With Bosh closing Wednesday night's 113-106 overtime victory over the Milwaukee Bucks at AmericanAirlines Arena with 18 rebounds, the sense was that Bosh might yet emerge as the double-digit rebounder the Heat envisioned when he was signed in the 2010 offseason.
"If we can force more misses and if he can gobble those up, absolutely," coach Erik Spoelstra said in keeping with the Thanksgiving theme.
The 18 rebounds were Bosh's high in his three seasons with the Heat, four off his career high, set with the Toronto Raptors. Bosh averaged a career-high 10.8 rebounds in his final season with the Raptors, then averaged 8.5 and 7.8 in his first two seasons with the Heat. With Wednesday's 18, his average is up to 8.2 this season.
"He's capable," Spoelstra said. "But each game is different. We're not going to put it on him exclusively. We're a team-rebounding group, and we work on it constantly, getting our guards and perimeters to come back into the play, block out, dig out all the long rebounds.
"But anything in the region, right at the rim, we want our biggest playmakers making those plays in traffic, and Chris has been concentrating on that more. The ball has been finding him. He's been grabbing them with two hands."
While Bosh has downplayed his individual totals, LeBron James said efforts such as Wednesday's show the possibilities.
"We would love that. It would help us out," he said of Bosh routinely producing double-figure rebounds. "Every night, we go out and we want to rebound. Chris can help us out with that. He's done it before in his career, so I know he's capable."
Bosh said there was a simple satisfaction is setting his Heat rebounding high and securing the victory.
"I don't want to eat my turkey thinking about what we should have done," he said.
The good news for the Heat was guard Dwyane Wade was back in the lineup Wednesday after missing two games with a sprained left foot. But as has been the case since offseason arthroscopic knee surgery, if it's not one thing, it's another.
Against the Bucks, that meant aggravating the thumb injury he initially sustained two Sundays ago against the Memphis Grizzlies.
"When I stole that ball, it pulled my thumb back," he said of a fourth-quarter steal Wednesday that left his right thumb sore. "It's a little tender, but I don't want to put any tape on it. That's what you get; every now and then it's going to hurt. But at least I went the whole game without doing it. It was just as the end."
As for his foot, he was encouraged by being able to play 38 minutes.
"It felt all right; it could be better," he said. "So this is a good step in the right direction. I can feel better. It's hard when you've been in and out. I wanted to stay in there a little bit and get my legs under me and see."
A player who gladly avoids the spotlight, Udonis Haslem admitted some discomfort in the glare of breaking Alonzo Mourning's franchise career rebounding record, with the second of his eight rebounds Wednesday.
He was, in fact, the only member of the team not to glance to the scoreboard when a video tribute to his accomplishment was played at the end of the first quarter.
"I just didn't want to make a bigger deal about it," he said. "I wanted to stay focused on the game. Obviously, I have a job to do. I just wanted to keep my mind in the game. I'll get the DVD."
He joked, however, that it means there now will have to be such a ceremony at every game, quipping, "Every rebound from here on out is a new record."
With Wednesday's 28 points, James has now scored 20 or more in the first 12 games, his longest such streak to start a season. He had scored 20 or more in the Cavaliers' first 11 games in 2007, '08 and '09. He leads the league with his 12 20-point games . . .
The Heat's 5-0 start at AmericanAirlines Arena is the best start at home in the franchise's 25 seasons. The only other teams undefeated at home are the Utah Jazz and New York Knicks, both at 4-0 . . .
Rashard Lewis, who was held out of Wednesday's game, said he caught the bug that has been going around the locker room and previously had limited Wade and James. He said he could have played Wednesday and expects to be available for Saturday's game against the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers.
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