Buck Harvey: Blurry, but Bosh still finds his way

DALLAS — Chris Bosh told them it was coming. He told them he could see the Mavericks’ body language, and what would happen when the Heat ran the play.

Bosh even told Udonis Haslem which Maverick to screen.

And when it all happened?

When Bosh got the pass and made the biggest shot of his basketball life?

“It feels good,” he said afterward, when it had to feel better than that.

Bosh had never won an NBA game in his hometown before. And early in his first Finals game in Dallas, he saw the trouble ahead.

He saw that through one eye. In the first quarter he took a finger to an eye and fell to the court. With Bosh on the ground, the Mavericks raced to score and built what would be their biggest lead of the game.

The moment summed up his image in Miami. Next to LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, he’s been the fraction in the “Two and a Half Men” show.

Game 2 was part of that. Then, he was asked to defend Dirk Nowitzki, and Nowitzki drove past him for the game-winning basket. Bosh shooting only 4 of 16 that night didn’t help, either.

Some in San Antonio might remember another Bosh ?? failure. In the 2001 Class 4A state championships, starring for Dallas Lincoln, he fouled out in a 2-point semifinal loss to Lanier.

But there’s another side to his life, and his next season at Lincoln showed that. Then, he led his high school to an undefeated season and the state championship. That was the first team from Texas to finish a season ranked No. 1 by USA Today, and that was also the last time Bosh said he was as happy as he has been this year.

“As far as camaraderie, working together and having fun on and off the court,” Bosh told the New York Times, “this has been the first time I’ve experienced anything like it.”

So he’s enjoyed this season, even when there were times he clearly struggled. That’s why Sunday, even with his vision blurred, he could see how everything fit together.

“We knew this was not going to be easy,” he said. “I think it’s just symbolic of our season .?.?. it was quite fitting I got poked in the eye. You just have to keep coming.”

Bosh was fortunate that Wade kept coming, with a performance similar to the one he put on against the Mavericks in 2006. Bosh was fortunate too, that Haslem defended Nowitzki on the last play this time.

“He stayed down,” Nowitzki said of Haslem, “and made me shoot a contested shot.”

The game before, Bosh didn’t.

Still, what happened with about 40 seconds left shored up Bosh’s reputation. Miami called time, and Bosh all but announced what would happen next.

Haslem talked about that in the locker room afterward. Bosh told him: Get the pin down on Nowitzki, and I’ll hit the shot.

“We run the play all the time,” Bosh said, “and I kind of saw Tyson’s (Chandler) body language, and I saw Dirk’s body language. You could kind of tell what they’re about to do, especially when Dwyane and LeBron are running screen-and-roll. They both turn their head, and I told (Haslem) who to hit .?.?. I knew I was going to have an open shot.”

That’s the Bosh who was in the National Honor Society at Lincoln, and who chooses to read a book before games to relax.

Yet even when everything happened as he thought it would, as James threw a smooth pass to him, Bosh needed to complete the play.

Any worries?

“That’s his sweet spot,” James said.

When Dallas had never been that before for him in the NBA.


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