Just a week ago, Chris Bosh had 30 points and nine rebounds in Game 1. The Heat were crushed by 21 points in Chicago. What a difference a week makes, as Bosh’s 34 points last night meant a completely different outcome, leading the Miami Heat to a 96-85 win over the Chicago Bulls, grabbing a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The talk of big three, big two and a half, whatever, it doesn’t matter anymore. Bosh isn’t a player of Wade’s and LeBron James’ caliber. Nothing will change that. His place in history will be different. But on a night Dwyane Wade was guarded to well and LeBron James chooses to really play the point forward position with a capital Point, it was up to Chris Bosh to take the scoring load.
Chicago’s confidence is all shaken up. The defense isn’t getting the stops and Derrick Rose seems like a pretty good point guard, nothing more. He’s much better than that, but the Heat have found answers since Game 1 ended. They’re letting other players try and beat them. Those guys aren’t doing it. Carlos Boozer did score 26 points, but he seemed shake, undecided whether to take jumpers or penetrate. Much easier to defend.
The big difference is the way Miami have stopped the offensive rebounding onslaught, big kudos to Chris Bosh again, along with the others. The Bulls aren’t getting shots off quickly, and their ability to score when the shot clock nears the end is terrible – 4-25 in this series, Derrick Rose 0-7.
Back to Bosh. The Bulls defense, and in general, the way Chicago have been playing, is not a team game anymore. The team effort and collaboration on both ends is fading. There’s a complete effort to stop James and Wade. Chris Bosh doesn’t get doubled teamed, Chris Bosh gets balls exactly where he likes to spot up.
Life is good for Chris Bosh right now. Energized by the defensive effort, he seems free and relaxed on the offensive side. Thibodeau has a lot of film and drawing boards to check out till game 4. Something has gone askew in the game plan and his players aren’t responding to the Heat’s raised level of intensity and basketball. The offense is stuck, and the best defense in the league isn’t enough to kick start it back to life.
One more thing before we go – LeBron James. His stat line wasn’t something too amazing, at least not from him – 22 points, six rebounds, 10 assists, 2 blocks, 2 steals. It was so much more. During the first quarter and a bit more he was the only player for the Heat to arrive.
He single handedly stopped Bulls attacks and changed shots. After a block on Carlos Boozer it seemed Chicago were afraid to drive inside. His passing was perfect. He controlled the tempo and spread the wealth like a real play maker. I know we like him to score more points, to take more shots. Sometimes LeBron James knows perfectly well he should be more of a ball hog. Still, he seems, as of now, damn well aware of what to do so the Heat win. If its playing like Magic Johnson, the so be it.