A year ago, while the Heat was battling the Indiana Pacers, Chris Bosh was instead battling pain and frustration, pushing through an abdominal injury that sidelined him for nine playoff games before a Game 5 return in the Eastern Conference finals. Not only was walking and simply getting up from a chair enormously uncomfortable initially, but he also was so angry about the Game 1 injury against Indiana that “I felt like destroying the whole [locker room]. I had so much rage.” These playoffs have been a joyride, by comparison. Through two rounds, Bosh has been not only ambulatory, but impactful, disruptive defensively and a pain to guard for opponents. He’s swishing three-pointers at a percentage that ranked fourth among players who entered Saturday still alive in the postseason. The man who once wanted no part of playing center continues to embrace it and thrive — outplaying Chicago’s Joakim Noah, ranking among the playoff leaders in blocked shots, and raising his rebounding numbers from the regular season, when he averaged a career-low 6.8. All the while, he causes fits for opposing teams by drawing centers out to the perimeter, then sinking silky jumpers over their outstretched arms. “He is our most important player for a reason,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We’ve said that for three seasons. He allows everything to work on both ends of the court.” Noah is the more intimidating presence at the rim, but it was Bosh who had nearly three times as many blocks as Noah (11 to 4) in the Heat-Bulls Eastern Conference semifinal series. Their rebounding numbers were close: 9.3 for Noah, 8.6 for Bosh. And Bosh predictably outscored Noah, 13.6 points per game to 9.8. More challenges now await: Indiana’s Roy Hibbert in the Eastern Conference finals, and possibly Memphis’ Marc Gasol in the NBA Finals.
Heat’s Chris Bosh is front and center this postseason
Miami Herald | May 19