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Sunday, June 9, 2013
Chris Bosh: Heat must 'play with fear'

By Brian Windhorst
ESPN.com

MIAMI -- Chris Bosh acknowledged that the Miami Heat will have to play with "fear" when they host the San Antonio Spurs in Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

"It's always good to have a healthy dose of fear going into a situation like this," Bosh said following the Heat's shootaround on Sunday. "That is a big part of success, you're going to have to play with that fear. It makes you think quicker, it makes you do a little more. We're going to have to play with that nice mix. It's going to motivate us to play a lot better."

It has been well-documented that the Heat have fallen behind 1-0 in a playoff series -- as they are currently against the Spurs -- four times over the last three postseasons and have come back to win the series each time.

But this time, they recognize the situation is different. The Heat are facing the prospect of going on the road for three games after Sunday's Game 2 in Miami. Last year when they fell down to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Finals or two years ago when they went down 1-0 to the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals, they knew they had home games to fall back on.

Because of that, Heat players are saying they are approaching Game 2 with a certain amount of fear. But Bosh pointed out that playing with fear is different than playing scared. He believes fear can be a driving factor in the spot the Heat currently find themselves.

"This is a unique situation, it doesn't come very often," he said. "Everyone in the NBA doesn't always get that that feeling, your backs aren't against the wall a lot. We're going to embrace it, and I think it will motivate us to play better."

For years, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has talked about his philosophy of "appropriate fear," an ideology aimed at preventing players from getting too cocky or arrogant in any situation. And while Popovich will attempt to instill some appropriate fear into his team, the Heat might be feeling something a little more genuine.

Dwyane Wade echoed what Bosh said following the Spurs' 92-88 victory in Game 1. He branded Game 2 with a "must-win" tag, the sort of absolute statement that teams usually try to avoid early in a playoff series. But the veteran Wade, who won both of his titles with the Heat with the help of three straight home games in the middle of the series, knows the challenge of playing in San Antonio next week.

"It's very urgent," Wade said. "Obviously you don't want to go down 0-2 going to San Antonio for three straight games. Odds are not that good. They are not in our favor. We're not a team that really says too much, 'this is a must-win game.' But this is a must-win game."