What happened to Bosh and Wade?
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
MIAMI — Chris Bosh talked in a tone just above a whisper about what has unfolded in the Eastern Conference finals — the worst playoff series of his career.
“There’s not much I can say,” the Miami Heat big man said. “Just really disappointed in myself. … It’s not really going my way in this series.”
But Bosh isn’t the only member of the Heat who’s struggling. Dwyane Wade hasn’t exactly been at the top of his game as Miami heads into Game 7 against the Indiana Pacers on Monday night (8:30 ET, TNT).
Bosh has not scored more than seven points in a game since Game 3 and is 5-for-21 shooting in Miami’s past three games — two of them losses. Wade is shooting 44.2% from the field in the conference finals and hasn’t reached 20 points since the first round against the Milwaukee Bucks.
“We can state the obvious: They’re both struggling,” Heat forward LeBron James said. “Chris is struggling with his shot, and hurting his ankle didn’t help him. He will find it. It’s my job as a leader to keep him motivated, to let him know how important he is to our movement (and) to our chances of returning to the Finals.”
Indiana’s Big Three of Roy Hibbert, Paul George and David West simply has outplayed Miami’s Big Three. Pressure is on both teams, but more is on Miami. If the Heat lose, their season is a huge disappointment. If the Pacers lose, it was a good run and they can’t wait for next season.
Two-thirds of the Big Three have disappeared as Indiana’s size and strength have neutralized Miami’s pace and floor spacing, and the upstart Pacers are on the verge of pulling off an upset thought impossible when Miami rolled to an NBA-record 27 consecutive victories.
“Normally with your max players who are All-Stars, they’re able to play through any matchup,” TNT analyst and former NBA player and executive Steve Kerr said. “It’s been bizarre to watch both lose their confidence and lose their ability to impact the game.”
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