Add LeBron James to the growing list of folks with the Miami Heat who are anticipating an overdue breakout season from Chris Bosh, who has been the team's most impressive player so far in camp.
Bosh had 17 points and 10 rebounds in Sunday's Red and White team scrimmage, then followed that effort up with a team-high 21 points and five rebounds in Monday's preseason win against Atlanta. While Bosh has spent much of his first three seasons in Miami searching for comfort and consistency in the Heat's schemes, James suggested Tuesday it's time for Bosh to produce at a featured level.
Although Bosh shot a career-best 54 percent from the field last season, his scoring and rebounding declined each of the past two seasons since he averaged 18.7 points and 8.3 rebounds in 2010-11.
“Big-time,” James said after Tuesday's practice when asked if Bosh should be on the verge of a breakthrough. “Chris can average 20 (points) and 10 (rebounds) if he puts his mind to it. He's capable of doing it. He shoots the ball so well. He's always a matchup problem.”
Eric Griffin knows he's a longshot to make the Heat's regular-season roster, but he's certainly doing his part to make the coaching staff have to make some difficult decisions. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra mentioned Griffin, an athletic 6-8 forward, as the young prospect who has stood out most in camp.
Griffin went undrafted out of Campbell University and spent last season playing in Italy. He has been one of the best low-post finishers in camp and had 11 points and nine rebounds in Sunday's scrimmage.
“He was on display each and every workout,” Spoelstra said of Griffin, who also played on the Heat's summer league team. “It was an extremely athletic camp, and in a camp like that, when you're actually able to stand out from that regard, that will make you noticeable.”
The Heat have 13 players on guaranteed contracts, with two spots potentially available to reach the league maximum of 15 players on the roster for the regular season. Former No. 2 pick Michael Beasley and veteran guard Roger Mason Jr. are likely the favorites in camp right now to get those two spots.
But Griffin remains focused on the task at hand and not a roster numbers game.
“I just have to keep going out there and grinding,” Griffin said. “I'm fighting each and every day. I'm not just really playing for the Heat. I'm showcasing my talents for every other team. I'm not guaranteed, so Chicago might like me, San Antonio might try to call me in for a 10-day contract. So you just play until they make a decision or that call comes.”
Beasley (bruised calf), Chris “Birdman” Andersen (foot), Udonis Haslem (knee) and Greg Oden (knee) remained limited in practice Tuesday after they all sat out of Monday's preseason win against Atlanta. Dwyane Wade (leg soreness) practiced and went through an extra workout after sitting out Monday.
Did you know?
A Miami graffiti artist took liberties with a gigantic billboard across the street from AmericanAirlines Arena that featured LeBron James promoting the NBA 2K14 video game. The words 'Nobody can stop me' were spray-painted next to James' oversized image on the billboard … Also, the Heat announced Tuesday that they have picked up the fourth-year option on Norris Cole's contract. The move guarantees the backup point guard's salary of nearly $2 million for the 2014-15 season and means he will bypass free agency next summer.
Quote of the day
“He's dunked more already in a week and a half than he did all of last year. So he's like the Kansas City Chiefs right now. He's got more wins than he had all of last year.”
- LeBron James on Rashard Lewis showing improved health in camp this season.