this season.

During the regular season, the Heat were nine points better per 48 minutes with Bosh on the court. The difference was on offense, where Miami scored nearly eight more points in the paint per 48 minutes.

Not surprisingly, the Heat also were a better rebounding team and committed fewer turnovers with Bosh on the court.