The Miami Heat will have a big task ahead of them in replacing Chris Bosh, with many experts believing the team’s playoff hopes went out the window when the center was ruled out for the season.
This week, doctors discovered a clot in the 30-year-old Bosh’s lungs, a frightening development that means he will be out for several months for treatment and rehab.
For the Miami Heat, the immediate concern is for Bosh’s health. Reports say that the condition is not life-threatening, and he should be able to resume his playing career, but not before several months of treatment and limited activity.
“Bosh, who is receiving care under the guidance of Miami Heat team physicians at a Baptist Health System Hospital, is currently resting comfortably,” the Heat said in an official statement. “Chris is OK and his prognosis is good.”
Players and coaches both agreed that the game takes a backseat to Bosh’s health.
“The health of your players, that’s my biggest concern, and that’s my biggest thought last night and tonight,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Friday, per Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald. “Is C.B. OK? Is his family OK?”
But the Miami Heat still have a season to finish and will likely have a difficult fight to stay in playoff contention. They currently sit No. 7 in a weak Eastern Conference, but their 23-31 record hardly inspires hope.
After making the biggest trade deadline move, landing Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic, the Miami Heat suddenly have a new concern to attend to. As Neil Greenberg of the Washington Post points out, the options to replace Chris Bosh aren’t great.
“Udonis Haslem, Bosh’s primary backup on the depth chart,may have broken his left hand in the loss to San Antonio and Shawne Williams was traded to New Orleans. Josh McRoberts is already out for the season because of a torn ligament in his knee. That leaves Chris Andersen.
“Anderson has been used on just 11 percent of Miami’s plays, so it is unlikely he can sustain 0.155 win shares per 48 minutes in an increased role. Plus, the last time he was used in more than 15 percent of the team’s plays was in 2004-05 with Denver.”
The Miami Heat will be losing more than just their leader in total points and rebounds this year. Chris Bosh was a veteran presence, a sweet-shooting big man who could take over games when necessary, a role Andersen or surprising star Hassan Whiteside can’t really fill.