The matchup was set a little more than a week ago. Jokes circulated throughout the blogosphere and the Twitter-verse about the battle between “2 1/2 Men” and “Derrick Rose’s Chicago Bulls.”
Be it a television show, off-Broadway play or film, you could just envision the poster.
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose received all of the hype and press. The Heat were set up as the villain in this battle against the league’s MVP. In fact, I lost count of the number of times that I heard the words “everyone who doesn’t live in Miami is cheering for the Bulls” uttered this week.
I don’t quite understand it. The same public that cheers for the bad guy at the movies, the “heel” in professional wrestling and the shirtless dude on “Cops” is actively rooting against the Heat.
And sure, James took center stage in Game 2, but the leader of the Heat’s high-profile trio has been the oft-dismissed Chris Bosh. Bosh was quiet at times during the regular season and his abilities, even his very manhood, have been questioned in the press.
Right now, Bosh is standing tall in the Eastern Conference Finals. He scored 34 points in Game 1 on 13-of-18 shooting (8-for-10 free throws) in the Heat’s crushing loss. Bosh scored 10 points with eight rebounds in the team’s Game 2 win in Chicago, and then rolled up a huge effort in the Game 3 win at home. He scored 30 points on 12-for-18 shooting with nine rebounds to give the Heat a 2-1 series lead.
At times, Game 3 evolved into a game of 1-on-1 between Bosh and Carlos Boozer. Remember, both were high-priced additions this off-season, and they’ll be inextricably linked forever. And, though Boozer posted a tremendous Game 3 stat line, Bosh was the more consistent and all-around better player in that contest.
James and Wade will continue to get their headlines. Others will focus on the lack of defensive cohesion and rotations by the Bulls and the lack of help for Derrick Rose. There’s enough ink to go around.
Just don’t forget to shoot some praise for Bosh’s play in this series … even if you limit it to 140 characters.