May 27, 2014, 1:11 AM EST
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.
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.
Mar 5, 2015, 11:41 AM EST
Suns wing might be NBA’s best dunker
Mar 5, 2015, 11:04 AM EST
Chris Paul frantically tries to get Jordan’s attention
Mar 5, 2015, 10:28 AM EST
Whiteside posts monster 18-25-4 in win over Lakers
Mar 5, 2015, 9:49 AM EST
Center will reportedly receive two-year contract
Mar 5, 2015, 9:11 AM EST
At least one Spur appears to be peaking
Mar 5, 2015, 8:30 AM EST
He got a flagrant one for this foul.
Mar 5, 2015, 8:00 AM EST
Jason Smith dancing
Mar 5, 2015, 2:47 AM EST
Westbrook is putting up Jordan numbers.
Mar 5, 2015, 2:10 AM EST
This after the Celtics just smacked the Timberwolves pretty good.
Mar 5, 2015, 12:05 AM EST
Mar 4, 2015, 11:15 PM EST
Marc Gasol is a beast.
Mar 4, 2015, 10:38 PM EST
Who was that masked man?
Mar 4, 2015, 9:58 PM EST
Why didn’t Utah have Rudy Gobert protecting rim?
Mar 4, 2015, 9:35 PM EST
What penalty should Frazier receive?
Mar 4, 2015, 8:44 PM EST
Pacers are ganging up on Denver players
Mar 4, 2015, 7:53 PM EST
Sorry, Mark Cuban
Mar 4, 2015, 7:09 PM EST
He missed five games with a strained shoulder.
Mar 4, 2015, 6:14 PM EST
Don’t be shocked if the final price tag is close to $1 billion. Yes, for the Hawks.
Mar 4, 2015, 5:15 PM EST
Except you don’t really want a strong point guard in Phil Jackson’s triangle.
Mar 4, 2015, 4:30 PM EST
Some guys turn things around, bu Hairston has a lot of work to do.
- Report: JaVale McGee close to signing with Celtics 12
- Five Things We Learned in NBA Wednesday: Masked Russell Westbrook just needs a cape 13
- George Karl: Knicks could use a strong point guard next to Carmelo Anthony 12
- Ray Allen announces he will not play this season 14
- Pelicans’ Anthony Davis a gametime decision Wednesday vs. Pistons 1
- Derek Fisher questions ‘character and integrity’ of players after Knicks lose to Kings by 38 points 29
- Five Things We Learned in NBA Tuesday: The Hawks clinched playoff spot in front of Josh Smith 6
- Nuggets need to decide direction, then hire coach 18