NBA Southeast: Miami wins while James and Wade sit
Chris Bosh is sometimes overlooked on a team with the league’s top player but remains an important part of the Miami Heat’s “Big Three.” Bosh showed just how talented his is on Sunday when the Miami Heat, playing without LeBron James and Dwayne Wade, defeated the Western Conference leaders the San Antonio Spurs. The win helped the Heat move on step closer to the league’s best record and home court advantage throughout the playoffs.
Against the Spurs, Bosh had 23 points. He scored a three-pointer to win the game with only 1.9 seconds left in regulation. Bosh said after the game that the team is the NBA champions regardless of the players on the court. Bosh said he, as well as others, played bigger roles for other teams, but came to Miami accepting a lesser role to win NBA titles.
With the win, Miami moved to 58-15 on the season. Miami long ago clinched the Southeast division title as they currently lead second place Atlanta by 17 games. The Hawks are the only other team in the division in the playoffs and are currently sitting in fifth place.
Miami currently holds an 11-game lead over second place Indiana in the Eastern conference and has guaranteed themselves home court advantage through the conference championship. However, Miami still has some business to do to secure home-court throughout the playoffs. Miami is currently 3 ½ games in front of the San Antonio Spurs for the best record in the NBA and 4 ½ games in front of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Miami’s win on Sunday gave them a sweep of their head-to-head series with San Antonio and the tiebreaker should the two end the season with identical record. The last time the two teams met, it was San Antonio that rested its stars Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, Danny Green and veteran Tim Duncan. Miami won that game as well 105-100. In Sunday’s game, only Ginobili did not play, as he is nursing a sore hamstring.
San Antonio Head Coach Gregg Popovich praised Bosh’s talent and great shooting. Miami Head Coach Erik Spoelstra said the win was gratifying since it was his reserves that beat the Western Conference leaders.
The resting of both Wade and James was a surprise and done at the last minute, while Chalmers sat out on Friday and is day to day.
The Heat said James had strained a hamstring in their win against the Hornets during the first half but played the rest of the game scoring 36 points in the blowout win 108-89. Wade hurt his ankle against Chicago but played against New Orleans on Friday scoring 17 points. Their absence brought back memories of the Spurs benching their four starters.
All three players did not sit on the Miami bench, choosing instead to remain in the locker room. No would comment following the game on their injuries.
Spoelstra was asked following the game if the Spurs benching of its stars influenced his decision in sitting Wade, Chalmers and James. He said he could see if people drew that conclusion, but that was not the case.