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NBA Finals: Chris Bosh makes his presence felt

To open practice Wednesday, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra called his starters onto the floor and was greeted with a pleasant surprise. Out stepped Chris Bosh. And that's when Game 2 of The Finals took a turn.
by John Helsley Published: June 15, 2012

To open practice Wednesday, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra called his starters onto the floor and was greeted with a pleasant surprise.

Out stepped Chris Bosh.

And that's when Game 2 of The Finals took a turn.

“I said, ‘OK, get the Red Team out here and let's walk through a couple of things,'” Spoelstra said of what could have been just an innocent moment to begin the workout.

“And Chris walked right out and put his head under the rim. And so that told me what we were doing in terms of starting him. And he gave us a lot in the paint. And we need that, again and again and again.”

Bosh, making his first start since May 13, struck for his first double-double since mid-April, finishing with 16 points and 15 rebounds and significantly impacting play in the lane, helping Miami flip Oklahoma City's Game 1 dominance inside.

Much of the talk for the Heat following the Thunder's win in the series opener Tuesday centered around the need for help for LeBron James. Well, he got it. And not just from Bosh, but from Dwyane Wade and Shane Battier — yes, him again — and even guys like Norris Cole and James Jones off the bench.

James won Round 2 of his touted matchup with Kevin Durant, scoring a team-high 32 points with eight rebounds and five assists. His aggressive play set a tone for the night. And when Oklahoma City made a run, he was typically there to eventually turn it back.

But he was hardly alone.

And suddenly, that notion that while the Thunder may not match the star power of the Heat, its the better “team,” well that theory took some hits Thursday night, when Miami squared the series at 1-1 by getting more guys better involved.

“To be honest, I don't really pay attention to speculation or what other people say,” said Cole, who after not playing Tuesday gave the Heat 13-plus solid minutes. “We know how hard we work and we know what we are capable of doing. We all trust each other. The game speaks for itself.

“A lot of people think scoring points and doing things in the stat sheet is what makes you good. On a team like ours, you don't have to do things that always affect the stat sheet, making hustle plays and bringing energy can positively affect the team and our bench understands that.”

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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