James and Bosh: Heat needs improvement to retain NBA championship title
The Miami Heat are 16-6, trailing the current Eastern Conference leaders New York Knicks (19-6) not even half-way through the regular season yet. But the constantly self-challenging LeBron James and Chris Bosh are already comparing the Miami Heat’s progress to their standing at this point last season. So far, they believe the Miami Heat hasn’t hit the mark yet if they intend to replicate last season’s success.
"No, not right now. We have to pick it up a little bit to catch ourselves from last year. It's a new year, we just have to slowly build and get back to that place,” said Chris Bosh. “As long as we continue to win games now and then we are primed and ready come playoff time, I'll be happy."
Two of the six losses for the Miami Heat this season have come at the hands of the New York Knicks, who picked a few lessons from last season’s playoffs run and made according moves in the offseason in hopes of holding back the Heat form a back-to-back NBA Finals trip. What has been fundamental in the New York Knicks’ wins is their manipulation of the Miami Heat defense, and their domination on the boards. The Miami Heat have seem to have detected the rising smoke and are on their way to improvement in the area of rebounds as was evident during Tuesday’s win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Miami Heat outrebounded the Minnesota Timberwolves by 52-24.
"There are some improvements,” said Chris Bosh, “we do have to get better at a lot of things - defense, defensive rebounding, three point field goal percentage, we have to do a better job.”
Chris Bosh, who’s the Miami Heat’s leading shot blocker and ranks No.3 in scoring had do undergo his own series of improvements after being moved to center from his from his former power-forward role at the beginning of this season. However, Chris Bosh invites the changes as it keeps the Miami Heat on their toes and constantly improving for the full 82-game regular season, after clinching the NBA championship in the lockout-shortened season.
"I'm glad that we have things to work on because, especially coming off a championship win, you don't want to be 'oh, we are a perfect team, it's perfect everything is great,'" Chris Bosh stated. “You want to have something to work on, you don't ever want to get comfortable, you want to feel like someone is chasing you."
LeBron James has also picked on the constantly “improving and evolving” mantra in hopes of bringing another NBA championship home after catching the playoffs bug last season.
"Everything, defensively continue to grind, continue to communicate, continue to rebound, offensively don't turn the ball over, be efficient looking for shots," said LeBron James. "Right now we are getting better, we are going to use each and every game, we aren't going to cut any corners to get better, right now.”
"We are not where we want to be in April for sure, but that's OK,” added LeBron James. “We don't want to be peaking now, the thing for us is we don't want to be taking steps back.”