Miami Heat

Chris Bosh prepared to be leader for Miami Heat on offense and defense

The Miami Heat's Chris Bosh poses for photographers during the team's Media Day at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Friday, Sept. 26, 2014.
The Miami Heat's Chris Bosh poses for photographers during the team's Media Day at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Friday, Sept. 26, 2014. El Nuevo Herald

Chris Bosh is starting to realize just how much offensive freedom he’s going to have this season.

And it’s a little intimidating.

Bosh is looking forward to being the focal point of the Heat’s offense this season, but losing LeBron James also means Bosh is going to have to be a two-way franchise player. He’s going to have to lead the team defensively as well.

It’s something he has been preparing for mentally throughout the offseason and through the first few days of training camp.

“Right now it’s easy,” Bosh said Sunday. “Everybody is supposed to win a championship, everybody wants to win a championship right now, everybody is undefeated, but when those back-to-backs come and those long road trips come, it’s going to be a big-time challenge.

“And especially those nights when you’re going to have to put the extra effort for the team and to lead them in a certain way that I wasn’t doing before. It’s going to be hard.”

Bosh is in the prime of his career, and he’s a two-time NBA champion, so no one is doubting that he can lead the Heat on both ends of the court. Still, he knows the difference between impersonating a two-way franchise player and actually putting in the work on the defensive end. After committing himself to defense in Miami, Bosh knows he wasn’t playing it properly while in Toronto.

“I thought I was, but I wasn’t,” Bosh said.

Bosh averaged 32 minutes per game last season, which represented a career low. This season he plans to play between 36 and 39 minutes per game.

“I’ll try to give the same effort and the same energy,” Bosh said. “But it’s going to be … that’s another question mark. I’m going to have to really find a balance between [offense and defense] to make sure I’m continuously being effective on both ends.”


▪ Dwyane Wade was asked who was shooting the best out of the 20 players participating in training camp, and that made him laugh.

“I don’t know,” Wade said. “We haven’t shot the ball much.”

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra focused primarily on defensive fundamentals throughout the first two days of camp, and that’s not expected to change. The Heat’s latest measure of defensive effort is a training-camp competition called “Hunger Games.” Team Bosh won the first day of competition.

▪ Bosh’s touches were limited in his first four seasons with the Heat, but that’s all about to change.

“He’s going to mix it,” Wade said. “He’s going to go threes, posts, all of it. So, it’s fun for Chris and myself and guys to have a little more opportunity to mix their game in.”

▪ Heat newcomer Josh McRoberts rested his foot Sunday for a portion of practice. He injured a toe during the playoffs, and the Heat is being cautious not to overextend McRoberts early in training camp.