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Chris Bosh shakes Pacers funk, prevents Indiana from shaking up Heat series

May 27, 2014, 1:11 AM EST

Chris Bosh Chris Bosh

Dribbling out the final moments of Game 4 with the Heat up 102-90, Dwyane Wade committed a shot-clock violation with 0.4 seconds remaining. Begrudgingly, George Hill went to inbound the ball to close the game. He cared so little about that final pass, he threw it to Wade and committed yet another Pacers turnover.

Before Hill threw in the ball, LeBron James looked to the far end of the court, smiled and pointed. Maybe his mind had wandered elsewhere. The game’s result was no longer in question, and he certainly deserved to unwind after relentlessly tormenting Indiana all night.

Or maybe he was pointing out Chris Bosh, who’d returned to the other end of the court to defend what was, for everyone else, a meaningless play.

Bosh came to play Monday – opening Game 4 on a personal 8-0 run and scoring 25 points – and didn’t stop until his task was completely finished.

The Heat have struggled with slow starts in this series, but they never trailed in Game 4. What changed?

“Chris Bosh,” LeBron said.

Bosh scored 10 points in the first half of the first quarter – more than his full-game scoring in any other game this series.

  • Games 1-3: 27 points in 90 minutes
  • Game 4: 25 points in 36 minutes

The Pacers needed most of the first quarter just to pass Bosh himself in scoring.

On the other end of the court, Bosh helped hold Roy Hibbert scoreless. Though Hibbert is clearly in his own head at this point, Bosh’s early defense helped Hibbert get there. Hibbert has a significant size advantage, but Bosh helped keep the ball from his hands early, and Hibbert never got into the game.

Remarkably, this is the first time Bosh has outscored Hibbert in a playoff game. Here are their point totals in the Miami-Indiana matchups the last three years. (Bosh missed Games 2-6 of the 2012 second-round series.)

Bosh is red, and Hibbert is blue.

image

After Game 4, Spoelstra defended Bosh’s previous three games, noting how many below-the-radar plays Bosh made to help Miami. And it’s true. Bosh was probably unfairly criticized recently.

But even when Bosh makes the little plays, scoring is a key part of his game. Not all of Bosh’s reasonably expected contributions get noticed by casual observers, but some definitely do.

Monday, Bosh did everything – big and small – to help the Heat. On both sides of the ball, they performed so much better when he was off the court compared to when he was on it.

  • Offensive rating: 103.8 to 125.8
  • Defensive rating: 134.9 to 98.9
  • Net rating: -31.1 to +26.9

Miami had no trouble winning this game, and that’s because Bosh showed up and never let up. The Heat now lead the series 3-1, taking complete control.

And they did it following Bosh.

As long as Miami keeps taking direction from Bosh – and maintaining maximum focus until the very end – this series is over.

  1. miamatt - May 27, 2014 at 1:22 AM

    Like a Bosh!

  2. kghane - May 27, 2014 at 1:33 AM

    Like I’ve told many, Bosh is the true x-factor. Yeah, Wade’s health is what will be what takes Miami over the top, but the way Bosh plays determines what types of shots Miami takes, who defends who, how the opposition will fare in the paint, if the Miami offense will stagnate, what type of shot the opposition will take, whether the Heat approach bigger or small….Bosh’s spacing is so vital to Miami’s success, & when he contributes along with Wade & LeBron, Miami is too much for anyone to handle. Bosh gets a lot of flack but he has sacrificed his stats & the way he used to play in Toronto for the sake of winning. I had a feeling he would do great tonight.

    • hwatt - May 27, 2014 at 9:14 AM

      thanks, chris!

  3. void96eater - May 27, 2014 at 1:35 AM

    Bosh is my favorite member of the big 3. He never quits through all the adversity he gets, and, most importantly, he has serious heart. I’d love to have a teammate like him.

  4. angulocarlos1 - May 27, 2014 at 3:22 AM

    Stephenson is a tool

    • trbowman - May 27, 2014 at 4:01 AM

      He went to UC. Nuff said.

      • jimeejohnson - May 27, 2014 at 5:58 PM

        UCSB?

  5. vstyle23 - May 27, 2014 at 3:29 AM

    Refs X factor. Looks like the nba wants a rematch. Or MVP vs MVP. Miami as always especially wade needs help

    • trbowman - May 27, 2014 at 4:04 AM

      Yeah it’s pretty one sided but come on, the Pacers are getting murdered regardless by a much better team.

      The never had a chance. People want Paul George to be a superstar, it’s a joke. Dude’s not even close. I actually think the Wizards would have presented Miami with a more intriguing matchup – not that they’d of won the series, but it’d of been more interesting.

      The Spurs have a better overall team but I won’t be the one betting money against LeBron James.

      Nobody in the East could beat the Heat this year. Or next year. Or the year after the next year. It’s a cruise.

      • packergator - May 27, 2014 at 8:57 AM

        After last night post-game, maybe PG shouldn’t be allowed in front of a microphone. Again. Ever.

      • robigd - May 27, 2014 at 9:13 AM

        The Pacers’ lack of a true point guard kills them. Their offense is stagnant and just downright painful to watch. Lance Stephenson is like a bigger version of Russell Westbrook. When the ball is in his hands, it looks like they are playing street ball. They have zero movement off the ball, no post game, and a 7 footer who plays softer than Shawn Bradley.

        It is inexplicable how weak the East has been and how other teams have simply just not gotten better. If I were one of these big free agents, why would any of them go to the West? Things are far too easy in the East.

    • totallyuselessme - May 27, 2014 at 5:55 AM

      In game 1 the Pacers had in their favor one of the biggest free throw disparities in playoff history.

      Hibbert having 0 and Stephenson having 0 until the game was already over was what lost them the game. Heat defense, Bosh setting the tone early, and James taking over in the 3rd was what made it a blowout.

    • bcb11 - May 27, 2014 at 6:02 AM

      Funnily enough, I didn’t see any Pacers fans (or anybody else who still takes direction from the 2011 media) complaining about officiating after Game 1, when they had something like a 22-free throw advantage (ballpark number, I forget exactly what it is). I’m sure it was “they were just more aggressive”, that’s usually the case from what I’ve seen. If it’s Miami with the advantage though, its the refs favoring them. Terrible double standard, but what’s worse is the many who are seemingly oblivious to their perpetuating it. No, a team with 3, possibly 4 future Hall of Famers can’t win on their own formidable merits. Yes, the league can script down-to-the-second plays like Allen’s 3 off an offensive rebound. Something more believable though, is this is simply a good team, whom many would like to fail because of…. lingering dislike from 2010? Tired of seeing them win? Many would be reasonable, but continually piling on reasons why they shouldn’t have won isn’t changing the fact that they did indeed win.

  6. vstyle23 - May 27, 2014 at 7:05 AM

    Not a pacer fan but understand, pacers were aggressive game one and it was weird how Miami was not. That’s why the calls were different. Remember commentators kept saying the Heat were non aggressive în game one?

    • bcb11 - May 27, 2014 at 5:33 PM

      Speaking of, yes I do. I just don’t think its an either-or proposition, as in the Heat started being aggressive after Game 1 and the Pacers stopped, you see? At the least, its not the only factor, maybe both teams got a little home cooking, as Paul George would say.

  7. jbeagles23 - May 27, 2014 at 7:33 AM

    The pacers never had a chance to beat the heat in four. This is the heats conference for many years to come

  8. newyorkball82 - May 27, 2014 at 8:14 AM

    I don’t think people dislike the heat because they win. It’s everything that has led up to this team being where they are and how they act on the court. Lebron tries to act like a good sport but is a big time complainer and show-boater.
    I don’t think the game can be completely determined by the refs, but they set the pace of the game. Some games they let them play and some you can’t touch a player without getting called. That game last night was never going to go Indiana’s way. They were actually still in the game to a degree, even with as many mistakes they made. You can’t beat anybody that gets 30+ FT attempts. Game one is an example of that.
    Now it’s going to either take a miracle or its gonna be a rematch in the finals. Which won’t probably be an easy series for the Heat.

    • bcb11 - May 27, 2014 at 8:20 AM

      You’ve got a point, I’d figure 30 free throws is more of an indicator. But so often, its turned into “this is the sole reason for” winning or losing.

    • packergator - May 27, 2014 at 9:03 AM

      “The Decision” was a terrible black-eye for Lebron, and some people will never forgive him – for that and for proclaiming that the Heat would win “not one, not two, not three” titles. But come on haters, he’s not some media creation dreamed up by the NBA and ESPN and the games aren’t being thrown in their favor.

      The difference in this series is that the Pacers think they’re the better team and the Heat KNOW they are.

      • gofinsgoheatfloria - May 27, 2014 at 10:33 AM

        The “not one…” bit came in response to the lead-in by the emcee that “you three kings came down here to win championships, not one championship…” and, at the emcee’s prompting, LeBron took off from that. By the time he got to five, DWade was cracking up. LeBron could have gone on to thirty and he still would have been saying “not”, because the point was – how is this not obvious when you watch the video? – “no specific number”. LeBron then went on to say “there’s no reason we can’t win multiple championships if we take care of business”. If some must still dwell on “The Decision”, please remember that statement – it was still plenty bold – and it would be confirmed by achievement within three years.

        Agreed, The decision

      • gofinsgoheatfloria - May 27, 2014 at 10:37 AM

        * scratch “Agreed, The decision”

  9. newyorkball82 - May 27, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    It wasn’t “not one, not two, not three”, it was 8. Although if you think that is the only thing then you’re not seeing the whole picture.

  10. golfrangeman - May 27, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    @newyorkball this is the whole picture. Without exaggerating 99% of all the haters out there would have loved for LBJ to sign with their team under the exact same circumstances and I’ll admit heat fans along with every other teams fans would be doing the hating. It’s called being jealous!! And that’s a FACT !!!

  11. birdsofprey305 - May 27, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    @ golfrangeman

    You hit it exactly on the nail.

    • jimeejohnson - May 27, 2014 at 5:55 PM

      Straight through the hearts of the haters. Thanks.

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