Saturday, June 2, 2012 Updated: June 3, 9:16 AM ET
Chris Bosh won't play in Game 4
By Michael Wallace ESPN.com
BOSTON -- If the Miami Heat have a secret weapon to unleash for Game 4 of their playoff series against the Boston Celtics, it won't be Chris Bosh.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Saturday that Bosh won't play Sunday and reiterated the All-Star forward has not yet advanced far enough in his recovery from an abdominal strain to gauge when he might be available for game action.
Eastern Conference Playoffs
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"I'm not thinking about Chris today -- I'm not," Spoelstra said before the Heat's practice at TD Garden. "He's not on my mind. And I love you, Chris, but I'm focused on Sunday. That's where all of my energies are focused right now."
The Heat have a 2-1 lead in the series, but are coming off Friday's 101-91 loss to Boston. The Celtics exposed the Heat's lack of interior depth by pounding the ball inside to Kevin Garnett, who finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Boston scored 58 points in the paint, its most in a playoff game since 2008.
It was the first time in about two weeks that the Heat couldn't overcome the absence of Bosh, who has been sidelined since he sustained the injury during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against Indiana.
Friday's loss ended a five-game playoff winning streak for the Heat, who got 34 points, eight rebounds and five assists from LeBron James but endured another slow start from Dwyane Wade against the Celtics. Miami trailed by as many as 24 points in the second half before a late rally.
There had been some speculation about Bosh potentially returning at some point in the series against Boston, considering he traveled with the team for the first time on this trip since the injury and had gone through a full week of rehabilitation work that included some basketball drills.
But Spoelstra said Bosh wasn't scheduled for a workout Saturday, with the team meeting at the arena for what was expected to be little more than a walk-through to work on adjustments heading into Sunday's game. Bosh has averaged 18 points and 7.9 rebounds during the season and 14.7 points and 6.8 rebounds through six playoff games.
Spoelstra said the plan with Bosh remains a gradual process in which rehab and light court work will eventually be increased to more rigorous scrimmage sessions to prepare him for a return to the lineup. Once Bosh is able to go through more demanding basketball-related work, Spoelstra said he'll have a more definitive timeframe.
"I know I don't have to watch a workout of (Bosh's) today," Spoelstra said. "If it ever gets to that point, I'll start to let my mind go there. But it's just not that time."