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Bosh even less clutch than LeBron as Magic finish huge comeback over Heat

Mar 4, 2011, 12:12 AM EDT

Orlando Magic v Miami Heat Getty Images

I don’t know about you, but I’m not getting fooled again. I’m done, I’m through. I will no longer be surprised when the Miami Heat completely collapse against a good team, no matter how large the lead. It’s over. It cannot possibly be worse than allowing the Orlando Magic to stage a 24-point comeback including an 18-0 run at one point, at home, in a 99-96 loss . There’s no way that any loss can top this one. Not even getting swept by the Celtics can top this, given that the Heat showed themselves as the superior team for two and a half quarters, then surrendered what can only be considered a blitzkrieg from the perimeter as the Magic dropped three after three.

The Magic’s perimeter attack will get the credit for this win, but to overlook the Magic defense is to fail to give credit where it’s due. When they finally stopped playing Like A Bosh, they buckled down, and executed on a level we haven’t seen since the 2009 playoffs. Even against the lowly Bobcats and Hawks last season, this was a stronger performance. The Heat ran pick and roll after pick and roll with LeBron James or Dwyane Wade and each time, the Magic defender stepped up to cut off the penetration at the elbow, then recovered. The result was bricked three after bricked three as the Heat faded back into their prototypical fail-fest offense. Perimeter pass, perimeter pass, perimeter pass, looping pick and roll, jump pass to Mario Chalmers. Brick.

Yet nothing really captures how badly Chris Bosh played at the end of this game. Dwight Howard snagged a key offensive rebound over Bosh as Bosh slammed to the deck like he’d been hit by a piano. He missed baseline jumpers like they were full-court shots, and oh, yes. The final possession.

The Heat called a twenty-second timeout, down three, with a chance to miraculously push the game to overtime with a 3-pointer. They had time to work up a play. The result, whether planned or not, was a Chris Bosh 3-pointer.

That’s right. A Chris Bosh three to tie the game. And he missed. Like a Bosh. The Heat managed to get a rebound and kick to LeBron for a desperation three which also clanged. So while Dwyane Wade, Mike Bibby, and Mike Miller all watched, the Heat relied on a power forward to make the key three-point shot. If that’s what was drawn up, it was a disaster. If it was not what was drawn up, the execution was a disaster. Bosh is a career 30% three-point shooter, which is great for him. He’s still not the player you want taking that shot. An ISO pull-up 35-foot LeBron heave is a better option at that point. Sure, Tim Duncan hit a big shot like that. Chris Bosh is not Tim Duncan, even with a better percentage.

The result is a huge win for the Magic, who now have split the season series with the Heat 2-2. Perhaps best of all it wasn’t Dwight Howard having to handle everything. It was the role players stepping up, most notably Jason Richardson who was unfathomably unconscious in the second half. He finished 6-8 from behind the arc, as the Magic shot 55% from three as a team. Jameer Nelson wasn’t hot from deep, but he set the tone in the second half, getting aggressive and creating offensively. Dwight Howard? Only four points in the fourth quarter… along with 10 rebounds and three blocks. This is the kind of performance the Magic want to duplicate for the playoffs.

For the Heat? Yet another blown lead. Yet another loss in a close game. Yet another night of terrible play by Chris Bosh. Yet another game-winner brick for LeBron James. But most concerning? Yet another night of the team losing its focus, especially disappointing after Mike Bibby looked as if he would give them that focus in the first half. We’re left wondering again what it will take for Miami to live up to its potential. Meanwhile the Magic make a statement about their window being closed.

Some leftover notes:

  • Anyone else remember when Wade was able to overcome nearly any defense in the fourth quarter and take a game over? Yeah, me neither.
  • Erick Dampier actually played impressively tonight, especially in the fourth with seven points. Granted, the Heat should never need him to do that, but at least he was working.
  • Chris Bosh slammed the ball after the loss. It was the most emphatic move he made all night.
  • It’s not that this is some sort of slam job on the Heat. But at some point, you have to call a spade a Bosh. Or something. Additionally, the resounding term I read from Heat fans about this loss was “unacceptable.”
  • The Heat starters played 8 minutes to start the second half. It might have been preferable to give them a bit of extra rest. Especially considering…
  • The Heat travel to San Antonio Friday. Fun.
  • The Magic finally got some production from Gilbert Arenas in the fourth quarter. One was a terrible shot that he should never have taken, but the other was a nice job of working in the offense.
  1. purdueman - Mar 4, 2011 at 12:25 AM

    Carlos Boozer is WAY better than Bosh… Reilly picked the wrong free agent power forward to pursue. And the fundamental problem of there only being one basketball for La Bron and Wade to share remains an unsolvable problem. They take turns with the ball while the other one stands around watching.

    • passerby23 - Mar 4, 2011 at 2:36 AM

      At the time, everyone said Boozer was more injury prone and a terrible defender. He also fits in well alongside D-Rose so it’s hard to say who’s better. Bosh is still having a pretty good season. That shouldn’t be discounted.

      I also don’t have a problem with the look Bosh got at the end of the game. They were keying on Wade and Lebron, and Mike Miller wasn’t going to get a clean look. Bosh was wide open. You’re not going to get the perfect shot from the guy you want everytime in a drawn up play. The problem wasn’t Bosh taking the shot, it’s the wheels coming off and the Heat’s inability to get the ball inside in crunch time.

      • downtowndanny - Mar 5, 2011 at 2:27 AM

        you’re making excuses, Bosh sucks and Miami couldn’t possibly get out of the East let alone hoist up a trophy anytime soon. Lebron and Wade should have been courting Amare or Boozer, but like little kids they wanted their friend to sit with them on the bus, the bus to no where…..hey, at least they get to enjoy Miami year round.

    • hnirobert3 - Mar 4, 2011 at 7:53 AM

      I always wanted Boozer over Bosh because of what he brought to the table compared to Bosh. Bosh is a better suited to be a 2nd option and not a third. A third option should either be a Ray Allen type or a scrappy type, like Boozer who’s going to get tip ins after misses and do his work around the rim on hustle plays. Bosh needs touches and with Wade and LeBron on the court they have to make it a point to get him involved. Plus, he’s a better defender and more dedicated rebounder. Unfortunately, while Boozer is more Riley’s type, I have a feeling that the buddy buddy system between Wade and LBJ and Bosh trumped all…

      • passerby23 - Mar 4, 2011 at 8:00 PM

        Good points. Perhaps you’re right, Boozer would fare better as the scrapper/third option kind of player, but to me that doesn’t seem to be the Heat’s problem. Bosh does the job on the boards and scores well enough for 3 1/2 quarters. The problem with the Heat is their awful execution in the 4th quarter, including their inability to get a basket inside (or draw a foul) when they need it. I’m not sold that Boozer would’ve solved that problem.

        Regarding the last shot by Bosh, I think Moore is making too much of it. It’s not as if Erick Dampier was taking it. A 30% 3-pt shooter getting a wide open look is as good or better than Wade or Lebron taking a double teamed contested three. He makes the shot and everyone would say “Why wasn’t Bosh being guarded?”

  2. dnbajunkie - Mar 4, 2011 at 2:26 AM

    What a waste of talent, it seems that their chemistry breaks down during close games. It will be very interesting to see how they’ll fair in the playoffs. Let’s see if they’ll be able to overcome closing tight games.

  3. shaka49 - Mar 4, 2011 at 8:57 AM

    David Lee would have been a better fit that Bosh. The Heat didn’t need another scorer, or a PF who needs the ball, they need a guy who can get 16 points of garbage buckets a night off of offensive rebounds & broken plays.

  4. henryd3rd - Mar 4, 2011 at 9:31 AM

    Seems like all these so-called GM’s down here have the answers to the Heat’s problem; so why not just call Riley and pass along your ideas to him and make sure he enacts them?

    You’re all a bunch of front runners who jumped on the Heat bandwagon and now you can’t get your asses off that cart quick enough. Restaurants offering free meals if the Heat lose, Heat tickets selling out before the first pre-season game was played, predictions of multiple NBA Championships by LaBron and once they stumbled everyone wants to pile on and detail what’s wrong with the team. The problem is that they team is a work in progress and even if they don’t win the Heat organization has banked their money and those guys come off looking like suckers.

    Plus what with people coming to the games late and leaving before the game is over? Talk about front runners those guys here have cornered that market. They don’t deserve a good team, They deserve the likes of The Dolphins, Marlins, Hurricanes and the Panthers!

    Bunch of Losers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I am talking about the South Florida Fans!!!!!

    • savocabol1 - Mar 4, 2011 at 2:29 PM

      I can’t tell if you are blaming the fans, the organization, the city, or the players for why the Heat suck (relative to where the world predicted them to be right now).

      Either way, Miami by far has the worst fan base for basketball. The Cavs have top five attendence right now….yes I said it right, THE CAVS.

      Call me a bitter Cavs fan, I am ok with that. But it was Lebron that tweeted “karma” when the Cavs broke the losing record streak……..

      • henryd3rd - Mar 4, 2011 at 5:01 PM

        I’m talking about the fans as well as LaBron and his so-called army. Talk about a bunch of deserters! If you’re ever in Miami and want to go to a Heat game all one has to do is hang around the steps at American Airlines Arena and wait till about 20 minutes before tip off and the scalpers are fighting to get rid of those tickets. And if you are patient you can get them at below market value. That would never happen up North

        Its a great sports town for out of town fans. I’m a die hard football fan and have never had any problem getting reasonably priced tickets for the Jets, Patriots, Colts or any other sporting event for that matter. Not at all like New Jersey.

        The again I understand why LaBron chose to come to South Florida. It was either South Beach or Lake Icy Erie! Trick question? The temperature here right now is 75 degrees.

  5. loungefly74 - Mar 4, 2011 at 9:33 AM

    man…Bosh got ripped a new one! that was a brutal article. it was a bad game for him but lets not go too far, he is still one of the better PF in the game. I think his salary and living the miami limelight magnifies his poor performances. i’m sure the heat will recover.

    • shaka49 - Mar 4, 2011 at 9:59 AM

      Bosh is a brutal POWER forward. He is more of a small forward without the perimeter game. Always has been. For years Pau Gasol has been vilified for being soft…Bosh makes Gasol look like the second coming of Bill Lambeer. He is not willing to bang inside as his 1.7 ORB/game suggests, which ranks 28th amongst power forwards. His .7 blocks per game is 19th. He doesn’t even rebound defensively!

      And to think…LeBron FOLLOWED this guy to Miami.

      • hnirobert3 - Mar 4, 2011 at 10:29 AM

        Remember that there was a deal in place, a sign and trade, that would have sent Bosh to the Cavs, thus having LBJ resign with the Cavs. Bosh didn’t want to go to Cleveland (can’t blame him) thus forcing LBJ’s hand to either Chicago or Miami (I don’t think NY was ever a realistic option). Funny how things work out, even though this is still a relatively small sample size.

      • silencegooddoer - Mar 4, 2011 at 12:39 PM

        Why can’t you blame for leaving Cleveland??? You are forgetting that LeBron’s last year with the Cav’s had 66 wins. 4 games shy of the Bull’s 70 win season. He was adored and protected by passionate fans, unlike now, and he had the owner wrapped around his finger giving him anything he wanted to a fault. If LeBron could have recruited either Bosh or Wade to the Cavs they would have broke the Bull’s record this season. The Cav’s already had good enough “roll players” in place. They just needed a slight upgrade and LeBron’s focus and full effort. LeBron really screwed up leaving rather than being a leader and recruiting the 1 missing piece he was short.

        I think we can officially say that the Miami experiment is a failure. The wins are not comming effortlessly like they assumed they would. New younger stars are already on the rise throughout the league. It will really be something if these three waste thier years without a championship. Any takers on how many season’s without a championship before these guys get broken up and traded for re-building by Riley?

      • savocabol1 - Mar 4, 2011 at 2:32 PM

        I don’t think you can really say with a straight face that Lebron’s hand was forced in this offseason.

  6. mickdamill - Mar 4, 2011 at 9:58 AM

    I’m willing to bet if the Heat are not successful in the playoffs this year, Chris Bosh will be finding a new home. As most of these other guys mentioned they be much better suited with a player who made their name by rebounding and tip-ins. To me he has been a huge waste of cap space, with the money saved on Bosh the Heat could afford a solid young PG and a rebounding gritty PF (see Kyle Lowry and Luis Scola for Houston). Luis Scola’s numbers are almost identical to Bosh’s for about half the price and he makes his own points off hustling and tip ins.

    • shaka49 - Mar 4, 2011 at 10:07 AM

      The GM who trades a Luis Scola for Chris Bosh is going to be laughed right out of town. In fact, any GM who trades for Bosh now should get laughed out of town. He doesn’t appear to be a “missing piece” to a championship puzzle.

      • mickdamill - Mar 4, 2011 at 10:19 AM

        I said IF they are not successful in the playoffs he will probably be traded and yes they arent missing and pieces to a championship except great role players. Anyone who does not think Luis Scola is a great player does not watch a lot of basketball, that would be a fantastic trade since they’d be freeing up cap space and could get a much needed PG. BTW Gasol is 5th in the league in overall rebounding where Bosh is 18th. I’m willing to bet you only watch Heat games.

      • shaka49 - Mar 4, 2011 at 10:34 AM

        I think you are misunderstanding my stance on the subject. I don’t think that the Rockets GM is shortsighted enough to accept a trade for Chris Bosh, if in return he has to give up Scola and a PG. I agree, it would an outstanding trade for the Heat. Chris Bosh doesn’t appear to be the “missing piece”. And I completely understand that Pau Gasol is a much stronger basketball player than Chris Bosh. My statement was that Gasol was vilified for being too soft…and that Bosh makes Gasol look like Bill Lambeer. I didn’t think it was too hard to understand. Bosh is a soft, oversized small forward with no perimeter game.

        To reiterate…any NBA GM (meaning GMs on teams OTHER than the Heat) who trades away a starting defensive minded, rebounding front court player for Chris Bosh is an idiot.

    • fouldwimmerlaik - Mar 4, 2011 at 3:17 PM

      I have said it before and I will say it again: In three years, Miami fans are going to be pointing to the Chris Bosh contract as the reason the Heat cannot win a championship. 1) He isn’t worth the money. 2) Because they are paying him that much (along with the other two Am-egos), they will not be able to sign role players to make them a true championship team. 3) With that contract, they will not be able to trade Bosh.

      Oh, and he still looks like E.T.

  7. starks3 - Mar 4, 2011 at 10:20 AM

    I missed last nights game, however that is their third collapse in a week. Let’s not forget they had a double digit lead against Chicago last week, Knicks, and now Magic to lets say put the icing on the cake of 3 blown games they really should have never lost. The latest being the worst.

    My take, Spoelstra’s gotta go. If he did draw up the Bosh play = bad. He has the three point champ. on his bench who should have been in instead of Bosh, so if the play didn’t go as planned an established three point threat would be there (just in case) something went wrong. Also Coach S. has to take some blame on not keeping his guys focused on the above losses when his team has a comfortable lead.

    Solution is they need an established coach who can put Lebron in his place. There are 4-5 guys more capable of making the tying three point shot than Lebron, yet he gets the call everytime. There is no one to stand up to him other than Wade and its too young into the Marriage to tell Lebron whats up.

    • hnirobert3 - Mar 4, 2011 at 10:22 AM

      I hate coach talk but Spo obviously has no control of this team. When things get out of hand he calls a team and says “please guys, try harder. please.”

  8. mickdamill - Mar 4, 2011 at 10:47 AM

    Alright much agreed Shaka!

  9. ptho16 - Mar 4, 2011 at 10:53 AM

    Bosh really adds nothing to the team; I think everyone knows that except him. Is it any real surprise that they just throw up threes? That’s all Lebron did in Cleveland when they were up big, he would dribble the air out of the basketball, then launch threes. If they were losing, he’d stop driving to the basket and pull up for threes. It’s all fine and good when he’s having one of those nights that he cannot miss, but when he’s not hitting it becomes painful to watch.

  10. mk2323 - Mar 4, 2011 at 11:31 AM

    I never thought I would of said it but if lebron would’ve went to Dallas he would be getting a his ring (guaranteed) this year. They have dirk, Terry, and Kidd to space the floor and Chandler on the glass, not to mention a solid bench.
    As far as the “decision” he did make he still has a chance to get it done. Bosh is soft and always will be. The heat never would have lost last night if they kept running the same offense they did in the 1st half. Instead they tried to come out and force feed bosh to get him involved, which the end result (bosh 5 -15) was a bad idea. If “Spo” can’t come up with a better 2nd half adjustments/gameplans and keep them focused and driven for an entire game, then Riles needs to get on the sideline and get it done

  11. delius1967 - Mar 4, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    Here’s an interesting tidbit. Look at the six teams in the league with the current best records — Boston, Miami, Chicago, San Antonio, Dallas, and Los Angeles — and compare how they have done against each other.

    Boston and Chicago have done the best, at 7-4; then San Antonio at 5-3, and Dallas at 6-4. Los Angeles is 2-6, which seems pretty pathetic… until you get to Miami, at 1-7. Miami’s sole win? Over those second-to-last Lakers.

  12. borderline1988 - Mar 5, 2011 at 9:47 PM

    I know everyone is going to rail on Bosh here, but he isn’t the problem. No one is expecting him to contain Dwight Howard anyways. Bosh is averaging 18 and 8. That isn’t terrible, expecially considering he’s a 3rd option on this team. How many 3rd options out there are averaging 18 ppg?

    There are a lot of problems with this team, starting with execution. Not just 4th quarter execution – all game execution. The Heat rely on the athletiscm and skill of their big 3 for most of the game. But fact is, their half-court play execution is terrible. You can blame it on the coach, or on the fact that it’s tough to manage two stars with redundant skills who can’t do much without the ball.

    Next, their depth is pretty awful. All those veteran big men that they acquired – can’t get off the bench. I’d just load this team with hardworking, athletic young forwards instead of old veterans whose only skill is midrange shooting. Dampier is a good addition though. I also think people put too much emphasis on their guards – their guards don’t need to handle the ball. Arroyo was shooting 44% from 3 – cant complain about that.

    No – the big issue here is that after 60 games, the Heat still cant find a way for all 3 of their players to play together with good chemistry and good flow. Offensive execution is just not there. They rely too much on the same plays, and teams are sniffing it out with ease. Every play in the 4th quarter, you can almost be certain that it will end in a jacked 3. Where is all the off-the ball movement by the big3 that we were promised at the beginning of the season?
    Spoelstra is way out of his league here, and unfortunately, I dont see how Pat Riley can change their offensive execution in 20 games.

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