HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Five straight losses has a way of shining a light on a team’s warts that no man-made device can.
Losing repeatedly also has a way of encouraging angry or frustrated players to speak their minds, for better or worse, in ways that they never would when things are going well.
So we weren’t surprised at all to read the comments from Heat forward Chris Bosh after his team dropped its fifth straight Tuesday night to the Portland Trail Blazers.
If you haven’t heard, Bosh is a little upset with his role in Miami … we know, the nerve of this guy, complaining about being the third option after LeBron James and Dwyane Wade after signing up last summer to be exactly that. In short, Bosh wants to play like he did in Toronto, when he was the No. 1 option on largely mediocre teams and piled up impressive statistics working his way inside and out as he saw fit.
The only problem is, two other guys get their food first every night — and that’s not going to change anytime soon. And it’s showing, particularly on those nights when Bosh’s counterpart on the opposing team is the No. 1 option (LaMarcus Aldridge roasted him last night, outscoring him 26-7.)
“I’ve got to get back in my comfort zone, I haven’t been in my comfort zone,” Bosh told Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. “A lot of things are new for me. I just have to be more aggressive in demanding my [the ball] comfort zone, you know I’ll take the fault for that… I’m effective down in the low post area, so that is where I need to start getting the ball. I need to be assertive in demanding it.”
That Bosh decided to pipe up after what was arguably his worst game of the season (he did have that 1-for-18 stinker a couple weeks ago) only serves to enhance the belief that the Heat still have not solved the chemistry issues that were credited for their uneven start to this season.
But if Bosh has any delusions about being something other than the third option on this team, the Heat have something much bigger than chemistry issues to worry about.
You’ve heard the jokes about the Heat’s Big 3 being the “Big 2.5″ or “Two and A Half Men,” or whatever the tasteless moniker they are being plagued with that day. But tasteless or not, the reality is the Heat have two superstars that get theirs no matter what. And then there’s Bosh, a star in his own right, but one that has yet to find a comfortable niche as their third.
Bosh is supposed to take all of this up with his teammates and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. Too bad he didn’t try that first. Because by whining (crying would be too strong a term in this matter) about this publicly before addressing the matter within the confines of the Heat locker room, Bosh is feeding the daily beast that is the Heat hate machine.
And as you may have witnessed — Lakers coach Phil Jackson is the latest to tweak the Heat’s cry-gate episode by telling the Los Angeles Times, “This is the NBA: No Boys Allowed. Big boys don’t cry. But if you’re going to do it, do it in the toilet where no one sees you.” — there is no extra fuel needed.
In the meantime, we prefer the remedy Chris Webber prescribed for the Heat during last night’s Fan Night broadcast on NBA TV: