MIAMI (AP) - The Miami Heat are preparing to play the rest of the Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Pacers without the services of Chris Bosh.
The Heat's top power forward was playing well - 13 points and five rebounds - when he left late in the second quarter of Game 1 on Sunday with a strained lower abdominal muscle. The team said Bosh is out "indefinitely," and his teammates are preparing to move forward.
"Guys have to step up," three-time league MVP LeBron James said after Monday's practice, "including myself."
Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra will most likely insert Ronny Turiaf or Joel Anthony into the starting lineup, but the Pacers should expect a heavy dose of James at the power forward position.
"I'm comfortable in any roll. Coach (Spoelstra) looks at me and he calls me one-through-five," James said of his on-court versatility.
On the surface, the loss of Bosh seems like an obvious benefit to Indiana. But the Pacers players don't necessarily see it that way.
"Honestly, I don't know if it changes things positively or negatively," forward Danny Granger said. "They're such a good team, they can play with just LeBron and Dwayne Wade ... . It may make them more dangerous."
Point guard Darren Collison agreed.
"You can look at it both ways," he said. "Just like Orlando without Dwight Howard, they were still a good team to play against. The Miami Heat is still a good team without Chris Bosh. Either way we will have our hands full."
According to Bosh, how much time he has to miss depends entirely on how his body responds to the treatments.
"We preach all the time ... 'It's going to be tough, and it's a long hard road, and you got to deal with the bumps.' Well, my bump is here," said Bosh. “I just have to do the best to support my teammates. And I know they're more than capable of getting the job done."
Game 2 tips off at 7 p.m. Tuesday at American Airlines Arena in Orlando.