MIAMI - Chris Bosh may be activated for Game 5, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Monday, saying the forward is considered day to day, which is an upgrade in his status.
An ESPN report claimed the Heat were hoping to have Bosh back for Tuesday’s Game 5, but Spoelstra said there was considerable evaluation needed before making a determination. The team is looking for a level of conditioning and comfort when judging if it can put Bosh back in the lineup.
“He’s making significant progress, but to say that it’s definitive right now is premature,’’ Spoelstra said. “Each day will be a new evaluation and then we’ll go from there.’’
Spoelstra added that Bosh had three good workouts in Boston and that the staff would have to be “judicious’’ in evaluations of his condition. Bosh has been a major part of the Heat’s game plans on offense and defense, and the Heat have used a number of role players in his absence. Bosh hasn’t played since Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals because of an abdominal strain.
“Our offense has changed considerably with him out,’’ Spoelstra said. “We’re reinventing ourselves on the fly and making, I think, great progress on that end. In the playoffs, a great defensive team is not always going to look fluid, but we’re doing some actions where at least guys feel comfortable and we’re able to create some triggers.
“Kevin Garnett always makes it a challenge - he’s one of the better weak-side defenders in the league. Defensively, [Bosh has] always been a multiposition anchor for us that knows our schemes and allows us to do different things.’’
As important as he is, the Heat are being careful not to rush Bosh back. Spoelstra said Bosh will be able to give his input on whether he is ready to go, but the coach is prepared to give Bosh’s opinion only so much weight.
“They all say they’re ready,’’ Spoelstra said. “He said he was ready 10 days ago.’’
The Heat keep finding themselves in early holes and Spoelstra acknowledged it had to change.
“We have to get in the fight earlier,’’ he said. “It’s the most important thing. There are things we’ll always continue to make adjustments with schematically, but it’s the effort and the energy and all that right from the get-go, that’s why here at home we feel confident about coming back even after two tough games.’’
Spoelstra again faced questions about the Heat’s late-game possessions.
With a chance to win Game 4 in regulation, LeBron James passed to Udonis Haslem in the face of a triple team and Haslem missed the jumper as time expired. At the end of overtime with the Heat down, 93-91, Dwyane Wade missed a 3-pointer.
“The last possession of regulation we were trying to get a little bit of movement to get LeBron on a run and from there it broke down and he had to make a play off the dribble and they collapsed, our spacing wasn’t terrific,’’ Spoelstra said.
“It always looks better when the ball goes in. At the end of overtime, they fouled us on the first one and we took another 20 [20-second timeout], trying to run a little bit of misdirection to have more than one option and maybe open up a lane for Dwyane again. Got too deep into the options and got pushed to the end of the clock, but got a clean look out of it.’’
The Heat are 0 for 10 in game-tying or go-ahead shots with less than 24 seconds left in the fourth quarter or overtime since 2011, and Spoelstra said there are certain things the team keeps in mind when preparing for those situations.
“We want to make sure they’re getting in places where they can feel comfortable,’’ he said. “And everybody has to be a live option. It can’t be a situation where everybody knows and thinks and absolutely is sure who’s shooting the ball. The main thing we look for is spacing and if we’re getting clean looks.’’