Heat notebook

Chris Bosh beats himself up over a lack of boards for Miami Heat

 

bjackson@MiamiHerald.com

Coach Erik Spoelstra has been disinclined to criticize Chris Bosh publicly for his work on the boards, even though he entered Game 2 with the worst playoff rebounding numbers of his career.

But privately, the Heat has been pushing Bosh for more in this area.

Bosh responded Sunday night with 10 rebounds, his third-highest total of the postseason, to go along with 12 points.

Among 12 centers who have averaged at least 27 minutes per game during the playoffs, Bosh entered Sunday ranked last in rebounding at 6.5 per game after averaging a career-low 6.8 during the regular season.

Both numbers are below his 7.9 career playoff average and 8.9 career regular-season average.

Also, his 9.7 rebounds per 48 minutes ranked 26th of all 32 centers who have played in the postseason.

The good news: He hauled in five boards in the first half of Game 2.

Asked Saturday if Bosh’s diminished rebounding concerns the Heat, assistant coach David Fizdale said, “Yes. We’re on him. We’re going to stay on him. We need some big rebounding games out of him. We know that. He knows that. It’s our job to coach, his job to execute it.

“And he’s fine with that. He’s so easy to coach. It’s never personal with that. He knows, ‘OK, I’m not getting it done, I’m going to hear it from my coach and I’m OK with that.’ ”

Bosh entered Sunday having missed 36 of his past 50 shots from the field.

“He’s beating himself up more than we are,” Fizdale said heading into Game 2. “He takes it personally that if he feels he’s not stepping up for his teammates, that drives him crazy.”

Fizdale also said when Bosh takes three-pointers, “we would rather it be the corner three. Somehow, he ended up in the slot [late in Game 1] instead of the corner, where we usually see him shoot those shots.”

What’s the ideal mix for Bosh as far as how many shots he should take on the perimeter and how many he should take in the paint?

“It’s about equal,” Fizdale said. “We need to get him rolling to the rim and catch the ball off the block on his sweet spots, and we also have to take advantage of the fact he can pull bigs away from the hoop and stretch the defense.”

This and that

• Spoelstra has liked how Mike Miller has played since he started getting regular minutes in Game 6 of the Indiana series.

“Even if he doesn’t shoot a lot, he spaces the floor, and it’s a good full step behind the three-point line,” Spoelstra said. “He’s a heady defensive player in our system. He always has his body in the right place and he helps on the glass.”

• A day after LeBron James said he can tell whether Dwyane Wade is “in tune” with the game by looking at his face, Spoelstra scoffed at a TV reporter’s question about whether he can do the same.

“Leave that to LeBron — I’m not even sure I know what you’re talking about,” Spoelstra said. “I have a lot of responsibilities. Reading facial expressions is probably not one of my strengths.”

• Wade said after Game 1 that the playoffs are not “fun. You have no joy until it’s over and you won.”

Bosh tends to agree. “For me, it’s very, very stressful,” he said. “In between [games], those are the worst days for me. When I’m playing, I’m calm, trust what I’m doing. I go through a lot of feelings when I’m not playing … anxiety, calmness, excitement, disappointment.”

•  Shane Battier finished second in the NBA’s new Teammate of the Year award, behind the Clippers’ Chauncey Billups.

• Spurs guard Tony Parker, on 37-year-old Tim Duncan: “At his age, 50, doing what he’s doing is crazy. I don’t know how he does it. Seriously. It’s unbelievable. This will always be Timmy’s franchise. Should do a statue for him outside the AT&T Center.”

• Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, asked by a French reporter why he screams so much at Parker: “Are you related to Tony? He makes $900 million a year. [Actually, $12.5 million this season]. The hell with Tony.”

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