While James and Wade have had their moments of stardom throughout the run, it was the performance of Bosh in Thursday night’s Game 2 of the NBA Finals that showed the world that the Heat truly have a Big Three.
It took two years, but it was possibly the trio’s best performance together. That was mostly due to Bosh, who ended the night with 16 points and 15 rebounds, seven of them offensive boards.
This was without a doubt the Big Three that Riley and Heat fans had envisioned all along.
Bosh was in the starting lineup for Game 2, and that’s really all it took.
He gave the Heat an element that has been missing—a presence in the paint at both ends of the floor.
In addition to the outstanding effort on the glass, Bosh had every aspect of his game working Thursday night. He scored inside and on the perimeter to go 6-of-13 from the field. He got to the free-throw line, where he made four of five attempts, and his effort crashing the offensive glass was the difference because he extended several Miami possessions.
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It’s Bosh’s presence alone that makes Miami’s Big Three truly great.
When Bosh is aggressive, it allows both Wade and LeBron be more aggressive as well. You saw that in Game 2, as Wade was attacking the rim and James got more looks closer to the basket. On the night, the Heat scored 48 points in the paint, which speaks volumes.
At times Bosh can be the forgotten member of the Big Three. People tend to forget he’s made seven consecutive All-Star games. Many people also forget that before he came to Miami, he was a guy that commanded double-teams on a nightly basis.
Bosh isn’t nearly as attention-grabbing on or off the court as Wade or LeBron, but when his play grabs the attention that it did in Game 2, this is the Big Three that makes the Heat very dangerous.
When Miami can run its offense through Bosh, Wade and James are better off for it, and opposing defenses have way too much to worry about. If Bosh is going in the paint, Miami’s stars can space the floor much better and become a nightmare to defend.
There’s no doubting the greatness of LBJ or Wade, but to be really great as a team, it begins and ends with Bosh.
If he’s productive in the fashion he was during Game 2, the Heat are a very tough team to beat. It was team success that Riley had in mind all along when he assembled the Big Three.
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