Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
MIAMI — As Erik Spoelstra tailors the Heat’s attack to the speed and skill advantages of Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, Miami’s third cornerstone player is simply trying not to get left behind.
That’s not just on the break, where Chris Bosh must keep up with two of the NBA’s fastest players at their positions, but in the overall flow of the offense.
After Tuesday morning’s shootaround, Bosh acknowledged that his adaptation to the team’s new style is “a feeling-out process,” and that trailing so often in transition will take “some getting used to.”
Bosh put on some muscle this offseason, yet it was James and Wade who parked themselves in the post against Dallas in the season opener.
“Sometimes, it’s a race to the post, and those guys are fast,” Bosh said. “Nine times out of 10, I’m not going to beat them there.
“It’s just getting a feeling for where I can post up in the offense, and kind of dictating where the ball goes sometimes. And setting screens and rolling and sealing. And when I can, race down there to the block and get going.”
He never did against the Mavericks, partly because of foul trouble that limited him to 24 minutes.
Against Boston on Tuesday, Miami made an effort to involve him early, getting him the ball on the right elbow, from where he bulled to the basket for a lay-up.
Later in the first quarter, he would sink a three-pointer – something he did only 56 times in his previous eight seasons – after catching a dish back on the break. And in the second quarter, he took advantage of a broken court to dunk a hit-ahead pass from Norris Cole.
There were other instances of awkwardness, mostly with Bosh dribbling on the perimeter. He has committed a turnover in each of the past three games, including the final pre-season contest, when trying to handle on the move.
Still, the Heat would regularly take his Tuesday production – 18 points and 11 rebounds – after a total of four points and seven rebounds in Sunday’s opener.
Tuesday, Spoelstra downplayed Bosh’s goal of double-digit rebounds per game this season; that’s because, again, Bosh’s greatest obstacles may be on his own roster. Spoelstra has been adamant about the need to gang rebound without a powerhouse center, which means James, Wade and Udonis Haslem all assaulting the glass, too.
“You have to get your hands on them when you can,” Bosh said. “And I am going to have to get in some rhythm because, if I don’t, my teammates will beat me to the punch.”
Which, even if it happens, is better than opponents doing so.