Though the Miami Heat won Game 1 over a feisty Indiana Pacers in the second round of the playoffs, however, Chris Bosh suffered an abdominal strain in the win. And it seems this strain is much more severe than originally thought.
It was reported Bosh will be out indefinitely in the series versus the Pacers but now it seems more definite that Miami will be without one of the “Big 3″ in the semi-finals.
According to Bosh, he says the only way he could make it back to the Pacers series would be if the season extended. That’s right, the season.
He said it “wouldn’t be surprising’’ if he’s able to return this series. But later he said, “This season has to be extended for me to play again.’’
Bosh departed Game 1 with 13 points and 5 rebounds on 6-for-11 shooting in 16 minutes but without Bosh, the Heat went on to win 95-86.
Losing Bosh is big for the Heat so now where does Miami go from here?
The Heat should be able to still beat the Pacers in their series (as they proved in Game 1) but beyond that, Miami is in trouble. Without Bosh, they will have a difficult time versus Boston should the two teams meet in the Eastern Conference Finals. With no legit big man after Bosh on the Heat roster (Joel Anthony, Ronny Turiaf) Celtics’ Kevin Garnett would have a field day on the smaller Miami interior defenders. Also, keep in mind, Boston went 3-1 versus Miami in the regular season. If there is one team that doesn’t fear Miami is the Celtics.
“We’re moving on as if he’s not going to return this series,’’ Heat forward LeBron James said. “But we’ll see.’’
“It’s not deflating, James said of Bosh being hurt. “It does suck. But every team has to deal with an injury. It’s not deflating because we’re still in a position where we can contend.’’
Said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra: “We feel we have enough right now.’’
This injury is something that doesn’t heal quickly. A player has to simply rest from 4-6 weeks or more. Moreover, a player cannot really do any extraneous workouts after the rest period.
Now that Miami will have to play Indiana without Bosh, if any players on the team who need to step up would be Mike Miller, and Mario Chalmers.
Miller is more than capable of pumping in points to make up for the loss of Bosh’s offensive production and spreading the court for Lebron James and Dwayne Wade to get to the rim with his outside shooting.
Chalmers will now have to penetrate and disrupt the interior of Indiana as if Bosh was playing. Once he establishes himself as someone who can get to the rim, he can kick out to the open man (like Miller) for what will hopefully be an uncontested shot.
In the end, Miami can’t replace a player like Bosh and what he gives offensively and defensively, so perhaps the best thing for Miami to do now is to put away the Pacers fast in four games in order to give Bosh more time to heal should the Celtics be waiting to face them on the East Finals. But first, Boston will have to make sure to not have a game like they did in a Game 2 loss to the Sixers.