3 votes – Chris Bosh. So I guess this is why they call it the Big 3, huh? Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy ragging on Chris Bosh as much as anyone. It has brought me much amusement all season. He has suffered what I like to call “Odom Syndrome” – an unquestionably talented player being constantly questioned due to the circumstances he finds himself in (I’ll explain it fully another time). He can rarely please his doubters because he will always be in the shadow of the super-duper stars he plays with, who lets face it, are much better at basketball than he is. So say whatever you want about Chris Bosh and his career to date… “overrated”… “soft”… “quitter”… whatever you want. Just make sure you append this bit: Game 3 of this Chicago v Miami series was the single best game Chris Bosh has played his entire career. And if you think that’s because of the ‘surprise’ factor, or because Lebron and Wade both struggled (they didn’t really), you’re wrong.

This has nothing to do with Lebron and Wade. Chris Bosh dominated this basketball game from start to finish, and dominated one of the best defensive front lines (if not the best) in the NBA. What really impressed me wasn’t just his ridiculous high-percentage scoring on this day, but the way he want about it and the look on his face. He was aggressive. He never let up, never waited for Lebron or Wade to bail him out. He wanted to make a statement and wanted to keep taking it to his opponents. He played with balls. And that is everything Heat fans can possible ask of Bosh (plus a healthy Udonis Haslem which makes Bosh’s life so much easier). A statement game from Chris Bosh that probably killed the Bulls’ post-season. Bet no one would have predicted that a few weeks back.

2 votes – Lebron James. Just a fantastic all-round game from Lebron at both ends of the floor. The stats don’t really do justice to the impact he had on this game. I think I’m enjoying watching Lebron more now that he doesn’t have to dominate the offense and the ball for such a high percentage of plays. It allows you to appreciate Lebron on another level. His off-the-ball movement, his defense (which is becoming seriously good), his spacing, his communication, his boxing-out… maybe it’s the same Lebron but I get the feeling I’m watching a different player. A more cerebral, less violently athletic specimen. I still hate the Miami Heat and I will be rooting for Dallas in the Finals. But if the Heat do win it all this season, part of me will be much happier that Lebron got his ring doing it this way. And I have no idea if that will make any sense to you.

1 vote – Carlos Boozer. Could have given this to D-Wade, but Booze deserves a vote for turning in one of this best performances these playoffs. This was the type of Carlos Boozer I was reminiscing about here. A 26-rebound, 17-rebound dominant display. The kind of display you could count on even when the Jazz lost. This game should have been a confidence-booster for him, except for the fact that his counterpart (Bosh) exploded for 34 points and made a mockery of Boozer making a mockery of him. Derrick Rose couldn’t close the game like he’s done so many times this season, and just as we saw with Deron Williams in Utah, if Boozer doesn’t have that closer he’s rarely going to win you a basketball game himself.


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