MIAMI (Sporting Alert) — Chris Bosh is slowly working his way back to being fit after the Miami Heat All-Star forward went through a light workout.
The Heat will take on the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference final on Monday night, but as expected Bosh, who has been sidelined with a strained lower abdominal muscle injury, will not be involved.
He picked up in Game 1 of the Heat’s conference semi-finals series against the Indiana Pacers.
”I wouldn’t over-read into his workout yesterday,” Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said Monday.
”We’ll continue to reevaluate him every day. He’ll continue to do his rehab.
“When he starts legitimate basketball work, I’ll pay attention a little bit more.”
Miami beat the Pacers in three successive games to take a come from behind 4-2 series win and book their place in the conference title game, while Boston had to dig deep into their reserves to see off a very determined Philadelphia 76ers in seven games.
Both teams will be without key players, but is already adjusting to playing without them.
Bosh will again be missed by Miami, but Boston’s captain Paul Pierce is ready for anything.
”We’re prepared to see him,” Pierce said. ”If he’s able to come back, I mean, that’s great. You never wish any injury amongst your NBA brothers.
“You expect the best of them. And as a competitor, I don’t mind taking on the opponent team’s best.
“It brings out the best in you, I think, and it helps prepare you for championship runs.”
Meanwhile, LeBron James, the man leading pundits believe will take the Heat as far as they will, had this to say:”His uniform is in his locker and we’ll be ready for him to go.
”Other than that, we’re playing as if he’s not in uniform. It’s allowing us to focus on the guys that are in uniform, and it’s putting less pressure on him to try to rush and get back.
“It’s a sensitive injury. So whenever he’s ready, he’ll be in uniform.”
The Heat struggled in the early goings to adjust to the absence of Bosh, but both Indiana coach Frank Vogel and Boston coach Doc Rivers admit his absence helped Miami.
”Obviously Bosh makes them better,” Rivers was quoted as saying. ”But in some ways, you can say they’re more dangerous because now those 15 shots that Bosh had, they’re going to Wade and LeBron.
“So in some ways, they have the ball more. They’re more aggressive.
“It almost activated them to be more aggressive, which puts a lot of stress on your defense.”