After dropping a game to the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night, the Miami Heat have lost three straight, in no small part due to a sprained ankle for LeBron James that kept him out of action. James' fellow member of the Big 3, Heat forward Chris Bosh, also went down with an ankle injury during the third quarter of Saturday night's game against the Bulls.
With Chicago leading 73-68 with less than a minute to play in the third quarter, a loose ball scramble led Bosh to lean down towards the ground to secure possession. Bulls big man Omer Asik, who had been in a pile up in the paint, also made a play on the loose ball, diving over a second late and crashing into Bosh's left leg, sending the ball out of bounds. Bosh grimaced and rolled around on the court, holding his left ankle as Heat forward Mike Miller attended to him. After about five seconds, Bosh was able to get up and walk it off, yelping in some pain. Bosh sat out the fourth quarter after the injury.
Here's a look at the play, courtesy of YouTube user OutsideTheNBA.
The Sun-Sentinel called the ankle injury a "significant concern" due to Miami's thin frontcourt, but ESPN.com reports that X-rays taken at the United Center were negative. Also negative was Bosh's take on Asik's play, according to ESPN.com.
"C'mon, that is how guys get hurt, that is how serious injuries happen. You've got to watch people's legs. I know guys want to hustle and everything but we all want to play and provide for our families and have a job.We all want to be healthy and that is very important If it is by somebody's leg, don't dive for the ball, it's too close."Does Bosh have a point here? No.
Asik made a fair, if a bit awkward, play on a loose ball. Had Bosh laid out completely and dove for the ball, his leg wouldn't have been in harm's way. No one wants to see a big body come crashing down on an exposed knee/ankle like that -- it's an athlete's and fan's worst nightmare -- but, given the circumstances, it didn't warrant a lecture from Bosh. Asik did nothing for which he should apologize.
We should probably chalk up Bosh's statements to post-traumatic delusion, as he apparently is suggesting that his opponents, who are being compensated handsomely and are expected by millions of viewers to win at all costs, calibrate their effort level based on their proximity to other players and the potential for injury. That's not just unrealistic, that's against the best interest of the game. It doesn't make sense in theory and it would be impossible to put into practice.
The good news for James, Bosh and the Heat is that there is no better time for guys to be getting injured, as Miami plays just two games in the next 10 days.