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CHRIS BOSH, STILL OUT AND RETURN IS UNCERTAIN
Mon, 04 Jun 2012 08:54 AM EDT

Chris Bosh is improving each day but he’s still not in playing condition. Bosh, as expected, will watch game 4 series from the bench.

If the Miami Heat has a secret weapon to loose for Game 4 of their playoff series in opposition to the Boston Celtics, it won’t be Chris Bosh. Las Vegas odds

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Saturday that Bosh will not play Sunday and reiterated the All-Star forward has not yet advanced far enough in his recovery from an abdominal strain to estimate when he’d be available for game action.

“I’m not pondering Chris today — I am not,” Spoelstra recounted before the Heat’s practice at TD Garden. “He’s not on my mind. And I love you, Chris, but I am concentrated on Sun. This is 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 revealed the Heat’s absence of interior depth by pounding the ball within 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 1st time in about 2 weeks the Heat could not overcome the absence of Bosh, who has been sidelined since he sustained the injury during Game 1 against the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Friday’s loss ended a 5-game playoff winning streak for the Heat, who got 34 points, 8 rebounds and 5 helps from LeBron James but endured another slow start from Dwyane Wade against the Celtics. Miami trailed by as many as 24 points in the 2nd half before a late rally.

There had been some speculation about Bosh potentially returning at some particular point in the series against Boston, considering he traveled with the team for the 1st 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 was not planned for a training session Saturday, with the team meeting at the arena for what was expected to be little more than a walk-through to work on corrections heading into Sunday’s game. Bosh has averaged eighteen points and 7.9 rebounds during the season and 14.7 points and 6.8 rebounds through 6 playoff games.

Spoelstra recounted the plan with Bosh remains a steady process in which rehabilitation and light floor work will ultimately be elevated to more rigorous scrimmage sessions to prepare him for a come back to the lineup. Once Bosh can go thru more demanding basketball-related work, Spoelstra declared he’ll have a more decisive timeframe.

“I know I don’t have to watch an exercise session of (Bosh’s) today,” Spoelstra announced. “If it ever gets to that point, I’ll start to let my mind go there. But it’s just not that time.”

The Heat had backup centre Dexter Pittman available again after he was suspended 3 games for elbowing Indiana’s Lance Stephenson late in Game Five of the Heat’s 6-game victory.


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