The circle of life had Chris Bosh circling back Saturday to New York, in a playoff whirlwind that also has provided perspective amid a challenging season for the Miami Heat power forward.
After leaving the team Friday morning for Miami, where he spent the day with his newborn son and wife, Bosh left Miami on Saturday morning in time to participate in the Heat’s afternoon practice at Madison Square Garden.
For Bosh, it has now been five flights between the two cities since Wednesday evening, with one more to come after Sunday’s 3:30 p.m. Game 4 of this best-of-seven, opening-round NBA playoff series against the Knicks, which the Heat leads 3-0.
Bosh previously missed three games during the regular season following the death of his grandmother.
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“The difficulty with my grandma passing right after the All-Star break,” he said, “and then it’s funny how things just work, the circle of life. Death brings life and I was able to bring our son into it.”
Unlike in March, when the Heat were on the West Coast amid his grieving, this itinerary this time merely involved traversing the Eastern seaboard.
“I wish I didn’t have to fly so far, but it’s all good,” he said. “Everybody is good. My family is healthy, so I did my job. Now I can do my other job.”
The two-day break between games helped.
“I’m lucky with the schedule,” he said, “but I’m lucky to have such a great organization behind me. At no time were they stressful. They were understanding and they encouraged me to do everything possible and they helped out.
“It’s a blessing what I have going on back home, so I appreciate it both ways. I’m glad to be in the playoffs, and I’m glad to have a son.”
Of all of his excursions, he said among the easiest was the quick turnaround from Wednesday evening’s arrival on the team flight to the quick turnaround of a private plane home for the 3 a.m. Thursday birth of his son, Jackson.
The most harrowing? That would be when he made it back roughly a half hour before the opening tip of Thursday’s Game 3, when he finished with nine points and 10 rebounds in 37 minutes in an 87-70 victory.
That trip in from New Jersey in some ways was a rush, but in other ways, not so much.
“It didn’t start off well,” he said of the traffic immediately outside the suburban private field. “So I was like, ‘All right, cool, maybe we just need to get through this right here.’ Then we got to the Turnpike and it slowed down again.”
Then came the Lincoln Tunnel — “Oh my gosh, it was terrible.”
As was the short remaining drive to the Garden.
“No, I wasn’t going to book it,” he said. “I wasn’t going to book it down the street. I thought about it, I’m not going to lie. I thought about it, because we were right there, and I’m like, ‘I know it’s 45 [minutes to tip-off] on the clock.’ “
He said he returned Saturday better for the latest round trip.
“It’s nice to be able to know that they’re healthy and that I can just concentrate on [Sunday],” he said. “They want me to do that. We have a huge opportunity.”
He said the team and his family eased the experience.
“On both sides, no one ever stressed me out, no one ever made it like that,” he said. “And that’s why everybody on both sides were so great.”
Amare is game-time
Knicks forward Amare Stoudemire, out since injuring his left hand following last Monday’s Game 2 loss in Miami, has been upgraded from “doubtful” to “game-time decision” for Game 4.
Coach Mike Woodson said Saturday he felt there was a good chance Stoudemire would play Sunday, but said the determination will be made by the team’s medical staff.
Regardless, Woodson said he would return Game 3 fill-in starter Steve Novak to his bench role as 3-point specialist.
The Knicks did not scrimmage Saturday, with Stoudemire bypassing media interviews.
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