MIAMI -- The last time Chris Bosh played against the San Antonio Spurs, he was offensively brilliant. It seems like a long time ago. During the Eastern Conference finals, Bosh found himself in a baffling slump, missing 26 of his last 34 shots and not even reaching the double-digit mark in scoring during any of his last four games -- the longest such drought for the All-Star big man since a five-game streak that began during the first week of his NBA career. All that, he hopes, will be forgotten now. A new series has arrived, and the stakes couldnt be higher when Bosh and the Miami Heat begin taking on the Spurs in the NBA Finals, with Game 1 set for Thursday night. "My confidence never goes anywhere," Bosh said. "It never wavers. Its always the same. I feel that Im always capable of playing well. This is a different circumstance. I take it as that, and I move on." Thats exactly what the Heat want to hear from their starting centre. For three years now, the Heat -- who have LeBron James and Dwyane Wade on the roster -- have routinely insisted that Bosh is Miamis most important player. And against a Spurs team that has a consummate big man in Tim Duncan, along with a combination of size and athleticism that can easily give any opponent fits, the Heat will surely need help from Bosh if theyre to successfully defend their title. "I like the way he left off last series," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Very comfortable. He looked comfortable. Even though he didnt necessarily convert a lot of his makes, it was more similar to his game. And hes proven it before that one series doesnt dictate necessarily what happens the next series, particularly when match-ups and styles of play are different." Bosh scored nine points in the Game 7 win over Indiana, his best total in the final four games of that series. He shot 1 for 6 in Game 4, 3 for 7 in Game 5, 1 for 8 in Game 6 and then 3 for 13 in the final game of the East title matchup. Thats 28 points, total, in four games. Hes scored at least that many on 106 single-game occasions in his career. A quick start in Game 1 of the finals is what Bosh is looking for now, if for no other reason than to forget what hes been dealing with of late. "We always want to be aggressive individually and as a team," Bosh said. "You know, I want to really get going early offensively in games, because it helps me, we play better, I think I play better. Just coming out being aggressive and just really looking for my spots that establishes me early. And I think it propels me for the rest of the game." The irony here is that while Bosh is in the worst offensive slump of his season -- and most significant one of his career, arguably -- is that when Miami visited San Antonio on March 31, he was an offensive fireplug. With James and Wade sitting out that night because of injuries, Bosh was the No. 1 option, all the way to the end. And the Heat pulled off an 88-86 victory when Bosh made a 3-pointer over Tim Duncan with about a second remaining, capping what was a 23-point night. Bosh had 23 points in his very next game as well. Hes gotten to the 20-point mark -- and it was exactly 20 -- only one time in his 19 appearances since. "I spent a lot of time with Chris in his house. Were neighbours," Wade said, beginning to tell a story of how he and Bosh spent the night before Game 7 of the Indiana series. "And I told him, I said, Chris, it didnt matter if you scored 30 points a game up until this point. If you get in Game 7 and score two points and we lose, youll feel just as bad or worse than you feel now. So its all about Game 7, man. Its all about this moment. Lets do whatever we can." Bosh made two big jumpers during a critical stretch of Game 7, as the Heat started pulling away toward what became a rout. The stat sheet says he didnt do much else, but the Heat would argue otherwise. "He was playing with a great motor ... and that energy was contagious for everybody," Spoelstra said. The beauty of being on the Heat is that no one has to carry the load alone, a lesson that Bosh was reminded of during -- and even after -- Game 7 of the East finals. During the on-court trophy presentation, players got T-shirts and caps to wear in commemoration of the East title. Bosh tugged his shirt on over his jersey, then plopped the cap onto his head while scooping up his two young children in either arm. So when the brim of the cap dipped over his eyes, he asked someone nearby to adjust it because he didnt want to put either of his kids down and free up a hand to do it himself. Same goes on the court. If Boshs shot is struggling, someone nearby will try to help him out. But if his shot is going -- like when he averaged 15.8 points during Miamis four wins over Oklahoma City in last years finals -- then the Heat will be tough to beat. "We have to play well as a team, play well inside our system," Bosh said. "And the team that plays the best series is going to win." Yannick Ngakoue Jersey . In the response filed Wednesday to the complaint by 30-year-old Alexander Bradley, attorneys say the former University of Florida player is invoking his Fifth Amendment right that protects people from incriminating themselves. Carson Tinker Jersey . The return match will take place next Wednesday. Udinese leads Fiorentina 2-1 in the other semifinal. Napoli staged a second-half comeback from two goals down after Gervinhos opener and a stunning strike from Kevin Strootman. http://www.thejaguarsfansshop.com/Jaguars-Jalen-Ramsey-Draft-Jersey/ . - The Washington Redskins have cut defensive lineman Adam Carriker and punter Sav Rocca. A. J. Cann Jersey . -- An ugly goal by Nick Bonino helped the Anaheim Ducks overcome the defensive-minded Phoenix Coyotes on a night when their ragged power play continued to struggle. Cody Kessler Jersey .875,000, avoiding arbitration. Clippards deal Monday means all eight Nationals players who filed for arbitration wound up settling before a hearing. A look at whats happening all around the majors Saturday:---ROCKIN WRIGLEYIts been 71 years since the Chicago Cubs reached the World Series. They can finally halt the drought with a victory at home against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series at 8 p.m. EDT. Anticipating a long-awaited pennant, excited fans at jam-packed Wrigley Field will certainly be on the edge of their seats.THE MARQUEE MATCHUPStanding in the way of a huge Cubs party is rested Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, perhaps the best pitcher in baseball. Shaking off his previous playoff struggles, the three-time Cy Young Award winner is 2-0 with a 3.72 ERA in three starts and one relief appearance this postseason. With the Dodgers down 3-2 in the best-of-seven NLCS, will he rescue them again or flop in October once more? Game 7 would be Sunday night, if necessary. Weve won two games in a row before, Los Angeles first baseman Adrian Gonzalez said. Nothing says we cant do it Saturday and Sunday. Kyle Hendricks, who led the majors with a 2.13 ERA this season, gets the ball for Chicago. Kershaw beat Hendricks 1-0 in Game 2 at Wrigley Field.ON THE MENDAll-Star starter Danny Salazar plans to throw a three-inning simulated game, and the AL champion Indians will assess his status before deciding whether to put him on their World Series roster. Salazar hasnt appeared in a major league game since Sept. 9 because of tightness in his right forearm. But hes thrown well in recent bullpen sessions and could be an option in the Fall Classic -- even if that means working in relief. I think hes ready to pitch, manager Terry Francoona said.ddddddddddddCleveland also hopes Trevor Bauer will be available after his Game 4 start in the ALCS lasted less than an inning when his stitched right pinkie opened up and he had to be replaced because of excessive bleeding. Bauer said his finger is healing and hes confident the added rest before the Series will allow him to pitch. Game 1 is Tuesday night in Cleveland.PUT ME IN, COACHWild Thing is stuck in the bullpen. While actor Charlie Sheen, who played Ricky Wild Thing Vaughn in the movie Major League, offered to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before one of this years World Series games, Major League Baseball said the choices were already made. A spokesman said MLB worked with the Indians to identify former franchise greats to do the honors in Cleveland. There had been a movement by fans on social media for Sheen to throw out a first pitch and be part of pregame festivities. Released in 1989, Major League is a fictional account of the Indians finishing in first place with an unconventional group of players, including Vaughn.TIGER TALKDetroits new batting instructor is a familiar face in Motown. The team hired former Mariners and Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon as hitting coach and Leon Durham as assistant hitting coach on Friday. McClendon returns for his second stint with the Tigers after serving as bullpen coach in 2006 and hitting coach from 2007-13. He managed the Tigers Triple-A affiliate in Toledo this season, guiding the team to a 68-76 record. 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