Updated: Mar 19, 2012, 10:57 AM

1. Chris Bosh Thrives With A Good Berating

By Brian Windhorst
ESPN.com

MIAMI -- The advice was both bizarre and not well received.

"It kind of pissed me off a little bit," Chris Bosh said.

Seeing Bosh mired in a malaise as well as a slump recently someone -- Bosh won't say who exactly, just "someone who has his best interests" -- told him he wasn't playing well because he wasn't talking to himself enough during games.

Among Bosh's particular set of characteristics -- including a propensity to scream indeterminately and to wear loud-colored socks -- is that he often talks to himself during games. Usually quite rudely. And during a this recent downturn, he was averaging just 13 points and five rebounds over his previous five games before Sunday, he apparently had let that aspect of his game lapse as well.

Chris Bosh
Issac Baldizon/Getty Images

"It was constructive criticism," Bosh said.

Of all the cosmic factors that spin games during an NBA season, who's to say this isn't genius? Whatever, Bosh came out of his lull in the Miami Heat's 91-81 victory over the Orlando Magic. Bosh had 23 points and seven rebounds as the Heat reversed the result of five days earlier, when the Magic's frontcourt dominated them in a Magic win in Orlando.

"People keep telling me when I'm involved we're a tough team to beat; I want to involve myself," Bosh said. "So I had conversations in a non-crazy type way."

What was going on in Bosh's head aside, the Heat did make it a primary part of their game plan to get him going. Frankly, Bosh is often a forgotten option in the Heat's offense with so many touches required for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

Sometimes this leads Bosh to be disengaged and has consequences on other aspects of the game. This is commonplace in the sport, it could be called Third Wheel Syndrome. At times Bosh has openly complained -- the squeaky third wheel -- and other times he's just shut down. He was in a bit of a shutdown before this game.

The Heat ran five of their first seven plays through Bosh and he had two baskets, two assists and drew a foul. He ended up making his first six shots, putting the Heat ahead and re-animating Bosh's self-conversations.

"[He'll] be cussing himself out and talking to himself all kind of ways," Wade said. "It's very disrespectful, I think.''

Wade, who had 14 of his 31 points in the fourth to cap off the victory, joined James in still taking more shots that their All-Star power forward. That's not going to change, though Bosh has the unspoken satisfaction that he gets paid the same salary as James and slightly more than Wade.

But the Heat, who have been struggling lately to find their dominant rhythm, are usually better when Bosh is so active. After two 20-point, 20-rebound games against Miami this season, Dwight Howard was slowed to a more manageable 18 points and 11 rebounds Sunday. Magic power forwards Ryan Anderson and Glen Davis had minimal impact on the game. Bosh had generally outplayed them all.

"It is a symbiotic relationship," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra explained. "We have to be more aggressive looking for opportunities and ways to get him touches and he has to be his own active participant."


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