Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – He’s been called the most important player on the team by head coach Erik Spoelstra, but at this point, Heat fans have to be holding their breath every time power forward Chris Bosh squares up to shoot, especially from behind the three-point line.
Thursday night in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Bosh shot 60 percent from inside the three-point line. But when he floated out to take 3-point shots, his shooting percentage fell all the way to zero (0-4). His miss from deep with roughly one minute left would have dropped San Antonio’s lead to just one point.
But like all of his other three point shots in Game 1, it clanked off the rim.
Bosh has worked on his 3-point shooting over the past few years. It’s a weapon that he and the Heat hope will exploit opponents’ big men. Bosh moves out towards the three-point line and that draws the opposing big man away from the basket, thus opening lanes for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
At least in theory.
The problem is that if Bosh isn’t making the shots, which he hasn’t over the last several games, teams can stay in tight in the lane and cut off lanes to the basket, which San Antonio did to perfection in Game 1.
In the playoffs, Bosh is shooting 45 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from behind the 3-point line, while averaging 14.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. During the Eastern Conference Finals, Bosh shot 37.7 percent from the field and 50 percent from behind the 3-point line.
The Heat have no problem with Bosh taking the long shot, though the Spurs were clearly trying to ensure that the likes of LeBron James, Ray Allen and Mike Miller did not have any good looks from 3-point land in the final minutes.
“No mattter what the situation is I have confidence in myself and I know my teammates have confidence in me,” Bosh said. “Every shot I shoot I expect to go in. Some do, some don’t.”
Still, over the last five games, Bosh is shooting just 28 percent from the field.
The biggest problem with Bosh floating outside is that he’s further away from getting a rebound and at 6’11”, that’s one less key rebounder the Heat need crashing the boards.
For the Heat to win the second championship, they will have to take out the Spurs and Bosh will be a big part of that equation. But so far, Bosh is slumping at the absolute worst time for Miami. Only time will tell if he can shake the shooting funk in time to help Miami in the NBA Finals.