Saturday, December 25, 2004

The Chris Bosh / Ed Nelson Year

Gregg Doyel over at Sportsline has an interesting article about teams that are trying to do what GT did last season - lose their best 2 bigmen, and then go on to win 28 games. Story here.

It made no sense when Georgia Tech lost its two most productive big men from a 16-win team in 2002-03, including freshman Chris Bosh to the NBA, and responded with 28 wins -- and a spot in the 2004 NCAA championship game.

Not that Bosh was selfish, because he wasn't. But teammate Ed Nelson, a 6-8 center who had the same shots-per-minute ratio as Bosh but half the talent, was an offense-bogging big man. In some ways so was Bosh, but not for the same reason. The Jackets had awesome guards in 2002-03 -- Jarrett Jack, B.J. Elder, Marvin Lewis -- but they deferred to Bosh because he was so good. Add in the Nelson factor, and you've got an offense that didn't maximize its perimeter gifts.

Jackets coach Paul Hewitt understands how it can happen.

"Sometimes when you have a big guy who has an advantage down low, your players feel they have to give him the ball," Hewitt says. "When you do that, you overlook some open shots. But believe me, we'd have been better last season with Chris Bosh."