About a week ago, when Carlos Boozer was asked about Miami's 'Big Three,' he responded by saying the Heat only had "two great players." The comment was an obvious nod to Chris Bosh, the Heat forward. I think he may have heard.
Bosh, who had 34 points and five boards last night, is single-handedly putting the squad on his back. After Miami took game three from the Bulls, when asked about his comments, Boozer responded timidly.
"I always have respect," Boozer said, after being asked about Bosh's game. "I never didn't have it."
Debatable, I'd say. But if he didn't, I bet he does now:
After missing his first three shots of the game, Bosh simply went off. He made 13 of his final 15 shots, and was doing his scoring from all over. In games one and two, Bosh had 3.0 ppg from outside 10 feet. In game three, he scored 15.
Even more impressive was that his field goal percentage was 63% from 10 feet out or further. Against the top field goal percentage defense in the league, that's not an easy feat.
Even in Miami's game-one loss, Bosh still scored 30 points and was the only reason they lost by 19 and not 35. In the shadow of names like Wade, James and Rose, Bosh is now the leading scorer in the East Finals and only being outperformed by Dirk Nowitzki.
What should be even more concerning for the Bulls is what LeBron did in game 3.
On his way to a quiet double-double with 22 points and 10 assists, Lebron did something that hasn't been done since 1995.
Since turnovers became an official statistic in 1977, LeBron is only the third player to have more than 20 points and 10 assists without turning the ball over in the playoffs. The last man to do it was Avery Johnson in 1995. The other came in 1987. His name? Larry Bird.
That kind of performance, to go with how he finished in game 2, is what people have always expected of LeBron. As much as I hate some of the things he's done, and as much as I don't want to see the Heat win, I think they're going to.
In fact, the truth is, we could be witnesses (finally), for what LeBron is really turning into. If he can keep these performances up, the Bulls (and the Mavs, who look pretty much unflappable and on their way to the finals), are in big trouble.
As if things weren't bad enough for the Bulls and my favorite player in the NBA right now (Derek Rose), there is this: the winner of game three in the Eastern Conference Finals has won the series for five consecutive years.
Stat of the day: LeBron James handled the ball more often in Game 3, but elected to create for others more than himself. In the first two games of the series, James had a touch on 67.5 percent of the possessions he was on the court and shot on 32.1 percent of them. James picked up 11 assists in those games that led to 24 Heat points. In Game 3, James had a touch on 75.3 percent of the possessions he was on court and shot on 20.3 percent of them. James' 10 assists Sunday led to 21 Heat points.