(Sports Network) -In this case Yoko was a lower abdominal strain that kept the
band apart for just over three weeks.
The "Heatles" officially reformed for the reunion tour in Game 5 of the
Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics but they really didn't
hit their stride until Saturday's 101-88 Game 7 victory when Chris Bosh got
back into the flow.
Once a top option in Toronto, Bosh has been the third wheel in South Beach's
Big Three. So much so that some observers actually looked upon the seven-time
All-Star as an afterthought when the Heat persevered without him against
Indiana and jumped out to a 2-0 edge vs. Boston.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers quickly figured out that Miami's offense was pretty
stagnant without Bosh's jump shot in the lineup and far too reliant on the
ability to drive and create.
That meant Rivers could employ a lot more zone with the lengthy Kevin Garnett
roaming the middle, making penetration to the bucket difficult for anyone not
named LeBron James.
Bosh was able to stick his toe in the water, coming off the bench during Game
5 and upping his minutes a bit in Game 6 before the Toronto version showed up
for the deciding contest.
Some stars would have balked about being asked to come off the pine but
Bosh was just looking to help his club.
On Saturday the big man did, scoring 19 points and teaming with James and
Dwyane Wade to lead Miami to the NBA Finals for the second consecutive year
and third time since 2006.
"He showed up big," Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said of Bosh. "It's a testament
not only to his talent but to his character. He kept working his way back and
integrate him slowly and off the bench. And there was no issues at all -- not
even the closest thing to it. He worked himself back into a rhythm."
The Heat's Big Three, often criticized for being shrinking violets in big
situations, dominated the fourth quarter in Game 7, scoring all of Miami's 28
points in the frame.
"These guys have battled through everything, internally and externally,"
sharpshooter James Jones told the Miami Herald. "The expectations and the
weight have been on LeBron, D-Wade and Chris. It seems every time we get into
a tough spot, those adverse conditions, they find a way to come up big for us.
It's not just one. They all come up collectively."
Bosh was particularly effective from beyond the arc on Saturday, dropping
3-of-4 bombs on the stunned C's.
The ability of the veteran, who came into the contest 4-of-20 from long range
in playoff games, to space the floor and take Garnett away from the basket
enabled Miami to penetrate time and time again, especially in transition.
"This may surprise some people, but I've been practicing that all year," Bosh
said of his new found prowess. "We knew in big-time situations, those shots
would be open."
Rivers tried to react to Bosh's presence at the offensive end by giving Ryan
Hollins a few more minutes alongside Garnett but he was grasping at straws.
Bosh was back and that meant Boston was getting bounced.
"When we saw him walk off the floor against Indiana, we all shuddered at the
thought [of playing without Bosh]," Spoelstra said. "For two years, hes been
our most important player. He makes it all work."
The Sports Network