Spoelstra: If Bosh plays, it'll be off bench


Spoelstra: If Bosh plays, it'll be off bench

MIAMI If Chris Bosh takes to the floor tonight for the Miami Heat, he'll do so from an unfamiliar position - as a bench player.

In what appears to be more about strategy than uncertainty, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Chris Bosh (abdominal strain) would come off the bench if in fact, he does play tonight.

Despite all signs and indications pointing toward tonight as Bosh's return to the court, Spoelstra told the media moments ago that Bosh remains a game-time decision as to whether he will play.

"We'll make an evaluation before the game," Spoelstra said.

If he does play, Spoelstra said it would be in "short bursts."

Spoelstra added, "if it's determined that he's not ready to go tonight, it's not a setback. It means another day of work and possibly he'll be ready for the next game."

Bosh suffered an abdominal strain in the Heat's second-round series against Indiana, and has missed the last nine playoff games.

In that span, the Heat are 5-4.

The Celtics have approached every game in this series anticipating that Bosh would be on the floor for Miami.

So the uncertainty of his availability is not going to impact the C's heading into tonight's game.

"It may give you an advantage, especially if you're not going to play him," said C's coach Doc Rivers. "The (other) team spends time, wasting time, working on if he's going to play. I would do the same thing. I wouldn't tell you until late. But I don't know if it matters one way or another."