LeBron James and his Miami Heat teammates are seeing just how difficult it is to find a replacement for the injured Chris Bosh in their second round playoff series versus Indiana. James and teammate Dwayne Wade are playing extra minutes to compensate for Bosh being sidelined. The Heat center is out with an abdominal injury and it has already taken its took on the newly crowned NBA MVP.
Miami lost last night to the Indiana Pacers 78-75. James has had to play down low more often with Bosh out of the lineup. Defensively is where it has taken its toll the most. James said on the perimeter there is more space to move around but in the paint, space is limited and play is much more physical.
Without Bosh in the lineup, the Heat was outrebounded by the Pacers 50-40. In game one, a Heat victory, Miami outrebounded Indiana 45-38. The points in the paint were even with both teams scoring 38 but many of Miami’s points in the paint were from drives by Dwayne Wade or James. The Heat outscored the Pacers in game one in the paint 52-40 with Bosh scoring 13 points before being felled by an injury.
James finished game two with 28 points and was helped by the 24 of Wade, but no other Heat player scored over five points. The Heat’s three big men, excluding the injured Bosh only combined to score seven points.
During the regular season, Bosh missed nine games due to injury and the Heat were only 4-5 during his absence. Bosh averaged over 18 points per game and a healthy 8 rebounds and throughout the season led the Heat in clutch shooting during the fourth quarter, something the Heat lacked in their game two loss to the Pacers.