Chris Bosh

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.” …

James, who has been pushing himself physically this season by adding extra workouts and cycling to games and shootouts, agrees the Heat have lots of room for improvement.

“Everything, defensively continue to grind, continue to communicate, continue to rebound, offensively don’t turn the ball over, be efficient looking for shots,” he said.

“Right now we are getting better, we are going to use each and every game, we aren’t going to cut any corners to get better, right now.”

– Reported by Simon Evans of Reuters