Battle of the Bigs: Chris Bosh Versus Pau Gasol
When it comes to legendary stretch big men, Chris Bosh and Pau Gasol are two of the pioneers of the archetype. Back in the day, most power forwards were expected to battle down low and use their size along with centers. As the game has evolved though, teams have begun utilizing the spot as a stretch big which helps certain teams with floor spacing. Both Bosh and Gasol were adept at thriving in this role. As a result, it can make one wonder who was the better of the two future Hall of Famers. Without further adieu, let’s determine the verdict.
NBA Versus Series: Chris Bosh Versus Pau Gasol
Chris Bosh Versus Pau Gasol: The Case for Bosh
In Chris Bosh’s defense, his career was cut short due to medical concerns. When he did play though, he was one of the most polarizing players in the league. Whether it was being the only star on the Toronto Raptors or the third wheel for the “Big Three,” Miami Heat, Bosh knew how to get the job done. As alluded to already, Bosh was one of the first stretch big men. Throughout his career, he shot 49.4% from the field and 33.5% from three-point land. This would translate into a career average of 19.2 points per game.
Bosh also has a very impressive NBA resume. He would make the All-NBA Team in the 2006-07 season and make the All-Star Game a total of 11 times throughout his career. Bosh was certainly the third option behind LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, but he still helped the Heat win two titles. Not to mention, it is easily forgotten how dominant Bosh was during his Raptors’ tenure and he also made the All-Rookie Team. Very impressive considering his draft class had the likes of LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, and many other solid players. However, one knock against Bosh is his Finals performances. Granted, being guarded by the greatest power forward in Tim Duncan is never easy. Still, scoring no points in a Game seven when you’re an All-Star is inexcusable. Regardless, Chris Bosh still has a solid case in this battle.
Chris Bosh Versus Pau Gasol: The Case for Gasol
Many forget Pau Gasol made his mark with the Memphis Grizzlies. He did this long before his younger brother, Marc Gasol, was even thought to be an All-Star and Memphis legend. However, he finally got over the hump and got his first ring when he was traded to Los Angeles and paired with the late and great Kobe Bryant.
Gasol and Bryant were one of the deadliest duos the league had ever seen. It was not on the same level as Kobe and Shaq, but still, a star duo which generated great results. Gasol had some great Finals moments. Many forget, in a rare case where Bryant was somewhat struggling in Game seven of the 2010 NBA Finals. In that game, Gasol had 19 points, 18 rebounds, and two blocks while Bryant shot 6-24 from the field. Note, Bryant was still the Finals MVP and deservedly so, but don’t discount the effect Gasol had on that series.
Gasol’s career numbers and resume also speak for themselves. He may have only made the All-Star Game six times compared to Bosh’s 11, but Gasol has also made the All-NBA Team four times to Bosh’s one. He has two rings as the co-star of Finals teams rather than the third wheel and he was also the Rookie of the Year. Gasol was also just a bit more efficient as a stretch big. He shot 50.7% from the field for his career along with 36.8% from beyond the arc. His scoring averages are just a bit less at 17 points per game. Like Bosh, Gasol is one of the most underrated future Hall of Famers.
We are going to give this to Gasol. Chris Bosh is still great and a legend for both the Raptors and Heat. However, Gasol has come up huge during pressure moments during the NBA Finals. As alluded to already, Bosh has had some less than moments during his Finals appearances. Some will actually argue Gasol deserved the 2010 NBA Finals MVP, but that is a story for a different day. Not to mention, Gasol still had great moments after his Lakers tenure. He did make an All-Star Game as a member of the Chicago Bulls. While both are two of the greatest stretch big men we have ever seen, Gasol defeats Bosh by just an inch due to his Finals moments.
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