The 6'11" Bosh benefited from Haslem's presence offensively in Game 3, as they lined up on either side of the foul line to run pick-and-rolls out of Miami's "horn stack" series. Bosh was left open for several easy jumpers in part because Haslem's midrange shooting demanded respect, and by the time the Bulls' defense had refocused on Bosh it was too late: He was well into a 13-for-15 streak and finished with 34 points, backing up a 30-point performance in Game 1. This was a huge breakthrough for Bosh, who before this season had never won a playoff series and has been accused of not belonging in the same breathless sentence with James and Wade. "I really didn't know how I was going to be able to be effective," says Bosh of adapting to his new role as the third option in Miami. "Ego is a part of that. I didn't know I had that big of an ego. But it's all for the better sake of winning—that's what I keep telling myself."
The Heat was on the right track already, but Haslem's return has hastened the players' togetherness because he makes winning contributions without demanding the ball. "It's taken a while for guys to feel comfortable and confident in their role, while at the same time being able to read a game," says Spoelstra. "The next game somebody else might be called upon to be aggressive, based on how it's going."
Haslem and his teammates have dedicated this season to the memory of his mother. He views his series-altering return as a blend of painfully hard work and "some blessings going on." That's why if Miami wins, he'll celebrate this championship more deeply than he did in 2006. "Last time we won, I had champagne in my eye—that's why I teared up," he says. "This time I'm going to actually cry."
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