James and Bosh feel Heat have plenty of room to improve

Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:38pm EST
 
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By Simon Evans

MIAMI (Reuters) - LeBron James and Chris Bosh feel the defending champion Miami Heat have work to do if they are to reach peak form in time for the National Basketball Association (NBA) playoffs, but both embrace the challenge.

The Heat (16-6) trail only the New York Knicks (19-6) in the Eastern Conference just past the quarter-mark of the NBA's regular season but Bosh is well aware his team is not playing at the same level compared to this point last season.

"No, not right now. We have to pick it up a little bit to catch ourselves from last year," Bosh, Miami's third-leading scorer and top shot-blocker, told Reuters.

"It's a new year, we just have to slowly build and get back to that place. As long as we continue to win games now and then we are primed and ready come playoff time, I'll be happy."

Of Miami's six losses in the 2012-13 season, two have come at the hands of a Knicks team that made some key offseason moves with the hopes of denying the Heat a trip to the NBA Finals.

For Miami, a key issue that needs attention is defense, particularly rebounding. The component of the game was in clear evidence during Tuesday's win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, where the Heat were outrebounded 52-24.

"There are some improvements, 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," said Bosh.

The 6-foot 10-inch Bosh, who switched from power-forward to center this season, says having areas to improve on keeps the team from getting complacent throughout the NBA's long, 82-game regular season.   Continued...

 
Miami Heat's LeBron James dunks against the Washington Wizards in the first half of their NBA basketball game in Miami, Florida December 15, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity