LeBron James took two heavy falls, Miami hit just 1 three pointer and the Chalmers-Cole rotation again offered nothing but the Heat still managed to pull out their 14th consecutive home victory, in an ominous sign for their championship rivals.
If the Heat can play as badly as they did tonight and still beat a playoff team, there really isn’t a ceiling to what they can do at their best.
Wade and James shot a combined 14/35, finishing with just 39 between them, but it was the less heralded member of the Big 3 that led the Heat to the best home record in the NBA.
Chris Bosh had a vintage Toronto performance, finishing with 29 points on 12/16 shooting with 8 rebounds, finishing with a +22 differential in +/-. He spaced the floor and frustrated the Suns undersized forwards and immobile centres all night with his mid range jumper and ability to put the ball on the court.
LeBron James may be the best player on the team, the player that does the most and the most influential, but Chris Bosh is the most important to them winning the championship. We saw just a few weeks ago in Los Angeles that against teams with length that Dwyane Wade and LeBron James simply are not enough, especially with Miami’s smaller front line reinforcements. Chris Bosh brings not only size, but an ability to stretch the floor perhaps comparable only to Dirk Nowitzki, clearing up the lane for James and Wade and taking the opposition bigs with him.
LeBron James took two huge spills in the game. The first was certainly the most serious, as James came down on his right elbow, something that caused him significant problems towards the end of his Cavaliers career. He battled the issue throughout the playoffs of the final year in Cleveland, as especially evident when he began shooting free throws with his left hand because of the overwhelming discomfort. James described it not as excruciating pain, rather a permanent feeling of pins and needles, as if he’d bumped his funny bone exceptionally hard and the annoyance would not decease.
Dexter Pittman earned the first start of his short and wobbly career, finishing with 6 points and 4 rebounds. Udonis Haslem looks to have turned a corner on his jump shot deficiencies, putting up 15 and 9.
Miami don’t play at home again till March 29, so for the time being their streak will sit at 14.