Chris Bosh has taken criticism all season. People have called him soft, they've called him lazy, they've called him overrated. They've called him all sorts of unprintable names because he's ridden the coattails of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade into these Eastern Conference finals.
The Heat power forward claims he hasn't listened to his naysayers.
His play implies otherwise.
Bosh had a demonstrative Game 3 performance in the Heat win over the Bulls on Sunday night, finishing with 34 points on 13-of-18 shooting. A week ago, Chicago forward Carlos Boozer took a deliberate jab at Bosh by referring to the Heat as a team with "two great players" — Bosh responded by going into "I'll show you" mode on Sunday, almost singlehandedly putting the Heat into the driver's seat in this series.
If Bosh isn't great, he's at the very least capable of faking it on this stage. What we saw Sunday was special.
He started 0-for-3 from the field against the Bulls on Sunday. He got a little discouraged early, and given all the razzing he's taken this year for his nerves and his lack of confidence, many expected him to give up after a rough start. But instead, he made 13 of his final 15 shots and carried the Heat to a pivotal win.
This is the same Chris Bosh who shot 1-of-18 in a regular-season game against these same Bulls three months ago. Only this time, he got down early and fought his way back up. In three games against the Bulls so far in this series, he's now dropped 30-plus on them twice. No one else in this series has scored 30 even once.
In a way, Boozer was still right. When you talk about the true greatness of this Heat team, you're still talking about LeBron and Wade. Bosh isn't a slam-dunk first-ballot Hall of Famer like those other two guys; he's a mere All-Star. But Bosh's performance in this series has reminded the Bulls to watch out. If you fall asleep on him, he'll slice you and dice you.
This is Chris Bosh's first time in the third round of the playoffs. In fact, it's the first time he has won more than two games in a single postseason. But when you've got talent like his, experience is overrated. This is one six-time All-Star who's tired of being taken for granted, and if the Bulls aren't careful, he just might make the difference in these Eastern Conference finals.
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