The Miami Heat will have to find another way to stop the Boston Celtics from scoring in the paint. Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said that Chris Bosh won’t play Sunday. He has not advanced enough in his recovery from his lower-abdominal strain. They will keep evaluating him in hopes of him returning later in the series.
Boston scored 58 points in the paint during Game 3, the most they have scored in a playoff game since 2008. Kevin Garnett looked like he was in his twenties again by scoring 24 points rather easily. Rajon Rondo has even had success hit floaters and scoring in the paint.
Since Game 4 of their series with Indiana, Miami have done a great job in overcoming the absence of Bosh. Can they do it again in Game 4?
It is hard to replace Bosh’s 18 points and 7.9 points per game that he averaged during the regular season. Miami’s bench isn’t strong since an overwhelmingly large portion of their salary cap is distributed to Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, and Bosh. Joel Anthony, Udonis Haslem, Juwan Howard, Eddy Curry, and Ronny Turiaf are the available power forwards and centers on the team. Center Dexter Pittman is still suspended due to his flagrant foul on Lance Stephenson that occurred during Game 6 of their series with the Indiana Pacers. Haslem, Anthony, and Turiaf have been rotating in and out of the game filling the Heat’s power forward and center positions.
During the regular season, Boston struggled to put up points on a regular basis. They are a great defensive team and have won games because of it. Their identity had to change when Avery Bradley went down with a shoulder injury. He was their defensive spark plug and will miss the remainder of the playoffs. Rondo increased his scoring with an unprecedented offensive output in Game 2 of the series. Boston is being more aggressive and leaving everything out on the court. Coach Doc Rivers apparently knows when to push the accelerator.
Game 4 of the series takes place Sunday at 8:30pm EST.