Chris Bosh could play larger role
MIAMI -- With his team facing playoff elimination, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Wednesday he might consider starting Chris Bosh for Game 6 against the Boston Celtics, but even if Bosh comes off the bench, Spoelstra certainly would have a larger role for the All-Star forward in his second game back from injury.
Bosh was limited to just 14 minutes and didn't play at all in the fourth quarter of Tuesday's 94-90 loss to the Celtics, who carry a 3-2 series lead into Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals on Thursday in Boston.
"I'm still going through that thought process," Spoelstra said after the Heat wrapped up practice in Miami before traveling to Boston. "But I think he'll be able to handle a bigger load of minutes, and it'll be based more on how he'll feel during the game."
Bosh had nine points and seven rebounds, including six offensive, over a series of short stints in his first game since he suffered a strained abdominal muscle on May 13 in Game 1 of the conference semifinals against Indiana.
After the loss, Bosh said he was prepared to play more and felt he could have helped the Heat late in the game as the Celtics rallied from a six-point deficit in the final minutes behind a strong effort from Kevin Garnett. But Spoelstra said Tuesday night that he didn't believe it was "fair" to play Bosh in the fourth quarter of his first game back.
Spoelstra was widely criticized in the media for that decision, but he stood by his move after Wednesday's practice.
"Those are the decisions you have to make," Spoelstra said. "And I know after the fact, those can always be second-guessed. But we're treading in kind of new waters right now, and [Bosh] had been out quite a while. But he'll play more tomorrow night."
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The Heat don't have many options inside beyond Bosh. Spoelstra revealed Wednesday that reserve center Ronny Turiaf didn't play in Game 5 because of a groin injury. Bosh said he felt general soreness in the aftermath of the game, but that it was part of working his way back.
"It's nothing major," said Bosh, who averaged 18 points and 7.9 rebounds in the regular season. "Everybody feels it after every game. I consider myself a lucky guy and will be ready for tomorrow."
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