Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Heat need Chris Bosh on the court to have any shot of winning Game 7 and the NBA Finals. But Bosh isn’t worried if he’s starting or not, as long as he gets to play.
Bosh missed nine playoff games with a strained lower abdominal muscle he suffered in the opening game of the Heat vs. Pacers Eastern Conference semifinals series. Bosh has come off the bench the last two games and in Game 6’s victory, the Heat were +16 with him on the court.
I think it’ll be irrelevant for as long as we’re playing,” Bosh said Saturday when asked if the start-or-not issue affects him. “It really doesn’t matter for me. I just want to be out there and as long as I get to play, it doesn’t matter. I’m going to have my time out there with certain lineups and that’s not going to change my approach and how I do things.”
Officially, Bosh is listed as a game-time decision for the Heat in Game 7. Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said he’d reveal his starters close to game time Saturday night. Bosh hasn’t come off the bench since his rookie season with Toronto.
For the Heat, a healthy Bosh could be the difference between a return trip to the NBA Finals and a long summer vacation. Bosh can either defend Kevin Garnett, or come in when Garnett goes to the bench to give the Heat added scoring power down low.
It’s a luxury Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra didn’t have for nearly a month in the playoffs. If Bosh is 100 percent, he’ll likely start for the Heat to keep Garnett honest to start the game. Spoelstra said he’s not necessarily watching Bosh’s minutes and that his rotation is decided on the fly.
The Heat will once again be powered by the scoring duo of Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, but as has been written for most of the season; the Heat will only go as far as Chris Bosh can take them. Heat fans will find out if that’s a return trip to the Finals starting just after 8:30 p.m. Saturday night.