So, me and a couple of my friends, Paul and Randen(@Far_From_Heroes and @_makeme_famous on twitter) we’re arguing about a few things yesterday. We argued about J.J. Hickson and his production with the Cavs and what he’ll do with the Kings, Randen got upset because I said “not everyone leaves like LeBron” and he’s probably the King’s biggest fan. The debate that intrigued me the most and that I wanted to look more into, was whether or not the Heat made the right choice of Chris Bosh over Amare Stoudemire.
Boozer was included in the conversation, but he didn’t produce enough this year to be considered a top power forward in the game. Bosh and Stoudemire were key cogs to their respective team, but when writing this I am going to consider 1. What they do for their teams that they are on now 2. What the impact on the Miami Heat would be if they switched places.
I have to give a big thanks to Hoopdata.com also, this is where I get all of my numbers information from. I will also compare the on and off the court leadership roles that they both play. That is a key element to a basketball team today and it is important to have that as a skill.
Okay, so the first thing that my friends threw out at me was their presence in the post. Now, I don’t have post points per possession as a stat here. I wish I did, but I’m not official enough for that. I’d need synergy stats to do that and when I can pay for it, I’ll get it. But til then, we’ll go off of other numbers.
They said that Amare was the better post player, and I didn’t know if that was exactly true. So I looked up the numbers for them being 3-9 feet away from the basket. You would say that’s deep position on the low block in the post right? Sounds fair. So, when comparing those numbers, Amare shoots about 45 percent from 3-9 feet when taking an average of 4.8 shots from there. He makes 2.2 of those shots per game. That’s a pretty good percentage considering the contest from the big thats guarding him and him being the small size of about 6’9. Now, Bosh on the other hand, from 3-9 feet shoots about 39 percent. That’s a pretty disappointing stat for me, however, I don’t think thats Bosh’s fault though. According to the numbers he only takes 2.2 shots from that spot. That means that he gets little post up opportunities per game. I wish I had a number for you all, but we know that his possessions are limited because of the presence of 2 dominant perimeter players. Therefore he cannot establish the correct rhythm in the low post like Amare. The previous year, for Bosh, he shot 45 percent from 3-9 feet and had almost 2 more shots from there. That’s what happens when you have a perimeter dominant team with a big low post presence.
I can’t go off of the previous year when doing this. Therefore, Amare does have the advantage their even though he takes more shots. It isn’t an excuse that Bosh doesn’t get as many touches there, he still gets a few. And he doesn have to make those few, but he doesn’t. An equalizer would be them shooting from 10-15 feet away from the rim. That’s about the length away from the high post area. The high post is where Bosh excels, shooting 45 percent from there. He shoots 2.2 shots from there and makes 1. Amare shoots about the same at 38 percent. He takes the same amount of shots but only makes .9 of them, unlike the low post where he takes about 5 shots a game. From 16-23 feet they shoot about the same. Bosh and Amare shot 5.5 and 5.4 shots from those spots respectively, making 2.5 and 2.4 shots from there and shooting 45 and 44 percent respectively. They are pretty even in that area, but if Bosh took more shots, I think that it’d make a huge difference.
This was Bosh’s first year of being under 42 percent shooting from the low post. I blame that on him not being able to establish the rhythm that he was once used to in Toronto. Maybe the same would’ve happened to Amare had he went to Miami? No? Something for you all to think about.
Lets step away from their scoring for a second, we will revisit it shortly, and talk about their rebounding numbers. The consensus belief is that Amare is the better rebound because he has the better low post presence. You all will be shocked to know that it is in fact Bosh who is the better rebounder. Bosh had 8.3 rebounds and Amare had 8.2 this season, as you can see they are pretty close numbers. However, when you look at their rebounding rate, which is the percentage of missed shots a player grabs when on the floor. It is a better guage of rebounding numbers than just looking at the numbers themselves. It takes them and goes deeper into them as an advanced statistic. Bosh’s rate was 13.6. He rebounded 20 percent of the defensive rebounds for the Heat, which is high, and 6.3 percent of the offensive rebounds. That’s relatively low for Bosh, but that’s because he spent a lot of his time out of the paint. They needed the correct spacing for Bron and Wade to get to the cup. On the other hand, Amare rebounds 12.7 percent of missed shots for his team. That’s a whole percentage point lower. Amare has a defensive rebound rate of 17.6 and an offensive rebound rate of 7.8. I think that’s because of the whole focus of offense in NY. They don’t really worry about defensive rebounding as much as they should. Instead of alway securing the board, they start to run the floor before they know they have possession of the ball. On offense Amare is around the rim much more often and has more opportunity to grab an offensive board. With all that being said, they are very similar but I’d take Bosh over Amare in this case. I’d worry about securing a rebound on defense before I worry about creating an extra possession on offense. They are very similar but I think Bosh barely has the edge.
Lets take this to the defensive end of things, speaking of defense. Now, the Knicks don’t play as much defense as people would like; and we know that the Heat are one of the top defensive teams in the leage, but that’s not because of Bosh. Bosh isn’t as bad as a defender as people would like to think, but he isn’t all that solid either. Posting a defensive rating of 1.47 compared to Amare’s 2.96. Amare averaged almost 2 blocks per game compared to Bosh’s .62. Amare is definitley the better defender in this case, even on the worse defensive team. Points allowed per 100 possesion edge would go to Bosh only allowing 103 points to Amare’s 108, but I believe that’s due to the fact that he has the greatest defensive perimeter the game has today. Amare doesn’t have that, and a lot of the defense starts with their frontcourt. He is attacked way more often than Bosh, allowing him to showcase his defensive prowess more often. I’d give Amare the edge, just because of his block numbers and the fact that Bosh doesn’t have to be the anchor defensively for a team with no defense.
Lets go back to offensive play. We all know that Amare is on one of the best offensive teams in the league, and Bosh’s team tends to focus on defense more and moves at a slower pace, but how do they fair in efficiency? Lets find out. They were pretty close in shot percentage with Bosh shooting 49.6 and Amare shooting 50.2. .6 points isn’t really a bad thing. So it looks like, once again, we’ll have to bring it to advanced statistics. In true shooting percentage, which takes in account free throws and 3 point shots, they are both pretty even at 56. Also in effective field goal percentage. That’s at 50 or both. So, the thing is, who gets their shot off better. You’d think its Amare because he’s inside more, but its actually Bosh. Amare gets his shot blocked 8.1 percent o the time compared to Bosh’s 4.6. Its because of Bosh’s size and length that he is allowed to get his shot off better. So, I’m going to have to barely give an edge to Bosh.
The leadership role is played a lot better by Amare in New York. He’s embraced the fact that that’s his team, while Bosh is the on the triumvirate that is the Miami Heat. He takes little stand in that locker room over Wade and Bron, while New York is Amare’s team on the other hand. He made that known when Carmelo came to the team in a press conference, and I think that shows a lot about him. He wants to be a leader, and he embraces that role. I think that Bosh shyed away from it when he left Toronto. He had the opportunity there but it didn’t work out for him as well. So I’d give this aspect of the game to Amare.
These are 2 very comparable, very close players. But you have to take into consideration health issues. Amare has been known to have very weak knees at times and you never know when they’ll break down, as we saw at the end of this season. He has more mileage on him than Bosh does, almost a whole season earlier. He also missed one season due to microfracture surgery. He made a great comeback but you never know when that knee will be ready to break down again. Bosh hasn’t had injury problems as significant as that, so its more of a plus for him. I think that’s ultimatley why the Heat chose him over Amare. They didn’t want to pay him as much because they didn’t know about his health or his dedication to the game. You can recall that Amare was difficult to coach at times in Phoenix.
For the Heat, I’d take Bosh. I think that Amare isn’t the type of supporting superstar that Bosh is. I think that he was meant to lead a team, not just contribute. I think that’s what Bosh was made for, its what he wanted. Amare didn’t. They wouldn’t need 3 big personalities in Miami. 2 is more than enough. They are very similar in terms of production, but just do it in different ways. Who would you guys want on your team? Whether you are the Heat or not.
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