This lockout shortened season has taken its toll on every NBA team. Schedules filled with back-to-backs and back-to-back-to-backs were the super special present left behind by David Stern after he let a manageable lockout situation spiral out of control, almost losing us the entire 2011-2012 NBA campaign. The Heat so far this season have had to deal with twice as many back-to-backs games relative to the amount of games where they get at least 2 days off. That’s a grind if I’ve ever seen one. That’s why people should NOT be surprised that all teams (yes, even the Flying Death Machine) are having issues playing up to their potential every night. People that were predicting the Heat going 60-6 (I’m looking at you, Whitlock) SERIOUSLY underestimated the toll that this condensed schedule would have on the players.
Focusing this train of thought, Chris Bosh throughout the season has gone through games (if not entire stretches) where he just looks mentally and physically outmatched by his opponents. Knowing how this season is wearing down players, I did some research and split Bosh’s season stats into two categories: games where the Heat had played the night before, and every other game when the Miami has at least 1 night to rest.
The table above has split Bosh’s season into those two categories (I removed Bosh’s line from the January 5th game against the Hawks where the Heat played without LeBron and Wade in order to better account for how he plays with them). Bosh’s numbers across the board fall significantly on back-to-backs compared to games where he’s had a chance to rest. The most glaring differences are in his FG% and the amount of turnovers he commits. More than an 8% drop in FG %, while committing nearly double the amount of turnovers isn’t what the Heat offense needs from debatably their most important offensive cog. Another glaring fact is that Bosh’s rebounds fall to a VERY pedestrian 6.2 RPG. That is just not going to get it done when Bosh is the Heat’s most important big man.
The good news for the Heat is that this insane schedule concocted by Commissioner Stern ends with the regular season. That should (theoretically) help Bosh produce numbers more consistent with the “1 OR MORE DAYS REST” line in the table above. This is also completely eliminating the fact that Bosh stepped his game up to another level last year in the playoffs, showing more aggressiveness in his offensive game and on the boards. Long story short, I implore Heat fans to remain patient (LOL… fat chance) as I expect Bosh will return to All-Star form when he finally gets the rest he needs. In the Playoffs.