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Positioning Bosh to win

It's only one game but there's plenty we can learn from the Heat's slow start Tuesday night.

Joe Treutlein, the showrunner of Hoopdata.com (my old digs), took to the site's blog where he sheds light on the areas the Heat struggled. Among them? Getting Chris Bosh the ball where he can go to work.

Mis-Utilization of Chris Bosh

Chris Bosh had a terrible game offensively, largely in part to excellent team defense by the Celtics, excellent individual defense by Kevin Garnett, and very poor play by himself, but seeing where he was getting the ball in Miami’s offense is extremely concerning, especially considering what the Raptors’ offense was able to do for him.

Despite Steve Kerr’s repeated cries during the broadcast that Chris Bosh can’t post up, Bosh is actually one of the best post-up players in the entire NBA, ranking in the 90th percentile in post efficiency according to Synergy last season, scoring 1.09 PPP on a ridiculous 549 possessions in 70 games played. Only seven players in the entire NBA posted up for more possessions than Bosh last year (despite Bosh missing 12 games), and the closest to him in efficiency was Tim Duncan at 1.04 PPP!

So what went wrong against the Celtics? For one, nearly all of Bosh’s post-up opportunities saw him catching the ball 10 feet or more away from the basket, while the help defense the Celtics sent off Joel Anthony certainly didn’t help matters either. Pairing Bosh with a more threatening big man and using more off ball action in terms of screens and movement to free him down low will be critical to the Heat this year, and they’ll need to show a lot more creativity in getting him the ball this way in the future, as there was virtually none of it last night.

Joe is spot on. Whom can the Heat pair him with? Jamaal Magloire? While the Heat loaded up on low-usage bigs in the offseason to ease the ball distribution, there's a downside to deploying big men who don't command the ball. Teams can double team with little risk.

It may be worth it for the Heat to occasionally send either Wade and LeBron to lurk near the corner to distract Bosh's man. Expect the Heat to unlock their creativity against the weak front court in Philadelphia.