Welcome to the Daily NBA Fix for Monday, June 9, the morning after the Miami Heat did what they do—win after losing a playoff game.
If that is truly what they are, then Bosh is Ringo Starr—the most often overlooked member of the Big Three.
After the cramping episode in Game 1, James said over the weekend that he is the easiest target in sports. Bosh unabashedly said after Game 2 Sunday that if James is No. 1, he’s No. 2.
The first year the trio was together, it was Bosh who struggled the most with the transition and the dip in his stats led to a string of jokes that referred to the trio as “Two And A Half Men.”
That Bosh is a quirky sort and a bit odd looking with his slender build lends itself to even more funny, ha-ha jokes.
But he was no joke in the first two games of the NBA Finals, scoring 36 points in the two games, hitting the go-ahead 3-pointer with a little more than a minute remaining in Game 2 and then sealing the win with a drive and terrific dish to Wade.
It’s easy to forget how good Bosh was with the Toronto Raptors because … well, he played for the Toronto Raptors, an afterthought most of the time in the U.S.
In seven seasons in Toronto, Bosh averaged 20.2 points and 9.4 rebounds per game and posted 20/10 seasons in three of his last four years with the Raptors, with whom he was a five-time All-Star.
He doesn’t score as much now—just 16.2 points per game this season—and he doesn’t rebound as much—just 6.6 per game this season.
But he’s also shooting 43.3 percent from 3-point range in the postseason, taking almost four per game—not something teams are readily equipped to defend with their big men.
Coach Erik Spoelstra will argue that Bosh might be the most important player for the Heat because of the contrasting things he’s asked to do.
He’s asked to be a facilitator and a floor spacer on the offensive end, yet he’s also asked to be aggressive when the opportunities are there.
Bosh did that to perfection in Game 2, driving to the rim with authority, yet also making the right plays when they were there.
In the wake of Bosh missing a 3-pointer late in a loss to the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals, James took a lot of criticism for passing the ball.
Bosh’s go-ahead 3 on Sunday night was the same type of play. James drove, drew three defenders and kicked the ball out to a wide-open Bosh, who canned the big shot.
When Bosh drove to the lane in the closing seconds, he drew a defender and didn’t hesitate to kick the ball to a wide-open Wade for a layup.
That’s the thing so many people miss about the Miami Heat.
Beyond the star power, beyond the commercials, this team of extremely talented individual players who have won so many individual accolades is full of guys who almost always make the right play.
James is often hammered because he doesn’t force his own shot; there is this stupid belief that James forcing a bad shot is better than passing.
But when you’ve got weapons like Chris Bosh, why not pass?
The Daily NBA Fix will focus on the happenings around the Association,. But first, some highlights from Sunday’s action: