Though Heat coach Erik Spoelstra called Chris Bosh’s light on-court work a “positive sign,” he warned not to overstate the significance.
“There is still not a timetable,” Spoelstra said of Bosh return to game action. “Seeing him like he is right now is significant progress, but his return is still indefinite.”
Bosh, who has been out since sustaining an abdominal strain May 13 in Game 1 against Indiana, did light shooting and worked on lateral movement during Sunday’s session, which was witnessed by Heat president Pat Riley, among others. He did another light on-court workout Monday but has not practiced with the team or done contact work.
A return before the end of this series hasn’t been ruled out, but the Heat is proceeding cautiously.
Sunday’s session “was a very light workout, more a progression of his rehab than a basketball workout,” Spoelstra said. “I wouldn’t over-read into his workout. We’ll continue to reevaluate every day. When he starts legitimate basketball work, I’ll pay attention a little more.”
Dwyane Wade said Bosh remains an active participant, attending team meetings and giving input on defending the Celtics’ big men.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers said: “In some ways, you can say they’re more dangerous because those 15 shots Bosh had — they’re going to Wade and LeBron James. It almost activates them to be more aggressive, which puts a lot of stress on the defense. Obviously, Bosh makes them better. [An injury] shouldn’t make you … worse. It should make you different. I say that with all the guys we’re missing.”
Forward Paul Pierce said the Celtics have planned as if Bosh will play at some point in the series: “We’re prepared to see him. If he’s able to come back, that’s great. As a competitor, I don’t mind taking on the opposing team’s best. It helps prepare you for the championship round.”
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Pierce said it has reached the point with Rajon Rondo that “we almost ask him to get a triple-double every night. He’s capable of it.” Spoelstra called him a “basketball maestro — one of the most unique players I’ve seen in this league.”
Ray Allen’s ankle injury has made it impossible for the Celtics to know what to expect from him.
“It’s tough, because we don’t know game to game with him,” Rivers said. “We don’t know how he’s feeling and how he’s going to deal with it during the game. If we feel like he’s moving enough to help us, we keep him on the floor. If we don’t, then we take him off the floor.”
This and that• Game 1 marked the 19th time James and Pierce have faced each other in a playoff game. Wade said for James, Pierce has become the “closest thing to a rival if he has one.”
Said James: “We know each other more than any other matchups in the league. It’s always fun to go against the best, and he’s one of them.”• Spoelstra predicted Celtics and former Heat guard Keyon Dooling, a Fort Lauderdale Dillard alum, eventually will be “a coach or a radio talk-show host. He’s one of the funniest guys around.” Rivers said Dooling “is one of our best defensive guys.”
• Boston’s 11 first-quarter points were the fewest by a Heat opponent during these playoffs — and one more than the franchise playoff record for fewest points allowed in a first quarter.