Miami Heat

Heat’s Chris Bosh has been playing injured

East Team’s Chris Bosh, of the Miami Heat, arrives on the court with the East Team before the NBA All-Star basketball game Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015, in New York.
East Team’s Chris Bosh, of the Miami Heat, arrives on the court with the East Team before the NBA All-Star basketball game Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015, in New York. AP

Chris Bosh’s inconsistent offense before the All-Star break was a clear signal that the Heat’s power forward needed a few days off to reset his body.

With his All-Star obligations complete, Bosh now has five days to rest some nagging aches, including a persistent pain in his side. Heat assistant coach Juwan Howard revealed over the weekend that Bosh was playing through an injury before the All-Star break, and although Bosh downplayed the news while in New York, there’s little question something has been affecting his jump shot over the past two weeks.

“Your body will follow your mind, and sometimes it’s good to get away,” Bosh said. “You have to give credit to the commissioner and the players for coming together and actually making it a longer break, but sometimes you just have to reset.

“If things are going well, or if things aren’t going well, you have to let your body rest, you have to take advantage of the time, and when you’re stuck in the brain sometimes you have to step away from the game, and that’s when you get the most ideas.”

With that in mind, Bosh, Dwyane Wade and their wives, Adrienne Williams Bosh and Gabrielle Union, arrived in Haiti on Monday for a vacation.

Bosh’s game was short on innovation before the All-Star break.

Since the Heat’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Jan. 30, Bosh has been shooting 40 percent from the field (54 of 132), 38.5 percent from three-point range (10 of 26) and 70 percent from the free-throw line (21 of 30). During that stretch, the Heat was also without Wade and lost five of its seven games.

Luckily for the Heat, its immediate competition in the Eastern Conference standings sputtered into the All-Star break as well. Eight games under .500, the Heat (22-30) only fell one spot in the standings despite the poor stretch of games. The Heat is eighth in the standings with 30 games to play. The Charlotte Hornets, who hold a playoff tiebreaker against Miami, are seventh with an identical record.

“Given everything that has happened, we still have high expectations for ourselves, and we’re going to be in the race and that’s something to live for and play for,” Bosh said. “To be able to control our own destiny despite all that other stuff that’s happened, I think that’s a good thing.”

Defensive double teams have been a problem for Bosh, of course. With Wade out of action because of a strained hamstring, Bosh lacked another consistent scoring option and that allowed teams to easily limit Bosh’s open looks at the basket. He is at his best when paired with a solid playmaker, and the Heat has lacked that since Wade went down on Jan. 27 against the Milwaukee Bucks.

The timing of Wade’s injury was mentally draining for the Heat, but the team’s players are optimistic about the upcoming playoff push.

“Just moving forward, we have to make sure we keep in mind that we are in a good position,” Bosh said. “We can’t get down on ourselves. A lot of people don’t make the playoffs. So, just being able to have a chance to make it is good.”

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