HANG TIME PLAYOFF HEADQUARTERS — Three weeks without Chris Bosh in the lineup is apparently enough for the Miami Heat.
According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com, the All-Star power forward could be activated for Tuesday night’s Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals, giving the Heat a much-needed low-post boost before in a series that is tied at 2-2 after the Celtics’ overtime win in Game 4 Sunday night in Boston.
Bosh has been out since suffering an abdominal strain in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Indiana Pacers. And the Heat have struggled to find the right fit in the post without him.
Celtics’ power forward(/center) Kevin Garnett has had his way in the conference finals without Bosh to worry about, averaging 20.5 points and 10.8 rebounds through the first four games. The Heat have had to use an array of big men to work in Bosh’s absence and even went with LeBron James playing some power forward and even center without Bosh available.
Even if he can only play limited minutes, having Bosh back in the rotation is a boost for the Heat. Had Dwyane Wade‘s 3-point attempt at the buzzer gone down in Game 4 we might not have seen Bosh in this series. A 3-1 lead with a chance to close the series out on their home floor might have allowed him to rest for at least a few more days. But it’s must-win time for the Heat in this series.
Without an announced timetable for his return, it was believed that Bosh would be out for at least three weeks with the abdominal strain. He’s already missed nine games and right at three weeks. Without any hiccups between now and tip-off Tuesday night, he’s expected to be in uniform and ready to go for game 5.