Chris Bosh Is Miami's Most Irreplaceable Piece

We may remember this as the defining moment of the 2012 NBA Playoffs.

Nope, that isn't some headline I used to grab your attention. It's the real deal. And if you happened to be drawn in by it, then all the better. And no, this ain't about the Rockets.

Because Miami's playoff hopes suddenly hinge on their third-best player, the much-maligned, under-appreciated Chris Bosh and his injury.

Note that I said he's their most irreplaceable, not their best player. Look, LeBron James is their best player. He's anyone's best player. And Dwyane Wade is their second-best player. He's most teams' best player.

But here's the deal: if Wade goes down, I think LeBron and Bosh can win you a title. I really believe that. If LeBron goes down, obviously that's devastating. However, we already know you can win with Wade as your best player as long as you have a decent big (old Shaq in 2006; Bosh in 2012).

Essentially, Wade and LeBron can fill in for the other. Not entirely, but enough. But Udonis Haslem isn't what he used to be, and outside of Joel Anthony there isn't much post defense on the Heat side. So with LeBron being asked to guard David West, Danny Granger gets the old Battier on him. I love Shane Battier, but there's a huge difference between LeBron guarding you and Battier guarding you.

So the Heat need Bosh back badly. They can still get past Indiana. And maybe they squeak past Boston in 7, but I don't think they can get through both of those teams and the Western Conference Champions. So Bill Simmons may have to open up his asterisk/footnote book again and take this into account. But Simmons is an ass, so who cares?

How about you? Is Bosh that important to the Heat, or am I out of my mind?

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