LOS ANGELES -- Visually, the Heat’s Chrises have only height in common — close-cropped Chris Bosh is 6-11, brightly tattooed, spike-haired, now-bearded Chris Andersen is 6-10. On the court, Andersen’s active, while Bosh can sometimes seem languid.
But their combination has been working for the Heat lately and is likely to increase as Andersen’s minutes increase.
“He’s been consistent for us with his energy and toughness,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “The two Chrises have a symmetry together, and they’re productive together.
“What you’re seeing is Bird is healthy with a full training camp, a better understanding of what we’re doing. And it’s making him quicker and even more active.”
Said LeBron James: “One is a hard roller to the rim and CB is a [spot-up jump shooter], so it creates a lot of triggers for us offensively. Defensively, they’re two bigs who can rebound.”
They certainly will get deployed on this six-game road trip because, Spoelstra said, “We’ll face some big front lines on this road trip. We have the flexibility to be able to battle it when needed but get to our game, which is tough for teams to play against.”
And, of course, down the line, there’s Indiana.
Bosh explained how well he and Andersen mesh as just them being two professionals who know how to go about their job.
“He’s been playing a little while. I’ve been playing for a little while. I’ve been watching him play for the last year. I know what he’s capable of,” Bosh said. “We keep it simple. Once you have that combination, two pro guys who know the positions, know how important chemistry is — you just make things happen. It’s really worked out for us well.
“We’ll probably need that lineup down the road.”
When the idea was posed to Bosh that perhaps Andersen playing the center position allows Bosh to play the power forward position the way he naturally does, he said, “I’ve made myself comfortable playing the five. It’s the third year. I’m kind of in that comfort zone. It’s not exactly what comes naturally to me, not every aspect of it. But I use it to my advantage in places where I can.
“Playing at the four spot is natural so I can just go out and function,” he continued. “Most of the time he’s still got to tell me to ‘dive’ when I’m at the five spot, get under the rim and clear space. When that position switches up I can kind of float around and catch people off guard like I’m used to.”
• Spoelstra said there wasn’t as much concern about not being able to getDwyane Wade
the work or care that they could at home, as was the case on the last extended road trip. Wade didn’t play the last two games of that trip. This one, Spoelstra noted, has two two-day breaks between games.
• The Heat scratchedRoger Mason
and forwardJames Jones
on Wednesday night. The Clippers scratched injured point guardChris Paul
and also shooting guardJ.J. Redick