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Bosh Thriving #WithoutWade

Let's get one thing out of the way before going any further: the Miami Heat are a better team with Dwyane Wade than without him. Pun-y hashtag aside, I'm the last person who would advance such an opinion. But tired media-driven narratives notwithstanding, Chris Bosh has been a more efficient player this year when Wade has been out of the lineup.

It's not surprising that Bosh averages about seven points per game more when Wade is wearing a suit. The opportunities are more plentiful and Bosh is the clear-cut no. 2 scoring option behind LeBron James. The fact that Bosh has been far more efficient in the games Wade has missed, however, does seem peculiar.


True shooting percentage (TS%) is an advanced offensive statistic which builds upon FG% by taking free throws and three-pointers into account. In the nine games the Heat have played with Bosh and Wade in the lineup, Bosh has a TS% of 53.8. With Wade out of the lineup, Bosh has posted a TS% of 61.8 (as a reference point, a TS% of 53.8 would rank 114th in the league, while 61.8 would be 22nd best).

Why has Bosh been a better player without Wade on the court? Admittedly, we're talking about a small sample size here. It could be an aberration. Or it may be that Bosh has a better feel for the game when he's playing a larger role. As I said before, Bosh's role is a lot more clearly defined when Wade is out. He doesn't have to second-guess himself (not that he ever should) for being aggressive. Further, James is simply a better passer than Wade. That's not an insult; James is arguably the best passer in the NBA. But with James controlling the ball almost exclusively, Bosh is more likely to receive a pass in position to score than if it was coming from Wade, who generally looks to score first.

Maybe Bosh's discrepancy in TS% with and without Wade doesn't mean anything. Maybe it does. Something to keep an eye on going forward, at least.