Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Bosh and Lebron - MVP Battle?

The Raptors battle the Cavs tonight in Cleveland and Lebron James is on pace for another MVP type season. Both are currently franchise players for their respective teams. Chris Bosh went on the record a week and a half ago saying that he wanted to do everything he could to be the MVP this season. Admirable? Yes Attainable? Lets look:

Bosh had elevated his game early on this season but since his statements his game has dropped off steadily and the Raptors have now lost 4 in a row.

So what's the reasoning for the drop in Bosh's game? I think its a combo of 2 things. The first is that Bosh has played A LOT of ball with very little rest (Olympics, preseason, reg season) this appears to be wearing on him, although I'm sure he'd never admit it. The Second and more important reason is that Bosh just doesn't play well against better opponents. He's struggled against the Celtics (twice), Jazz, Nuggets, Lakers, Blazers.

You simply cannot do that if you want to be an MVP in the NBA.

Bosh dominates lesser opponents as he should but when the true test comes his game always labors. Sure he puts up respectable numbers in those games but he doesn't have the ability to dominate like he does against the weaker teams.

I was at the game Sunday where bosh had the chance to win the game for his team. He had the ball in his hands with 8 seconds to play. He couldn't get it done. Tell me this, When was the last time Chris Bosh won a game in the crunch for this team? I can't think of one time, EVER. Sure he put the team on his back early on this season and helped lead them to a few wins (Bobcats, Sixers, Warriors) but in crunch time he ALWAYS falters.

Look at the Playoffs the past 2 seasons against the Nets and Magic. These were the most important games he had ever played (until the Gold medal game) and he was basically neutralized.

In fact I could argue that Jose Calderon is this teams MVP. If I had to choose who the team would miss more if they were injured I would immediately pick Jose. If he goes down for any length of time this team is done. At least they have a shot if Bosh goes down. Now this is more Colangelo's fault than anything but it still says a lot about Bosh's game.

If Bosh truly wants to be an MVP he has to elevate his game against stronger opponents. He has to be the guy to make the big plays down the stretch. He hasn't shown that he can do that on a consistent basis and until he does I can't classify him in the MVP Category.

Maybe this will happen when he joins forces with Lebron in NYC come 2010.

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