MIAMI — It is one of the key images out of Game 1 of the NBA Finals — the Heat are down four late, LeBron James drives into the paint and rather than shoot over the help defender he dishes back to a wide open Chris Bosh at the three point line. The Spurs don’t close at all, basically giving him the shot. And he clanked it. Bosh was 1-of-5 shooting in the fourth quarter.
In Game 1, Chris Bosh was 1-of-4 in the paint and 0-of-3 from three. He was 5-of-8 from the midrange and particularly hot from the right elbow area.
The Heat are going to need more from Bosh if they are going to come back from down 0-1 to beat a balanced Spurs team. Coach Erik Spoelstra said Friday his goal is to get Bosh going.
“But he’s been our most important player,” Spoelstra said. “We still run much of our offense through him. We need to get him in areas he can be aggressive and get paint catches. That will be one of the bigger areas of focus I’ll have in the next two days.”
Bosh, for his part, plans to take what the defense gives him.
“Well, I mean, they can give it to me, I’ll take it,” Bosh said. “I’ll take any open shot. I just missed a couple I think one was a bad shot. I probably could have had a better option. If they want to leave me open, then that’s cool with me.”
Getting Bosh a couple touches in the post is not a bad call, but both Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter are good post defenders. What worked last game was Bosh in the midrange — get him shots at the right elbow area. A couple baseline jumpers. Let him slash to the basket off the ball from there and catch rolling to the rim. That will start to boost his confidence.
And when he is knocking down shots, the Heat become exponentially harder to beat.