The NBA: The Big Bosh Man

Chris Bosh rose up from the shadows of his more celebrated teammates
to force overtime and lead the Heat over the Hawks.

*All images by the Associated Press. 

For a guy who was the unanimous choice for Miami’s third wheel last season, Chris Bosh has been squashing expectations this season, and his game against the Hawks, the only team that has been able to inflict damage on the Heat’s win-loss slate, was testament to his potential. Taking advantage of the rare occasion he’s top dog on offense, Bosh broke out in a big way, producing the day’s best performance with 33 points, 14 rebounds and 5 assists, not to mention a 3-pointer that forced extra innings. There’s no doubt that if Miami is to clinch at least one of LBJ’s promised boatload of Larry O’brien trophies, then Bosh has to up his game on a consistent basis. Mario Chalmers did extremely well, too, exploding for 29 markers and making the absence of James and Wade less felt. Another guy who has been stepping up is Richard Jefferson, who has “leveled up” in the wake of Manu Ginobili’s broken hand. RJ has been sharp from beyond the arc, and if he rediscovers the form that made him a vital cog in the Nets’ early 2000s success, then the Spurs will continue playing strong. Sac-town also enjoyed what could be a bright glimpse of the future, coming back from 21 down to scrape past the Bucks, thanks to DeMarcus Cousins’ double-double. This despite having head coach Paul Westphal fired. And the Blazers did really well, too, spanking the Lakers and further giving credence to their potential as a Top 4 team in the Western Conference.

After the JUMP, key stat-stuffers for today’s games:

MIA over ATL, 116-109 – Chris Bosh took the cudgels of leadership on a rare night his two more illustrious teammates were in sick bay.
SAS over DAL, 93-71- Richard Jefferson continued to step up to the challenge left by Manu’s absence.
SAC over MIL, 103-100 – Big fourth quarter burst gives the controversial Kings a moreale-boosting win.
POR over LAL, 107-96 – Depleted Blazers look mighty dangerous and have secured the top spot in the West.

Super Scorers (Top scorers of the night!)
Chris Bosh (MIA) – 33
Brandon Jennings (MIL) & Gerald Wallace (POR) - 31
Kobe Bryant (LAL) – 30
Mario Chalmers (MIA) - 29

A sing of things to come? Gerald Wallace and the Blazers
fly high as Kobe and the Lakers tumble.

Ragin’ Rebounders (Top rebounders of the night!)
DeMarcus Cousins (SAC) – 15
Chris Bosh (MIA) & Terrel Harris (MIA) – 14
Josh Smith (ATL) – 13
Andrew Bynum (LAL) - 12

DeMarcus cousins unleashed one of his best performances
of the young season as Paul Westphal was let go by the Kings.

Dynamic Dishers (Top playmakers of the night!)
Tony Parker (SAS) – 8
Mario Chalmers (MIA), Norris Cole (MIA) & Jeff Teague (ATL) – 5

Terrific Thieves (Top thieves of the night!)
Brandon Jennings (MIL) & Jeff Teague (ATL) – 5
Mario Chalmers (MIA) – 3

Boomin’ Blockers (Top blockers of the night!)
Andrew Bynum (LAL) & Rodrgiue Beaubois (DAL) – 3
A LOT with 2

Sharpshooters (Top 3-point shooters of the night!)
Brandon Jennings (MIL) – 6
Matt Bonner (SAS) – 5
Gary Neal (SAS) – 4
Mario Chalmers (MIA), Richard Jefferson (SAS) & Wesley Matthews (POR) – 3

Matt Bonner's sharpshooting helped the Spurs deflate
the challenge form the struggling Mavericks.

Jan. 5, 2012 First Five
C – Chris Bosh (MIA) – 33pts, 14rebs, 5asts, 2stls & 2blks
F – LaMarcus Aldridge (POR) – 28pts, 10rebs & 1stl
F – Gerald Wallace (POR) – 31pts, 5rebs & 2stls
G – Mario Chalmers (MIA) – 29pts, 8asts, 7rebs, 3stls, 3 triples & 1blk
G – Brandon Jennings (MIL) – 31pts, 7asts, 6 triples, 5stls, & 3rebs

Honorable Mention:
Kobe Bryant (LAL) – 30pts, 8rebs & 3asts
Tyreke Evans (SAC) – 26pts, 10rebs, 5asts, 2stls & 1blk
Andrew Bynum (LAL) – 21pts, 12rebs, 3blks & 1ast

For a full summary of the day, here’s today’s NBA Daily Zap:

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