One step away from a third consecutive trip to the NBA Finals, struggling Miami Heat teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh aim to regain enough of a stride to help LeBron James finish off the Indiana Pacers. A sore right knee continues to limit Wade's effectiveness during the least-productive playoff series of his 10-year career, while a sprained right ankle has contributed to Bosh's scoring and rebounding woes the past two games. Both Wade and Bosh hope to bounce back Saturday when the Heat carry their 3-2 series lead into Bankers Life Fieldhouse for Game 6 with a chance to close out the Pacers and advance to the Finals to face San Antonio. “Nobody is 100 percent,” Bosh said Friday before the Heat's team flight to Indianapolis. “It's just really all mental. Just knowing you have to come in, you have to do your job better than the other guy and know that everyone is ailing a bit. But that's part of the game, especially this time of the year. Everybody has to rise to the challenge.” That challenge grew steeper for Bosh when the NBA announced Friday that Heat reserve center Chris Andersen is suspended for Game 6 for his role in Thursday's altercation with Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough. The absence of Andersen's interior scoring, defense, rebounding and energy will create a void for the Heat that demands more production from Bosh, Udonis Haslem and seldom-used center Joel Anthony against Indiana's physical and productive big men in Roy Hibbert and David West. Bosh said the only choice is to embrace the opportunity. “[You] have to love pain, love basketball, love the game,” Bosh said. “And love the position you're in.” With Bosh and Wade limited, James has picked up the additional slack. The four-time MVP has scored at least 30 points in three of the five games against the Pacers. After putting up 30 points, eight rebounds and six assists in Thursday's pivotal win, James said he reverted to his role with the Cleveland Cavaliers as a more aggressive scorer. Moments later, James also said the talent and depth of the Heat's roster was the reason he came to Miami in 2010 with expectations to compete for a championship every season. Miami is on the cusp of defending its title even as James' top sidekicks search for ways to be more effective in hopes of getting past the Pacers and overcoming the Spurs. Wade is averaging 13.9 points and shooting 46 percent from the field in the playoffs. He enters Saturday coming off a lethargic 3-of-8 shooting effort in Game 5 that included three turnovers, six rebounds and four assists. Wade said not a game goes by that he doesn't wish he could break out to score 20 or 30 points. But he believes his biggest contribution to the team right now is simply his ability to be on the court and contribute anything he can.
Wade, Bosh aim for bounce-back Game 6
ESPN | Jun 1