Since suffering an abdominal strain on May 13 against the Indiana Pacers, Chris Bosh has sat for nine playoff games, nursing the injury. But Miami coach Eric Spoelstra said Monday that Bosh was "day-to-day" and could be on the floor again as early as Tuesday, just in time for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
So just what does this announcement of Bosh's possible return mean for both the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics?
Miami finished the regular season with a 46-20 record. When the Heat played with Bosh in the lineup during the regular season, they were 42-15. They went 4-5 without him. This postseason, however, the Heat are 5-1 when Bosh plays and 5-4 without him.
When Bosh played in the playoffs, Miami scored an average of 96.5 points a game and allowed 83.3 points. Without Bosh, they averaged slightly less (95.7) and allowed far more (91.7), probably due to the lack of Bosh's defensive presence.The All-Star power forward was averaging 14.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in the postseason on 51.7 percent field goal shooting.
Watch Out, KG
Anyone who has watched a single minute of a Celtics postseason game could tell you that, with the exception of Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett may be the most dominant presence in a C's uniform — or any uniform, for that matter. This postseason, Garnett is averaging a beastly 19.5 points and 10.8 rebounds per game.
In Bosh's absence, the Heat have had to resort to a much smaller lineup. This has allowed Garnett to do what he has been doing. Bosh may be able to contain him.
Mind the Perimeter
Celtics coach Doc Rivers said the perimeter defense and trapping along the outer boundaries of the 3-point line will have to improve once Bosh is reinstated into the Heat lineup.
Without Bosh's presence down low, the Celtics have been able to spend extra defensive efforts on Miami's big 3-point shooters, like Dwayne Wade and LeBron James. Now, they will have to pull those extra defensive efforts back in order to focus on Bosh down low.
How big of an impact will Bosh's return have on the series?