The 2010-2011 NBA season has been fantastic, but the fun hasn’t really even begun. For the Miami Heat, they’ve endured the jeering, the vitriol in opposing stadiums and newspaper columns, and they’ve taken every team’s best punch night after night. There were bumps along the way, but the Heat are positioned quite nicely heading into the playoffs. Now the real fun begins. Time to see if the Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh can carry the Heat on to what would be the first championship of LeBron and Bosh’s career. The Heat begin their best of seven s first-round series with Philadelphia on Saturday evening.
Bosh joined WQAM in Miami to talk about how he would assess his first season with the Heat, the incident earlier this season where he came across as ‘pissed’ that he wasn’t getting more touches in the post, how he got his cues to be more aggressive more from Erik Spoelstra and the Heat coaching staff not Pat Riley, how intense and focused Spoelstra has been throughout the season, the Heat’s first round opponent, the Philadelphia 76ers, how it’s somewhat disappointing the Heat won’t get to square off against the rival Knicks, and how he thinks Boston poses a bigger challenge than Chicago because of all their experience.
How he would rate his first season with the Heat:
“I rate it okay, good for a first season. There were so many new things I had to get used to; I had to adapt to a new role. And I’m not going to lie to you, it wasn’t easy, especially in the beginning because I didn’t know what I was supposed to do out there.”
On seemingly being pissed about how few touches he was getting at one point earlier in the season:
“I wouldn’t say pissed. I was pissed because we were losing, but I felt like I could do more. When things like that happen, I don’t point fingers at anybody but myself. I just wanted to light a fire beneath myself and be like ‘okay, I need the ball in the post more because I think I’m a little passive right now, and I can really help this team in the post. At the end of the day I’m a big man.’ So I let people know that. I wasn’t pointing fingers at anybody, I just wanted to put everything on me, put some good pressure on me to make sure I actually get down there and produce.”
If he got specific instructions from Pat Riley to be more physical and take his game to the post more often:
“Well Coach Riley gives us respect. He watches from afar, he lets the whole system happen. I think he has confidence in everybody in the organization to do their job. Just through watching film and listening to the coaches. They told me what they would like me to do, where I need to be, and after awhile you just get some things. You try something out and you’re like ‘man this really worked, let me do this some more.’ And it just fills out for you.”
Even though he won’t say it explicitly, does he agree that the Heat are going to kill the 76ers in the first round of the playoffs:
“Well we have to have that killer instinct. We have to think that in our minds before we even step on the court or we might as well not step on that court at all.”
On how he would honestly rate the performance of head coach Erik Spoelstra:
“He’s done pretty good. I give him credit, because most guys would be very accommodating coming in. He’s got his mind set on what he wants the team to be, what we’re going to do, and what we need to do. When it’s time to point out a mistake, he points it out no matter who it is. And I give him credit for that because it can be intimidating coaching certain guys. If you have this team that’s under this huge microscope, you can change a little bit. But I think he’s a mentally strong guy and he’s stuck to his will. He just keeps going, he doesn’t worry about anything outside basketball. He’s just focused on making this team the best it can be.”
On how disappointed he was that the Heat didn’t draw the Knicks in the first round, or if he’s just concerned with winning a championship, not who they beat on the way there:
“Of course, I just want to win a championship. But I do know one thing: if we had been playing New York, I know it would have been a show, it would have been a circus. I already saw the commercials that they were going to show with Alonzo and Larry throwing punches at air, you know what I mean? They go a long way back to the mid-90s, and I know we have just come from Jersey and I know a lot of the Knicks fans there are excited. So it’s unfortunate that it didn’t happen, but Philly’s our opponent so we’re getting ready for them.”
Which team does he ultimately thinks poses a toughest test for the Heat — Boston or Chicago:
“I’m going to go with the Celtics right now because of their experience and where they’ve been. The Bulls, they’re very talented obviously. They earned, and rightfully so, the No. 1 spot in the East. But you know, the Celtics you really never know with them. Last year everybody wrote them off, they were the No. 4 seed and they came within a few minutes of winning an NBA title. So they have guys that have been there many, many times before and they bring a lot of experience.”