OK, "hate" probably doesn't encapsulate the recent rash of ink being turned out about the third wheel of the Miami Heat troika. "Disappointed," maybe. "Underwhelmed," possibly. "Concerned," perhaps. Whatever the word, poor Chris Bosh isn't exactly settling in as expected in his new hot home, and sports commenters are chiding the big man, with some already wondering when he'll be traded.
Bosh is only averaging 14.7 points and 5.4 rebounds this season. That's down from an average of 20 points and 9 rebounds last season. Everyone expected Bosh, James and Wade's numbers to come down to Earth when they were all playing the same game, but Bosh's play has been particularly uninspiring. He's even admitted it, claiming he's a little lost.
We're only seven games into the season, and no one in their right mind should expect the Heat to gel instantly. Hell, at a record of 5-2 after a tough opening stretch it's not exactly like the team is in panic mood, but in numerous articles popping up online in the past few days Bosh is getting bashed.
Here's The Awl's Tony Gervino imploring Bosh to get it together in an open letter:
Now, Chris, we all know you don't suck. You're blessed with rare coordination and skills and have proven yourself as an upper-tier talent. But you haven't exactly played up your standards this season. Or even Chris "Birdman" Andersen's standards. There have already been two games where you've managed to tally a single rebound. No, seriously, we read your stats on NBA.com: one rebound.
Perhaps you'll wake up soon. And if not, who cares? The team is winning. It's begun to snow in Toronto and it's bikini weather in Miami all year long. So you'll be watching the All-Star Game on TV while your boys yuk it up with Dwight Howard. You can't have everything.
Anymore, that is.
That's the nicer of the batch. Here's Fox Sports Jason Whitlock starting up the calls for Bosh to be traded:
If I'm Pat Riley, I watch the next two games very closely. If things go poorly for Bosh, I bring Dwyane Wade into my office and question him about how upset he and LeBron will be if the "Big Three" undergoes an official name change.
The "Big Two" makes the most sense.
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ESPN's Tom Haberstroh isn't ready for a Bosh trade just yet, but offers some constructive criticism:
For Bosh to re-establish himself as one of the great bigs in the game, it's imperative that he gets back to attacking the basket. Listen to him speak and you get the sense that he understands his success is predicated on his aggressiveness, but that he also hasn't felt comfortable enough to unleash his fiercer side. Bosh will admit this much: the process doesn't happen overnight. With 75 games left, there's still plenty of time for Bosh pacify his doubters.
You know what's amazing though? All these articles were written after the Heat's Saturday win against the Nets in which Bosh scored 21 points and picked up five rebounds. Sure, Wade and James scored more, and sure it was the Nets, but Bosh's performance looked improved over the rest of the season. As Haberstroh mentions, he's got 75 more games to keep heading in that direction.