Chris Bosh Comes Back from the Dead (Again) for the Miami Heat

Ethan SkolnickNBA Senior WriterDecember 1, 2013

USA Today

MIAMI - Sometimes, Chris Bosh is capable of stripping away all the complexity. 

Take Sunday night, after he scored 13 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, and before he exited the building in black shades and a Blues Brothers hat while holding the book "Good to Great" to his side.

"I was wide open," Bosh said of his three three-pointers that helped the Miami Heat rally for a 99-98 victory against the Charlotte Bobcats. "So I figured I'd take a step back and, in the words of our late teammate Mike Miller, 'Let it fly.' That was really it. Kept it simple." 

Of course, it's hardly been simple since he came to Miami. He's had to adjust to a brighter spotlight and a lesser, ever-changing role, one where he is frequently forgotten until he endures some struggles. And he had dealt with some lately, making just seven of 24 shots in his previous three games, fouling out against the Toronto Raptors and not reaching 20 points in any of the past nine contests. 

"My thing was, we were winning games, and there's no reason to get frustrated because everybody plays a part in this performance," Bosh said. "I'm happy for other guys if they are filling a void I wasn't able to fill that night, and we win the game."

But without question, Miami needed a breakout from Bosh. His confidence and aggressiveness, and Dwyane Wade's health, have been the Heat's barometers over the past three-plus seasons, since it's rare they don't get plenty from LeBron James. 

In the first quarter, Bosh took six shots, and made three, and Miami led by three.

In the second and third quarters, he took two shots, making one, and Miami was outscored by 15.

Then came the fourth, with Charlotte still shooting uncharacteristically well from outside, and Miami—still perplexed by the Bobcats' defensive activity—taking a while to get into offense. 

Dec 1, 2013; Miami, FL, USA;  Miami Heat center Chris Bosh (1) shoots the ball over Charlotte Bobcats small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14) in the second half at American Airlines Arena. The Heat won 99-98. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Spo
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The first catalyst for the comeback was James' return. That occurred with 8:04 left and the Heat trailing by 12. He started with a driving layup and drew a foul, his back appearing to hinder him less than it had earlier in the night.

The second catalyst actually occurred at that same substitution, but it was more subtle. Erik Spoelstra inserted Mario Chalmers, but left Norris Cole on the court, sticking with the two point guards down the stretch even when the Bobcats went bigger. That gave the Heat more quickness on the perimeter and, for the most part, better ball-handling, with Cole even setting an open-court pick of Kemba Walker to spring Chalmers for his first slam of the season. 

The third catalyst?

Well, that was Bosh, who followed two free throws and a dunk by firing from two feet behind the top of the key. 

"That was a good one," Bosh said, smiling. "I thought it was going in. It hit the front rim. I was like, no, yes, no, yes." 

Four bounces.

Three points.

"After the first one, I knew I needed more arc on the ball," Bosh said.

Another pass from Wade.

Another three.

The Bobcats still weren't shading, stunting. 

"There was nothing to do but let it go," Bosh said. 

Another pass from Wade.

Another three. 

"All those shots he hit came off of the offense," Wade said. "It wasn't anything we ran for him."

It rarely has been, and will be, that way. 

Bosh has often been fighting with himself, trying to find the balance between what he can do and what the Heat require. He admitted that over the past week, he's held several unsolicited conversations, telling those close to him that he'd find his form, that it was just a slump, that what went up came down and what went down will come up. 

He was really telling himself, though. 

"I don't bring work with me home all the time, but every now and then, you have to get some things off your chest and you have to tell yourself why you're not crazy," Bosh said. "It works for me. It's good therapy. I was just telling my wife and friends. I don't even think they were even talking about it."

Sunday, after he made the final three-pointer, part of a stretch in which he outscored the Bobcats by himself, 13-4, he spun around and looked in their direction. 

There, he seemed ever the extrovert.

In the locker room, introspection took over. 

"Only way to get yourself out of it is to focus on the next move," Bosh explained. "Yeah, that's about it. I like to keep it simple."

As best you can.