MIAMI — Chris Bosh had the look of a player in the middle of a slump.
He was the last to leave the practice court Tuesday, staying 10 minutes later than the rest of his teammates. Jumper after jumper, Bosh appeared determined to break free from his recent struggles.
And then Bosh treated the post-practice workout as if it weren’t a big deal.
“Routine. Muscle memory,” Bosh said of the extra work. “That’s really it.”
It was his way of downplaying his subpar play of late. He scored just 13 points on 4-of-13 shooting Sunday against the Charlotte Bobcats in Game 1 of their first-round series. Bosh has seen a decline in production since January, with his scoring and field-goal percentage numbers dropping each month.
He’s had just two 20-point games since March 18, a span of 16 games that he’s played. That comes as a surprise considering he was given every opportunity to boost his statistics with guard Dwyane Wade missing nine consecutive games toward the end of the season.
“I think I’m in a good place,” Bosh said. “I’m getting the shots that I want. I’m involved in the offense. It’s on me to make them. Last game, I had some misses. I missed a dunk. I missed a couple easy ones, but that’s gonna happen. That’s expected with the change of pace (in the playoffs).”
The year was set up for Bosh to perhaps have his best season with the Heat. Wade missed a total of 28 games during the regular season, yet Bosh averaged 16.2 points. It was his lowest total since coming to Miami in 2010. His 6.6 rebounds a game are a career-low.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra refused to overreact.
“He was in a great groove before that,” Spoelstra said. “I think with the consistency with who we have out there now, he’ll find his way and find his rhythm. … I’m not concerned about it because ultimately our offense looked good and it’s different guys, different nights.”
Winning has kept Bosh from “going back to the drawing board.” He said he will only make minor tweaks in preparation for Wednesday’s Game 2 at AmericanAirlines Arena.
“When you’re losing and not playing well, it’s a little tougher,” Bosh said. “When you’re winning and you’re not playing as well, it’s like, ‘All right, I don’t have to change anything drastically.’ “
Things could be a little easier this time for Bosh with Bobcats center Al Jefferson being hobbled by a sore left foot. Jefferson is a game-time decision but is expected to play. He had 18 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks in Game 1 despite sustaining the injury in the first half.
“I’ll play him like normal,” Bosh said. “He’s Al Jefferson. … Nothing is going to change. We’re gonna make some tweaks here and there to where we can improve our offensive and defensive sets, but for the most part, we’re keeping everything normal.”
With LeBron James and Wade surging, the Heat have been able to mask Bosh’s issues. Swingman James Jones and guard Norris Cole also filled the scoring void in Game 1.
Still, the Heat are at their best with Bosh contributing.
“We look forward to getting him back in rhythm,” James said. “Obviously when CB is playing on top of his game, D-Wade looks like he’s back and I’m going to try to do my part to help us to win, we’ll be even more dynamic and dangerous.”
Bosh says it’s just a matter of time. He’s endured these types of slumps throughout his career. Last year he shot below 50 percent in the final three postseason series, including going scoreless against the San Antonio Spurs in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
“Like I say, balance is balance,” Bosh said. “It will be a while where I can’t miss … I’ve just got to be aggressive. Hopefully, Game 2 I can come out in the game swinging a little more.”
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