Can Heat win title without Bosh?

Miami's 'championship favorite' status is threatened if Bosh can't play

Updated: May 15, 2012, 12:48 PM ET
By Neil Paine | Basketball-Reference.com
Chris BoshIssac Baldizon/NBAE/Getty ImagesChris Bosh's abdominal injury will significantly impact the Heat's title chances.

Just when you thought you had a handle on these 2012 NBA playoffs, Chris Bosh suffers an abdominal strain and is out indefinitely, radically changing the landscape of the postseason.

The Miami Heat are still star-laden, of course; Bosh has always been merely their third-best player behind LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. But even though Bosh's talent level can't measure up to those of his brilliant teammates, Bosh is still a potent player in his own right -- he did record 6.9 win shares and an 18.9 player efficiency rating (PER) during the regular season, production that will be missed by the Heat more than most teams because Bosh's absence will force them to tap into a bench that still has major question marks.

Neil Paine writes for FiveThirtyEight, the data-supported sports, politics and culture site coming soon from ESPN.