"Was I effective today? It's common sense. I think it's evident. I just have to get it where I'm effective. I have to get it where big guys get it. Then, I feel I can start helping out this team more. I'm effective down in the low-post area. That's where I need to start getting the ball. I need to be assertive and demanding." -- Bosh, 3/8/11, on a lack of low-post touches this season, after going 3 for 11 in a loss to Portland, at the time the fifth straight loss for Miami
When we last left the Chris Bosh 2010-2011 Experience, our "hero" was lamenting the fact that his two vastly superior teammates -- LeBron James and Dwyane Wade -- were unable to feed him the basketball in spots on the floor that always seemed to work when he was
the only player who could chew gum and walk at the same time with the Toronto Raptors.
Of course, the 800-pound gorilla in the room is that Bosh's tricks worked fine playing for a bad team in games that presumably nobody (including the participants) really cared about. The problem for Bosh is that everyone cares deeply about the outcome of every Miami Heat game.
Bosh is finding this out the hard way in the Heat's conference semifinal round with the Boston Celtics.
On Saturday night in Game 3, in a fairly hostile road environment, Bosh started out jittery and finished as an afterthought, a mere subtitle in a 97-81 Celtics win. His horrific six-point, five-rebound effort cemented the mindset that if the Heat are going to get to the NBA Finals, it's going to be on the sweat of James and Wade and that's it -- in other words, they'll make it in spite of Chris Bosh, not because of him.
Even worse, the tissue paper-soft Bosh took every snarky, sarcastic stereotype put forth by talk show hosts and bloggers (like me) and validated them with this beauty of a post-game quote:
"Given all the elements that were out there last night ... they were so hyped," Bosh said. "My emotions got the best of me early on and it kind of dictated what I was doing for the rest of the game....I was not trusting my game," Bosh said. "The toughest thing to do in hostile environments is not just to trust your teammates but to trust yourself. Trust things you've been doing all your life."
Basically, Chris Bosh just admitted that he was nervous, and by nervous I mean scared, and by scared I mean that perhaps Raptors general manager Bryan Colaneglo was onto something last summer when he accused Bosh of faking his way out of the last several games of the 2009-2010 season when the Raptors were battling for a playoff spot:
Despite limited swelling and any excessive damage on an MRI, he felt like he needed to sit for six more games. I'm not even questioning Chris' injury. I'm telling you he was cleared to play subject to tolerance on his part, and the tolerance just apparently wasn't there and he chose not to play.
Not competing for an eight seed last season meant no playoff basketball for Bosh, and no playoff basketball meant he didn't have to face the evil, evil playoff boogeyman -- the very same playoff boogeyman who so frightened Bosh on Saturday in Boston that you half expected him to stand up at the press conference and reveal a pee puddle on the front of his slacks.
And why so scared, Bosh? The stress of getting paid $100 million over the next six years to be a third wheel getting to be too much for you?
In a postseason where highly, highly paid big men continue to underwhelm (Carlos Boozer, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, to name the most prominent ones not named "Bosh"), Bosh is revealing that he is who we thought he was -- an overrated member of the Lucky Sperm Club whose greatest skill appears to be his uncanny ability to befriend two of the top five players in the league.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from noon to 3 p.m. weekdays and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.