No more Shane Battier jumping center for the Miami Heat.
After not traveling with the Heat to Toronto so he could be there for the birth of his daughter — which is the only right decision to make — Chris Bosh is back with the Heat to take on the Clippers Thursday night.
That’s 19.8 points on 59.1 percent shooting plus a team high 6.8 rebounds per game coming back to the lineup. As coach Erik Spoelstra says, Bosh is not their best player but is often the most important in terms of what they want to do.
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The Clippers come into AmericanAirlines Arena on the second night of a back-to-back, but one where they clearly looked right past Orlando to this matchup — and it burned them, Nikola Vucevic dropped 30 points and 21 boards on the awful Clippers defense and led the Magic to a 98-90 win.
Bosh told ESPN he’s not reading much into that outing.
“I’m glad I didn’t look at the game last night,” Bosh said of the Clippers’ stunning loss to the Magic. “You could see they were a little sluggish yesterday, and Orlando caught them off guard. But we know we’re going to get their ‘A’ game, because we get everybody’s ‘A’ game.”
The problem for the Clippers has been their “A” game involves no “D” — they are giving up 108.2 points per 100 possessions through five games, the worst number in the league. Pair that with the Heat scoring 109.1 points per 100 (third best in the league) and it spells potential trouble for the Clippers.
Part of the challenge will be how DeAndre Jordan will do covering Chris Bosh as he roams all the way out to the three point line (the Clippers can go with Blake Griffin on Bosh and Jordan on Udonis Haslem to start, a better lineup to allow Jordan to help). However they handle it, having Bosh back makes life more difficult for a Clippers defense that is already struggling.