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Bosh bulks up for Heat, prepared to play center

Sun., Dec. 4, 2011

MIAMI – Heat power forward Chris Bosh is ready, willing, and, this time, able to play center if called upon.

After shying from the assignment for much of his career, Bosh said he has resigned himself to the reality that he might be the Heat’s best option in the middle at times.

“You know, as much as every time I try to run from it, it just comes and pulls me back in,” he said during the start of informal team workouts Thursday at AmericanAirlines Arena. “So I accept it. If I’m a five, put me down there, have me guarding the biggest guy, I accept the challenge. It is what it is. Every year that I’ve said, ‘Oh, no, I’m not doing it,’ I’m in there anyway. So, I accept it.”

Bosh arrived bulkier than last season.

“Leaps and bounds better in my opinion,” he said of his revised physique. “But that was one of the things, not only did I want to get better on the court, but I really wanted to get in there in the weight room and really put a lot of work in and improve my body and improve my endurance and be in the best shape possible coming into this season, because it is physical down there and there shouldn’t be a season where I don’t average 10 rebounds.

“I feel like I let my team down, so that’s not going to happen again. And the only way I can do that is to get stronger, get more physical and be more of a presence on the boards.”

That emphasis, he said, was a constant during the lockout.

“Just weight room every day and just work,” he said. “That’s one thing I kind of didn’t do. I don’t think I worked hard enough last year.”

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