NEW YORK — The Miami Heat may be without Chris Bosh for Game 3 of their first round series against the New York Knicks on Thursday (7 p.m. ET, TNT).
Bosh flew on a private plane back to Miami late Wednesday to be with his wife for the birth of their child.
A source told TNT analyst David Aldridge that Bosh will return to New York this afternoon in time to play against the Knicks.
While we still wait official word on Bosh’s status, the Heat still have a good chance to go up 3-0 in the series even if he sits out tonight.
Without Amar’e Stoudemire, the Knicks will be playing Carmelo Anthony at power forward. So the Heat can easily match up by sliding LeBron James to the four and inserting Shane Battier, James Jones or Mike Miller into the starting lineup.
But if that’s the case, the Heat’s new lineup won’t have spent much floor time together. The other four starters – Mario Chalmers, Dwyane Wade, James and Udonis Haslem – have played just 15 minutes on the floor together with Battier and five with Miller. A unit of Chalmers, Wade, Jones, James and Haslem has yet to play together this season.
Of course, the Knicks’ starting lineup won’t have much experience together either.
Miami’s most-used lineup without Bosh included two other bigs. Chalmers, Wade, James, Haslem and Joel Anthony are a plus-24 together in 92 minutes.
The Heat went 4-5 without Bosh in the regular season, including a 3-3 stretch to close the year. Overall, he had a bigger offensive than defensive impact in his minutes.