Bosh shoots Boston out of playoffs with big Game 7


Bosh shoots Boston out of playoffs with big Game 7

MIAMI LeBron James may have been the best player in the Eastern Conference finals, but the biggest reason for their 101-88 Game 7 clinching win over the Boston Celtics?

Chris Bosh!

His 19 points off the bench, maybe more than anything else done by the Heat, was what catapulted them into the NBA Finals for the second straight season.

"Game ball automatically goes to him," said LeBron James. "Without his production tonight, we don't win."

Among his 19 points was not one, not two, but three, 3-pointers.

Boston led most of the first quarter, but Bosh tied the game at 30 with a 3-pointer. With the score tied at 73 going into the fourth, Bosh hit a 3-pointer that put the Heat ahead, 76-75, less than a minute into the quarter. His last 3-pointer came at the 7:17 mark, and it was indeed the biggest one of the night.

It gave Miami an 86-82 lead, the first time either team led by more than one possession in the quarter. From there, the Heat continued to pull away for the win that advances them to the NBA Finals where they'll face the Oklahoma City Thunder.

To put Bosh's 3-ball of a game in perspective, consider this:

He only made 10 3's throughout the entire season, in 35 attempts.

James said he recognized how Kevin Garnett would slide over towards the paint to try and limit his driving ability to the lane.

"So when I seen that happen," James said, "I just kicked it to him, and he just lined it up and made it."

Celtics coach Doc Rivers said there was a reason behind Bosh getting so many good looks on those corner 3's.

"We needed Bosh's guy to help slow down LeBron, if you want to simplify it," Rivers said.

Despite his lack of 3's during the regular season, Bosh says it has been a shot that's been in his repertoire all season.

"I've been practicing those things all year," he said. "We kind of knew in big-game situations that they were going to be open, and I would be able to shoot it without hesitation."

And shoot it he did.

And with it, he shot the Celtics out of the playoffs for the second straight season.

"Listen, if that's what's going to beat you, if you had told me that before the game - not taking anything away from Bosh, he can shoot - but when their five (center) is beating you with the 3-point shot honestly, I think we would take it," Rivers said. "He was the X-factor. He gave them exactly what they needed."

Celtics to begin season with Marcus Smart on the shelf

Celtics to begin season with Marcus Smart on the shelf

WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Boston Celtics will be a bit shorthanded for the first few games of the season with Marcus Smart being out with a left ankle sprain injury.
The Celtics were holding out slim hope that it would heal in time for tomorrow’s game against the Brooklyn Nets.
Smart confirmed a report shortly after the injury on October 19 that it would likely be at least a couple weeks before he returned to action.
Following Tuesday’s practice, one in which Smart watched from the sidelines, he gave an update on his ankle injury which occurred in the Celtics’ last preseason game, a 121-96 loss to the New York Knicks.
“A couple weeks, that’s the projection (of a return) they gave me,” Smart said. “They want to make sure we can limit this from happening again.”
Smart said the two-week timetable began from the time of his injury, which means it’s likely that he will miss the Celtics’ first four games of the season.
That’s a much rosier timetable than the left ankle sprain injury Smart suffered as a rookie which kept him sidelined for several weeks afterwards.
“It shouldn’t be too long,” Smart said. “Better safe than sorry.”
His absence will certainly have an impact on a Celtics defense that ranked among the NBA’s best a year ago, and has only gotten stronger with the addition of Al Horford.
But the Celtics have been a "next man up" team for since Stevens has been the head coach. With Smart out, that’s not going to change.
“That’ll be a great opportunity for someone else to step up in his place,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.
Boston guard Isaiah Thomas echoed similar thoughts.
“When somebody’s hurt, the next man has to step up,” Thomas said. “Guys have to take advantage of these opportunities.”
And for Smart, it’ll mean displaying his leadership skills from the sideline.
He’s totally comfortable taking on that role right now.
For his teammates, it might take a little bit of getting used to. Smart has been very loquacious on the Celtics sideline since suffering the injury.
“These last four days, he has been yelling … I told him to shut up a few times,” quipped Isaiah Thomas. “That’s just him, especially when he’s not playing. He’s very vocal.”
Terry Rozier, the likely benefactor in terms of minutes played due to Smart’s injury, agreed.
“He’s been sitting right there in that seat,” said Rozier, adding, “and he hasn’t shut up yet. It’s good; you’re going to need a guy like that who is going to talk to you. It’s like a guy, he says things … it’s like he’s been in the league 10 years. He knows his stuff.”
Smart’s knowledge bank includes understanding that his current injury will probably happen again at some point. The key isn’t dealing with the injury, but how you move forward from it.
“This isn’t my first ankle sprain and I know it won’t be my last,” Smart said. “I just have to let it heal on its own and let your body do what it does.”