The Miami Heat's struggles just went from bad to worse. Their rebounding and interior defensive struggles have been well-documented, yet the Heat have been able to overcome them solely on talent.
However, Monday night's loss to the Utah Jazz needs to be the final nail in the coffin. If the Miami players needed any sort of motivation to improve and silence the doubters, it must come now, and it must start with Chris Bosh.
Bosh, the Heat's 6'11" power forward/center, is averaging a career-low 7.2 rebounds per game this season. Granted, he is also playing the second-lowest per-minute total of his career at 33.6 per game, rivalled only by the 33.5 of his rookie season.
It gets worse.
For the month of January, Bosh is snatching an abysmal 4.6 boards a night. When you consider fellow Heat player Dwyane Wade is pulling down 5.4 for the month, it makes Bosh's output and effort on the glass almost careless.
In Monday night's performance against Utah, Bosh registered 16 points and a single rebound, which came with 1:04 left in the second quarter.
He did not attempt a single free throw either, and he was physically intimidated by the Jazz's frontcourt of Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and Derrick Favors. While one could seemingly point to Bosh's limited 27 minutes of game time and his four personal fouls, he committed just one in the first half.
For the game, the Heat were out-rebounded 40-23. While team management signed Jarvis Varnado and Josh Harrellson to assist in this department, coach Erik Spoelstra gave them a combined zero minutes of playing time. It raises questions in terms of coaching ability and just exactly how these new additions can adjust to Miami's system and actually contribute.
Miami's claim of being able to solve its rebounding struggles internally no longer holds any credibility, and a significant move must be made either mentally or with personnel. Rebounding is not a category in that dominance will lead to success, yet when it becomes a point of advantage for the opposition, it then becomes an issue that needs to be addressed.
Miami is the lowest rebounding team in the league. For a group expected to make a third straight run at the NBA Finals, it is something the entire organisation must commit to.
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