After beginning the season as Eastern Conference player of the week, Chris Bosh entered Thursday’s game shooting 28 percent from the field over a four-game stretch. He contributed the struggles to “pressing too much.”
“I can’t do that,” Bosh said.
Against the Clippers, Bosh regained his shooting touch in the first half despite the Heat struggling overall. Bosh had 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting and he was 5 of 5 from the free-throw line in the game’s first two quarters. The Heat trailed 58-40 at halftime.
Not having Dwyane Wade in the lineup has certainly affected Bosh’s game, but he adjusted well against Los Angeles. Teams have been able to double team Bosh and force him into difficult offensive situations. He went 2 of 17 from the field against the Milwaukee Bucks earlier in the week.
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“I just have to play the game, trust my teammates, move the ball on offense, if I have a shot take it and if I don’t move it to the next situation,” Bosh said. “If I have a chance to drive, drive, and let the rest take care of itself and not get too caught up in numbers.”
Lack of attention nationally and locally for the Heat this season has been a major change from seasons past when LeBron James was headlining the team. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra didn’t necessarily like all of the attention at the time, but now he appreciates what his team had for four seasons.
“It doesn’t feel like we’re scrutinized at all now compared to before, but hopefully we can give people reasons to start scrutinizing,” Spoelstra said. “It has changed just in terms of how many media members are at practices, or things like that, but in terms of process and coaching, it’s still the business we’re in. So, that still hasn’t changed.
“We’ve just, because of the last four years, learned how to compartmentalize a very extreme, circumstantial experience.”
Organizationally from the front of the office down, the Heat and San Antonio Spurs are similar in many ways, but one minor way in which the coaching staffs are different is preparation for games early in the season.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said recently that he spends no time scouting or watching film of opponents at this point in the season. Spoelstra says he tries to balance preparation early in the season between breaking down film of his team and also opponents.
“Everybody is different,” Spoelstra said. “That’s probably one of the things I learned when I was out on the road scouting, probably one of the most valuable lessons I learned in coaching — just seeing how many different philosophies there were in preparation schematics, scouting and strategy. And there are a thousand different ways to skin a cat, and you can be successful in so many different ways.”
The Heat and Spurs have traded NBA championships in each of the last two years. Miami won the 2013 NBA Finals in seven games while the Spurs took the 2014 Finals in just five games.