The NBA’s 30 best go-to players (#18: Chris Bosh)

10.02.09 9 years ago 39 Comments

Every NBA team has a go-to guy, and there’s really only room for one. And it’s not strictly who takes the last-second shot. It’s the guy who regularly gets the ball when things are getting tense in the fourth; the guy expected to calm things down when teammates are getting sloppy; the guy called upon to snuff out an opponent’s rally, or spark a rally of his own; the guy who’s not just supposed to make shots, but make the right decisions. Bottom line: Who do you want the offense to run through when everything is on the line? From #30 to #1 (one per team), these are the League’s best go-to guys…

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#18: CHRIS BOSH, Raptors

You know those girls that have all the elements of being fine, but for whatever reason, actually aren’t that fine? They could have good silky hair, smooth skin, nice body, the right idea of how to wear clothes and makeup; but when you really look closely, they just aren’t getting the job done. Think Aubrey O’Day or Trina and you get what I’m talking about.

That’s where Chris Bosh fits as an elite NBA go-to guy. Bosh has all the elements of a superstar: size (6-10, 250 after adding muscle this summer) and quickness, plus a pretty complete skill set for a power forward; ability to score from the post or mid-range (22.7 ppg), plus he hits his free throws (81.7% FT); he can rebound and block shots (10.0 rpg, 1.0 bpg), and isn’t a bad passer; his resume even includes a decent list of game-winners, crunch-time buckets and games where he’s simply dominated by himself.

But when you really look closely at Bosh, when it really comes down to it, do you trust him as The Man on your team like you would a D-Wade, Duncan or even Dirk?

As disappointing as the Raptors were last season, Bosh wasn’t bad as their focal point — and yet he wasn’t as good as his talent would seem to warrant. Per 48 minutes of “clutch time” (according to he produced 34.2 points, 19th-best in the League and ahead of guys like Danny Granger, Deron Williams and Andre Iguodala, and a mere percentage point behind Vince Carter. Bosh hit 45.8% from the field in the clutch, right in line with Kobe and Paul Pierce, and his 14.8 rebounds per 48 minutes of clutch was just outside the League’s Top-15. He had games where he hung 30 and 40 points on the NBA’s best post defenders (CB4 especially seems to have Dwight Howard‘s number), games where he owned the glass (which should happen more often with the extra bulk), and games where he was as reliable down the stretch as any superstar. Bosh can also keep the defense off-balance by making the occasional three — and he actually hit 60 percent of the threes he took in crunch time.

Then there are other times where he finds himself bottled up on crucial possessions by defenders he should be dominating, or relying too much on his jumper when he could get easier shots closer to the rim.

This season, and more likely, this summer we’ll learn a lot about Bosh as a go-to guy. If he is the true Alpha Male type who wants to lead, he’ll either stay in Toronto or sign with another team where he can be The Man. If he’s more comfortable as a No. 2 or No. 3 complimentary player, he’ll team up with LeBron or D-Wade, or go somewhere else where the pressure is off.

It’s not an indictment of Bosh’s talent if he never becomes an elite go-to guy. There’s only room for so many of those types in the world, and some players just don’t have that kind of personality. Bosh has every element at his disposal to move up in the ranks, though, if he really wants it.

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19. Andre Iguodala
20. Tracy McGrady
21. Baron Davis
22. Michael Redd
23. Devin Harris
24. Kevin Martin
25. Al Jefferson
26. O.J. Mayo
27. Stephen Jackson
28. Nate Robinson
29. Boris Diaw
30. Rip Hamilton

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