Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The worst opponent the Miami Heat face Friday night isn’t the Los Angeles Clippers, but influenza.
Miami Heat superstars Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade are both game-time decisions after dealing with the flu. Bosh missed Wednesday’s victory over the Houston Rockets because of the illness. In addition, backup guard/forward Ray Allen is also likely out for Friday night’s game with the flu.
If all three can’t go, the Heat will be in deep trouble against one of the top teams in the Western Conference. The entire load for the Heat would fall on the shoulders of LeBron James to deal with the Clippers’ Blake Griffin and possibly Chris Paul.
Paul has missed nine games in a row with a strained left hamstring. Griffin has been out the last two games with a strained left hamstring.
If both teams had been at full strength, the matchup could have been a preview of a potential NBA Finals matchup.
LeBron has continued his other-worldly play this season after leading the Heat to the NBA Championship last year. He scored 32 points Wednesday night and is shooting a ridiculous 55.6 percent from the floor, the best of his entire career.
“What you have is the most talented player in the league, a once-in-a-generation player,” Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said. “You add to that his basketball IQ, his work ethic. When you add all that together, you never know what the ceiling is. He may be able to keep on going and we’ll need him to.”
Overall, Lebron is averaging 26.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 7 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. Wade is second on the team, averaging 20.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, while Bosh averages 17.5 points and 7.1 rebounds per game.
All of the Big Three are shooting better than 50 percent from the field this season. The Heat as a team is shooting 49 percent from the field and holding opponents to less than 44 percent from the field.
In addition, for all the talk of rebounding problems for the Heat, they are only being outrebounded on the season by an average of two rebounds per game.
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