Before deciding to take his talents to South Beach and join forced with Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, there were quite a few who called Chris Bosh the best power forward in the NBA. It’s easy to forget just how good he is if given the reins to lead an offense, but without the two bigger stars on the floor, the Miami Heat did just that, and were repaid with a game winning shot that people forgot Bosh can pull off.
While still wondering if the Heat and Erik Spoelstra will be fined for benching both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade (not to mention Mario Chalmers) because of “injuries”, the Heat faced the San Antonio Spurs, a team who pulled off a similar stunt earlier this season and nearly stole a game in Miami despite not playing their big three. For a second consecutive time, this time with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker but no Manu Ginobili, the Spurs took the NBA champions to the limit, falling just short with a 88-86 loss.
Bosh led the Heat with 23 points, but made his biggest mark on the game with 1.9 second left in the game. Ray Allen drew two players with him, looking like the obvious choice to try and win the game for the Heat after pulling that off a few times earlier this season. Allen turned around to an open Bosh, while Tim Duncan was caught in the middle of defending Allen and looking out for Bosh. He was a bit too late, and the man Shaq once called the RuPaul of big men nailed the game winning shot to silence the AT&T Center.
We are the defending champs no matter who we put out there. We are still the Miami Heat. We believe in ourselves. Each one of these guys is a professional. We played bigger roles in other cities but we came together and accepted lesser roles to win a championship here. We can still tap into that.
If you still needed a reason to be convinced of how good the Miami Heat are this season, seeing Bosh lead them without James or Wade in on-floor attendance should be the last straw to put you on the bandwagon. Each player simply upped his contribution, on defense as well, to make the Heat look like they’re not that dependent on big names, at least when it comes down to only one game.
Norris Cole did an excellent job on Tony Parker while scoring 13 points, playing 43 minutes, showing that while he isn’t a part of the scoring point guards generation, he gives the Heat the perfect compliment to Chalmers off the bench with his defense. Ray Allen, obviously, was highly involved with 14 points and Mike Miller had his spring awakening, scoring 12 points. The Heat are about LeBron James, more than anything else, but there’s plenty of substance, talent and good coaching behind the best player in the league.