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Heat’s Bosh silencing his critics

April 20, 2011

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— Must admit, I haven’t always been a Chris Bosh guy.

There have been several times this year when I have bought into the “Two and a Half Men” putdown of the Heat’s Big Three.

LeBron? I get it.

D-Wade? Obviously.

But what had Bosh ever really done?

A couple of early playoff exits in Toronto? Some impressive individual stats? So what?

Even going back to Georgia Tech, where he went one and done, what had he really accomplished?

When Bosh moaned publicly about not being in his “comfort zone” after a home loss to Portland on March 8, it seemed he was threatening to blow up the team or at the very least undermine what Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra envisioned.

At the very least, his timing seemed suspect.

“I need to get (the ball) where big guys get it,” Bosh said at the time. “I’m effective in the low-post area. That’s where I need to start getting the ball.”

A debate ensued over Bosh’s worthiness to even be voicing such a gripe. Wade noted dryly that Bosh was used to making offseason plans by that point in the year.

And the “low-post area”? This jump-shooting giant sometimes needed a GPS to find the paint.

One can only imagine the conversations that took place behind closed doors in the immediate aftermath of that flareup.

Six weeks later, all that negativity is gone, swept aside with a marvelous start to this postseason.

Two games into his first Heat playoff run, Bosh is doing a great job of silencing his critics (myself included).

After going for 25 points and 12 rebounds in the Game 1 win over the Sixers, Bosh came back with 21 points and 11 rebounds in Monday’s blowout.

That gives him 46 points and 13 rebounds so far and the early line on series MVP — if they actually gave such a thing in the first round.

Bosh is 17-of-30 from the field and 12-of-14 from the foul line. He only got to the line three times on Monday, but those 11 trips in the opener helped the Heat wipe out the 14-point deficit they spotted the energetic young team from South Philly.

Comfortable now, Chris?

“I know my role,” Bosh said Monday night. “Plain and simple, I know my role. I accept it. I can get better and better and better at it. That’s the most exciting thing about being in this position.”

He pointed out the obvious motivation of “trying to compete for a championship,” something he’s never done before. There’s also the chance to show he can handle those turns at center, when James slides down to power forward.

“It’s a different environment and a different position for me,” Bosh said. “To find out ways to be effective and perfect that role, it’s a lot of hard work, but it’s exciting.”

Bosh certainly is saying all the right things.

“I’m just trying to hold myself to a standard for this team,” Bosh said. “I want people to expect that out of me. Every time I hit the court, I’m trying to be efficient. I’m just trying to sustain it.”

If he can do that all the way through the middle of June, the Heat’s Big Three will be truly complete.

And Bosh’s critics, present company included, will be silenced for good.

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