Like always Chris Bosh started this preseason an afterthought. Like always his smooth and efficient shot didn’t seem to mind.

With Dwyane Wade out of the lineup to rest his legs Bosh scored 21 points in the Heat’s first exhibition game of the 2013 NBA preseason a 92-87 victory against the Hawks.

Wade was a late scratch after consulting with Heat coach Erik Spoelstra but his absence hardly mattered after Bosh began the game with nine points in a row. He had 19 points in the first half and finished the game 7 of 8 from the field and 6 of 6 from the free-throw line.

On any other team Bosh would be a franchise player.

For the Heat the perennial All-Star is an outlet valve with a great shot and a strong move to the basket.

He did both of those things exceptionally well against Atlanta which is in the early stages of development under new coach Mike Budenholzer but still features Al Horford one of the better interior players in the league.

Bosh’s three-point shot which was so important to the Heat’s postseason success in May and June was back Monday. As was his spinning drives to the basket. New to the repertoire was a no-look pass to LeBron James in the third quarter that demonstrated a level of chemistry between teammates that only comes through time on the court.

“Just being back with the guys these past couple weeks now … I realize how much we’ve played together” Bosh said.

Bosh has adapted well over time to the shifting role Spoelstra has asked him to play both offensively and defensively. Still the challenge of blending in and finding spots with both James and Wade on the court never fully goes away.