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Miami Heat Need a Chris Bosh Gut-Check to Beat Indiana Pacers

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Stephen BabbFeatured Columnist IVNovember 29, 2016

Don't even think about blaming the Miami Heat entirely for their Game 1, 107-96 loss to the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals. Those Pacers had a lot to do with it, too.

And so did Chris Bosh

The third wheel of Miami's Big Three looked more like a flat tire on Sunday afternoon, scoring just nine points on 4-of-12 shooting. He was 0-of-5 from beyond the three-point arc, robbing the Heat of a deadly long-range threat that might have otherwise kept Indiana's defense honest.

This isn't terribly new for Bosh, at least when it comes to facing the Pacers. In four games against Indiana this season, Bosh averaged just 11.3 points. 

It's a trend that needs to come to an end soon if the Heat are to prevail in this series. As good of a two-man show as LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are, it will take a team effort to beat Indiana—with Bosh leading the way for the supporting cast.

Ordinarily, Bosh averaged 16.2 points and 6.6 rebounds this season. If anything, you'd like to see those numbers actually jump against the Pacers, given Miami's shortened rotation and the fact that, you know, these games actually matter.

Instead, Miami's power forward is off to a rough start—and his team along with him.

After losing Game 3 to the Brooklyn Nets in the conference semifinals, Bosh sounded optimistic, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel's Ira Winderman:"We've been here before. And it's good for us. I'm a glass-is-half-full kind of guy. I think the loss was good for us. It just shows us that we can't come in being complacent. We have to really, really dictate the issue as far as the intensity is concerned."

It sounds like Bosh feels much the same after dropping Game 1 against the Pacers.

After that Nets game, it was head coach Erik Spoelstra who said, "We're not into reality checks or human condition or anything like that."

It's hard to think of a better term for what Bosh needs: a reality check.

Yes, he needs to space the floor. Yes, he has to take the occasional three-pointer. But he's not Ray Allen, even if small sample sizes seem to indicate otherwise. Through his first nine games of the postseason, Bosh was converting on a stunning 48.6 percent of his 3.9 three-point attempts per game.

It's easy for him to fall in love with those shots. After all, following that Game 3 loss against Brooklyn, it was Bosh's bomb from downtown that helped propel Miami to a Game 4 win (per the Miami Herald's Joseph Goodman): "Bosh’s corner three-pointer, the result of muscle memory folded into every fiber of his 6-10 frame, gave the Heat a 97-94 lead and eventually overwhelming control in the best-of-7 series."

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