Miami needs to get Chris Bosh more shots

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Chris Bosh is having his most efficient season ever — he is shooting 54.3 percent overall, which is right there with LeBron James (54.7 percent) and better than Dwyane Wade (50.8 percent). He’s shooting better from 16 feet and out than he has in his career, pulling opposing bigs away from the basket to create lanes for LeBron and Wade. Bosh has got a PER of 20.7, the highest he has had in Miami.

But the Heat tend to overlook their third star, especially when games get tight.

The ball is in the hands of LeBron most of the time, Wade some of the time, and they can create their own shot whenever they want. Bosh is there spacing the floor and grabbing boards, but as it has been since 2010 he can get overlooked for long stretches. Sunday in a game that went to overtime against Boston Bosh got three shots after halftime.

Everyone that the Miami Herald spoke with said that needs to change.

“He’s one of our best players, one of our best shooters. …Three shots is definitely not enough for him,” James said. “We’ve got to do a better job of just trying to find him…”

This season, Bosh is averaging 12.2 shot attempts per game. It’s the second-lowest average of his career next to his rookie season despite the fact that he’s shooting better than ever.

Erik Spoelstra said the problem is lack of ball movement.

“If it’s a zero-pass, one-pass shot, a lot of guys aren’t getting those opportunities. And we weren’t really forcing enough triggers for the ball to end up finding its way to Chris, where he can take advantage.”

Like any team, when the Heat are making the extra pass, when they are sharing things go well. Both LeBron and Wade had seven assists each against Boston, but the extra pass wasn’t there. And Bosh was left in the cold.

It’s a long season and the Heat know what to do. We’ll see through the rest of the season they can build the habits of making the extra pass they will need in the playoffs.

Friday afternoon fun: Watch James Harden’s 10 best plays from last season

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James Harden had a historic season in Houston.

Since it’s Friday afternoon and your sports viewing options consist of watching guys about to be cut from NFL rosters try to impress, why not check out Harden’s best plays from last season. It’s worth a couple minutes of your time.

Mavericks sign Jeff Withey to one-year contract

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Jeff Withey‘s ex-fiancée accused him of domestic violence, but he was not charged.

That frees him to continue his basketball career, which he’ll do in Dallas.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The Mavericks could use another center, even if they re-sign Nerlens Noel. Salah Mejri is the only other true center, though Dirk Nowitzki will now play the position.

Withey is a good rim protector. Just don’t ask him to do anything away from the basket.

Dallas annually brings excess players to training camp and has them compete for regular-season roster spots. Whether or not his salary is guaranteed, Withey will likely fall into that competition.

Marc Gasol: If Grizzlies don’t share my goal of continued growth, we might have to revisit things

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The Grizzlies’ Grit & Grind era has ended.

Zach Randolph signed with the Kings, and Tony Allen appears likely to leave Memphis, too. The Grizzlies are prioritizing younger/cheaper players like Ben McLemore and Tyreke Evans.

Marc Gasol via Ala Carta, as translated by HoopsHype:

I’m very ambitious and I’ve wanted Memphis to be a great franchise. We’ve grown a lot the last 6-7 years, but we have to keep growing. If this is not lined up, maybe we may have to revisit things.

Gasol has been loyal to Memphis, and his first wish is probably winning there. But Giannis Antetokounmpo put it well: Teams must also do right by their players. Gasol is 32 and doesn’t have much time in his prime left. I see why rebuilding wouldn’t interest him.

But what will he do about it if the Grizzlies don’t prioritize the present? They made their push last summer with a max contract for Chandler Parsons, but because Parsons can’t stay healthy, that deal only inhibits team growth.

Gasol is locked up for two more years before a player option. He doesn’t have much leverage. This is part of the reason LeBron James keeps signing short-term contracts. Gasol doesn’t have the same ability to steer his team in his desired direction

On the potentially bright side, rebuilding teams often don’t have much use for 32-year-olds guaranteed more than $72 million over the following three years. If the fit devolves, Memphis becomes more likely to trade him.

Celtics to retire Paul Pierce’s number after Cavaliers game in February

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The Celtics already said they’d retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34.

Now, we know when.

Celtics release:

The Boston Celtics announced today that they will retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34 after a mid-season game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, Feb. 11

After? That’s apparently in response to a new rule that penalizes teams not ready to play after a 15-minute halftime. These ceremonies can drag on, and nobody wants to cut Pierce short. I wonder whether this will start a trend of number retirements coming after games.