Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh is out indefinitely with an abdominal strain after suffering an injury on Sunday.
Bosh underwent a MRI on Monday after pulling a muscle on a dunk in the first quarter of the Heat's Game 1 victory over the Indiana Pacers, according to ESPN.
The return of Chris Bosh to the starting lineup paid dividends for the Heat on Thursday.
Miami has a few different potential replacements for Bosh in the starting lineup, but his injury represents a major blow to the Eastern Conference favorite. The Heat could start Joel Anthony or Ronny Turiaf in Bosh's place or, as USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt noted, the Heat could move LeBron James to power forward and start either Mike Miller or Shane Battier in James' place.
No matter who the Heat start in Bosh's place, it's a huge win for the physical Indiana Pacers. The Pacers have a very big, imposing frontcourt with 6-foot-8 small forward Danny Granger, 6-foot-9 power forward David West, and 7-foot-2 center Roy Hibbert.
The big trio had success against the Heat on Sunday and will further capitalize on it without Bosh in the lineup. It also makes it a little easier for the Pacers on the defensive end without Bosh's scoring ability in the lineup, but the Pacers were quick to acknowledge the scoring prowess of James and Dwyane Wade when addressing Bosh's injury.
"With Bosh in the lineup we understand LeBron (James) and (Dwyane) Wade are major threats," Pacers coach Frank Vogel told reporters on Monday. "With him out of the lineups we understand they're major threats. There's not a lot of differences in how you're going to approach the game. Obviously it helps (us) not having Bosh's scoring ability out there but they have other guys."
Roy Hibbert reiterated those thoughts when he told reporters, "I feel like D-Wade and LeBron are going to pick up the slack. This is a very capable team."
The Heat will debut their Bosh-less team on Tuesday in Game 2 in Miami.
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