Chris Bosh the Unlikely Hero in Game 3

Absolutely no one expected Chris Bosh to nail the kill shot in any of these NBA Finals games, least of all the Dallas Mavericks. Which, I suppose, is precisely the point. From Fox Sports: “It would be easy to expect his throat — or another part of his anatomy — to be similarly constricted when the ball came his way along the left baseline with the shot clock winding down, the score tied and a game and a series hanging in the balance. But Bosh, whose slender shoulders have not always carried the burden of playing for the Heat, calmly stepped into a 16-foot jumper, his left hand following through, and watched it swish through the net with 39.6 seconds left. When the Heat survived two final possessions, one a Dirk Nowitzki turnover and the other his missed shot at the buzzer, they had escaped with an 88-86 victory Sunday night and a 2-1 lead in the NBA Finals. That Bosh’s basket, the game-winner, came in the midst of a woeful shooting series, after the pain of being poked in the eye, and in a return to his hometown appeared to leave Bosh not with enjoyment as much as relief. As he dressed slowly at his locker, Bosh took time to put eye drops into his right eye that was still swollen and partially shut after being poked early in the game by Jason Kidd. ‘I’m stuck in a place where I don’t feel too good, I don’t feel too bad,’ Bosh said. ‘After every game, I just look at the game and think about how I can do better and how this team can do better. All in all, it’s been OK. Being back home and everything is cool, but we’re here to win a championship. That’s what it’s all about. It’s good and all, but I’m not going to read too much into it.’ There was plenty to read into the way the game’s final basket unfolded. The Heat tried to run a high pick-and-roll with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. When Wade was double teamed, he passed the ball to James near the free-throw line. Dallas center Tyson Chandler raced out to confront James, leaving Nowitzki to defend two players — Bosh and Udonis Haslem — on the baseline. Haslem set a solid screen, Bosh dropped behind it and waited for the pass from James. ‘It’s all about trusting your teammates,’ said [LeBron] James, who had nine assists to go with his 17 points. ‘I had Tyson Chandler closing on me. I saw C.B. wide open. I don’t care if he missed 15 in a row — he was wide open and that was his sweet spot.’ Bosh has often been the Heat’s whipping boy, too thoughtful and too sensitive to ride along with a team that has drawn so much derision — much of it self-inflicted. When Erik Spoelstra said after a tough loss earlier this season that some of his players were crying, Bosh was the one many suspected. And so it was that even after Sunday’s performance, Bosh was skewered on Twitter for dabbing at tears during a post-game interview on ABC. Never mind that it had anything to do with his eye.”