Heat notebook

Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh stays a step ahead of Spurs’ ‘mind games’

 

bjackson@miamiherald.com

Chris Bosh — a thoughtful, thinking man’s sort — said the Spurs are playing “mind games” with him in this series, and he doesn’t want to be outsmarted.

The mind games relate to Bosh shooting three-pointers, which — until Sunday — he had done with far more frequency this postseason than during the regular season.

After shooting and missing four threes in Game 1 — making him 15 for 35 in the playoffs on that shot — Bosh did not attempt any in Game 2.

Why?

“With this team [Spurs], it seems like that’s what they want me to do, so I’m not going to do it right now,” he said. “They want me to shoot threes. And I can tell by looking at the film. Nobody was closing out at me, and that means they want me to shoot it. It’s a little mind game. I know what they’re doing.

“I want to get in an area where I can be more aggressive and work against that game plan they have. If I’m closer [to the basket], they feel more at risk. Even if I don’t shoot it, I want them thinking about me a little bit more. I can always step out and knock those down. To get a better rhythm, starting closer to the basket is ideal for me.”

In fact, Spurs center Tiago Splitter admitted after Game 1 that the Spurs want Bosh to shoot threes.

Heat assistant coach David Fizdale said if Bosh shoots a three-pointer, the Heat prefers it be from the wings.

Battier’s role

Former Heat coach Stan Van Gundy, a friend of Erik Spoelstra’s, said on his 790 The Ticket radio show that “it’s killing” Spoelstra not to be playing Shane Battier much in the past four games — entering Game 3 — because of all Battier brings to a team.

Asked if Van Gundy is right, Spoelstra said: “Look, I love Shane Battier and everything he represents. Where I had Mike Miller right here [Spoelstra pointed to his pocket] in Chicago and Indiana, that’s where I have Shane. He’s the next man up. There will be his moments in this series still.”

Fizdale answered more directly, saying Van Gundy’s comment is accurate because “Shane’s reputation precedes him and it’s real. He’s 100 percent team, into the details, doing extra preparation.

“Obviously, Shane hit a rough stretch. It’s not easy for Spo not to play Shane as much, but he also has a responsibility as a head coach to do what’s best for the group.”

Battier 1.8 seconds in the first half Tuesday.

Battier entered Game 3 shooting 16 for 72 in postseason. But “I made my last shot” in garbage time of Game 2, he pointed out Tuesday afternoon. “You’re only as good as your last shot. So technically, I’m 1 for 1.”

This and that

• Through the first half of Game 3, Tim Duncan was shooting 5 for 21 in the series when Udonis Haslem was on the court, 10 for 19 otherwise.

• Asked before the game if he’s familiar with the statistic that the winner of Game 3 in a 1-1 NBA Finals goes on to win the series 92 percent of the time, Bosh said: “I was familiar with it until we won Game 3 of the 2011 Finals and lost the series.”

•  Mario Chalmers entered Game 3 with just four turnovers, compared with 16 assists, in his past seven games. And he has averaged fewer turnovers in these playoffs (1.17) than during any regular season or postseason of his career.

“He takes that responsibility probably more seriously than he ever has,” Spoelstra said.

• ABC’s 8.7 average rating through two games of the Finals is down from the 10.1 two-game average for the Heat-Thunder Finals in 2012 and the 9.2 two-game average for Heat-Mavericks in 2011.

WPLG Channel 10 generated 34.0 and 29.7 ratings for the first two games, but both were below the 37.2 local rating on TNT for Game 7 of the Heat-Pacers series.

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