The Miami Heat got back to work Wednesday afternoon without Chris Bosh, and without really shedding any more light on the 11-time All-Star’s health or playing status.
“I know you’re here and want to know about Chris,” coach Erik Spoelstra said as one of the biggest media throngs of the season surrounded him at practice Wednesday afternoon.
“We’ve put out the statement and that’s all we’re going to comment on right now. He’s not here right now. He’s not going to be with us in Atlanta [on Friday]. But he will be with us shortly and he’ll have a statement then. So everything else is about the group we have here.”
And with that, Heat fans were basically told they’re going to have to wait until Bosh’s medical evaluations are complete to know when — if at all — Miami’s leading scorer will be back this season.
News of that could happen by Thursday.
But team officials said the more likely scenario is that Bosh probably won’t speak to the media until the Heat returns from Atlanta, where it opens the second half of the season on Friday.
Bosh put one out there on Snapchat Wednesday. He posted the lyrics “We gon’ be alright” from rapper Kendrick Lamar’s song Alright.
Naturally, Heat fans took it as a sign Bosh — who is on blood thinners again for what is believed to be a clot in his left calf — is going to come back this season.
But no one on the Heat — not even close friends Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem — could say that for sure Wednesday. Most said they’re optimistic Bosh would be able to return before the end of the season.
Hoping for the best
“None of us are doctors in that room. We don’t know exactly what it is,” Wade said. “Obviously we’re very good friends. He’s shared things. His spirits are very high and he’s doing everything he can to figure out what's going on within himself.
“That’s all we can worry about: CB the person. I love CB the teammate, for sure, 100 percent. But I care about CB the person more. His focus is in the right direction. His wife is having twins sometime soon. That’s what we care about.”
Said Haslem: “I’m still hoping for the best. We don’t really have all the details right now. I just know what I’ve been hearing. I’m hoping he’ll be back soon.”
Miami, 2 1/2 games behind third place in the East and 2 1/2 games ahead of eighth place, could still end up altering the roster before Thursday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline. But Spoelstra said he wasn’t anticipating another move.
Before practice, the team announced Bosh would not practice or travel with the team to Atlanta, where the Heat (29-24) resumes play 8 p.m. Friday against the Hawks (31-24) at Phillips Arena.
On Tuesday, the Heat traded Chris “Birdman” Andersen to Memphis in a move to slash payroll and help bring down the impending luxury tax.
Miami also netted backup point guard Brian Roberts from Charlotte in the three-team trade.
“We felt we needed to shore up a little bit of our depth at the point guard position or at the perimeter position,” Spoelstra said. “We have a lot of bigs and we also wanted to add some shooting. That’s what Brian Roberts does. He’s a very good shooter, can play off the ball, get you into offense. He’s had a few good games against us we haven’t forgotten about. But it’s always tough to trade somebody that’s meant so much to your organization.”
Haslem was especially hurt by the Andersen trade.
“It sucks to lose my boy,” he said. “We had some great moments the last couple years. We [haven’t] been getting much playing time, so we’ve been having great conversations over there [on the bench], keeping ourselves entertained. I talked to him. It’s an opportunity to go and get some minutes, put himself in a good position for the summer. So I told him to go out there and play ball.”
Aside from Bosh, the Heat on Friday will also be without center Hassan Whiteside, who will serve a one-game suspension for the Flagrant 2 foul he picked up in the Heat’s blowout loss to the Spurs right before the All-Star break.
Spoelstra said he talked with Whiteside before practice Wednesday and agreed the suspension was deserved. Whiteside backed him up, saying he went back and watched the film and “could see why they did it.”
“It’s another growing opportunity with Hassan,” Spoelstra said. “He had a very good practice today. I look forward to seeing his growth in the next two months.”
Of course, Whiteside could end up being a piece that’s traded away. He said it would be a relief, though, if he could stay with the Heat.
“It’s all speculation,” Whiteside said of the trade rumors. “Whatever happens, happens. I’m just going to keep coming out here, trying to produce for whomever I’m with.”