Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – At 6’11”, it’s hard for Miami Heat center Chris Bosh to not be seen, but his game had disappeared for much of the last two rounds of the playoffs, at least until Game 4 of the 2013 NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs.
Bosh came through when the Heat needed him the most with 20 points, 13 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocked shots to help Miami even the series at 2-2. The outburst came with Bosh going into the lane and forcing the issue with the Spurs rather than settling for nothing but outside jump shots.
Miami’s center also failed to take a three-point shot, which he had grown accustomed to doing in the past few rounds of the playoffs. Bosh finished shooting 8-14 from the field and 4-4 from the free throw line with much of his damage being done on both ends of the floor.
Through Bosh’s career, he had posted the numbers he posted in Game 4 just five times and only once with the Heat and never in the postseason.
Through the first four games of the NBA Finals, Bosh is averaging 14.3 points on 24-50 shooting from the field and is 9-12 from the free throw line. Bosh is also pulling down an average of 9.5 rebounds, dishing out 2 assists, and blocking 1.8 shots per game.
Bosh’s play in Game 4 slowed the criticism he’s received as the perceived weak link in the Big Three and could pay big dividends in Game 5. If San Antonio has to collapse its defense, or extend its defense, to deal with Bosh as well as Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, it could open up Miami’s shooters.
It’s exactly what Heat president Pat Riley and head coach Erik Spoelstra envisioned when they put the Big Three together. Now all the group has to do is produce at the same high level for two more victories over San Antonio and the Heat will join an elite group in NBA history to ever repeat as NBA champions.