It took just minutes from the moment the Celtics tied up the Eastern Conference finals at 2-2 for there to be some added intrigue to what is now a best-of-three series between Boston and Miami. According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN’s Heat Index, Chris Bosh could be back in action as soon as Game 5 Tuesday night after missing the past nine games with a sprained abdominal muscle.
According to multiple sources, the Heat are hoping to activate Chris Bosh for Tuesday’s Game 5 if he doesn’t suffer a setback in workouts over the next two days. Bosh declined to discuss his status following the Heat’s 93-91 overtime loss to the Boston Celtics on Sunday, which tied the series at 2-2.
He has been doing on-court workouts for the past week and got on the floor with teammates during practices while the Heat were in Boston. Typically players who return from abdominal strains take awhile to return to full strength and Bosh could be playing on a minute restriction when he comes back.
CH’s Take: This should not come as major surprise to the C’s, as Bosh traveled with his teammates to Boston for the series and players don’t usually do that unless they are nearing a return from their injury. While Bosh will undoubtedly help Miami’s undermanned front line against Kevin Garnett and company, it’s important to keep Bosh’s potential contributions in perspective. He’s not going to be near full strength and could be close to what Udonis Haslem was (almost a non-factor) during the last year’s playoff series between the two teams.
The best hope for Boston right now is that Bosh does not force them to change their gameplan too much. Garnett has been sensationial with his help defense all series and if Bosh shows himself to be an offensive threat when he’s back on the floor, that changes the equation quite a bit in defending LeBron and Wade.
On the other hand, there’s probably not a tougher place to shake off one’s rust then in a primetime Game 5 that the world will be watching. Bosh will get his chances, but it won’t be easy for him to be a major factor.
No matter how this plays out though, it will added another level of intrigue to a pivotal Game 5.