NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

May 21, 2013

Chris Bosh helps makes Heat a swat team in playoffs

MIAMI — Erik Spoelstra’s message to Chris Bosh was clear: What goes up must come down. And then go up and come down again. And again. And again.

“What we’ve wanted from him this season was to focus on jumping,” Spoelstra said, “focus on how many jumps can he get in a possession.”

While Bosh might never overwhelm with his lithe build, his 6-foot-11 length is essential for the undersized Miami Heat.

“We’re not talking about flails, not bailouts, not undisciplined shot-fake jumps,” the Heat coach continued, “but to be an anchor for us as a big. When the ball does get into the paint, he’s a big, long presence, when he gets up off the floor.”

Message delivered. Message received.

Bosh’s average of 1.4 blocked shots per game during the regular season matched the highest average of his 10-year career, the first time he recorded 100 or more blocks since his first two seasons in the NBA while with the Toronto Raptors.

And the blocks have kept on coming. With 18 blocks through nine games this postseason, he is one off his highest total for any postseason, when he had 19 for the Heat in 21 games in the 2011 playoffs, when he was cast as a power forward instead of at center.

“It kind of just happened,” Bosh said of closing 17th in the league in blocks per game during the regular season and now sixth in the league during the playoffs. “Spo has been on me about that, not so much blocking shots, but contesting shots and jumping every time I get the opportunity.”

Exactly.

“We need rim protection,” Spoelstra said. “It doesn’t always necessarily have to be a block. But we need to be able to challenge at multiple positions, when it does get into the paint, that it’s not an uncontested, ultra-high percentage shot.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
Reggie Jackson's ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Mo'ne's Mom: She's Up There With LeBron, Kobe - @TheBuzzeronFOX Can Buckeyes fill Miller's void? Manziel mature enough to start? Ditka Blames 'Politically Correct Idiots' For Redskins Controversy - @TheBuzzeronFOx Redskins show solidarity with Ferguson protesters Is Taney a team of destiny? Taney Dragons wins in walk-off comback fashion Coach Rice has full confidence in Davis vs. Nevada SNC Minute: Maclin tweaks hamstring; Phils lose Bottalico: Giles 'has the makings of a closer' McCarthy and Stairs recap Phils' 3rd straight loss Training Camp Central: Eagles brave the weather in Foxborough Shady and Chip on 2000 yard season 3 takeaways from Eagles' joint practice in Foxborough Checking for Charity Hockey Tournament begins August 14th What are Eagles' options if Maclin goes down again? Mosher: Maclin disappointed after tweaking hamstring Boomer: Johnny Manziel still has a lot to learn College Football Preview: Breaking down the ACC
Special Features