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Friday, May 25, 2018

Chris Bosh’s ab strain could keep him out through finals, possibly playoffs

The Eastern Conference playoffs got more interesting after Chris Bosh left Sunday’s Heat-Pacers game with an abdominal injury. The injury is a strain, and the Heat say Bosh is out indefinitely.

Bosh believes he would only be able to play in the playoffs if the Heat advance. South Florida Sun Sentinel Heat beat writer Ira Winderman says the injury will keep him out “almost assuredly weeks.” ESPN Heat Index writer Tom Haberstroh says he would be surprised if Bosh plays before the finals.

Based on those estimates, the Heat will have to beat the Pacers without him, and they may have to face the Celtics (or Sixers) in the Eastern Conference Finals without him. In a year when everything seemed to line up for Miami to win the title, they are now no longer the favorite.

Miami should be able to handle Indiana without Bosh. Udonis Haslem and Ronny Turiaf will likely see more minutes thanks to the injury, and Miami could even slide LeBron to the four to fill the spot. You would think that they would be able to beat any Eastern Conference opponent just as long as LeBron and Dwyane Wade are healthy, but it’s not so easy. The Heat need consistent offense from players other than Wade and James, and Bosh provided that. If they advance to face the Celtics or Sixers — both good defensive teams — they’re going to be pressed offensively.

The Heat-Pacers series could end as early as Sunday if the Heat sweep. It could last until the 26th if it goes seven games. Not that they want to be facing elimination this round, but it wouldn’t be bad if they got pushed by the Pacers. The Heat may have been the favorite to win the title, but all it took was an injury to one of the big three to hurt their chances. I like the Thunder (or whoever advances from the West) to win it all now.

Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

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