What Losing Chris Bosh Means for the Miami Heat's Playoff Hopes

Tucker PaineContributor IMay 17, 2012

LeBron James grabs a loose ball in the Heat's loss to the Pacers.
LeBron James grabs a loose ball in the Heat's loss to the Pacers.Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Miami Heat's playoff hopes took a big hit with the loss of Chris Bosh to a pectoral injury.

Bosh was injured in Game 1 of the Heat's second round playoff matchup with the Indiana Pacers, and he will be out for at least the remainder of the series.

Bosh is the team's starting power forward and a member of Miami's "Big Three." Bosh was chosen as a 2011 All-Star, and was viewed by many as a snub for the 2012 All Star Game.

The Heat will need to figure out how to replace him quickly after losing Game 2—their first game without Bosh—to the Pacers.

"We started treatments, and it's a process," Bosh told NBA.com. "We'll have to see how my body responds, and I'll try to get back out there as soon as possible."

Bosh has been an integral part of the Heat's success, providing them with size with his 6-foot, 11-inch frame, something that the Heat will lack without Bosh on the floor.

Miami will face trouble in their playoff series with the Pacers because Indiana has a lot of talented big men and focus a lot of their offense in the post.

The Heat will be forced to try and find a solution for the likes of David West and Roy Hibbert. 

"Chris is a guy who we depend on a lot,"  Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade told NBA.com."He's our stability in a sense, so it's very unfortunate, but it happens. A lot of teams go through it, and the biggest thing for us is that Chris gets healthy, so he's able to return to the court with us."

The team will turn to some of their bench players to try to fill the holes left by Bosh's absence.

In Game 2, the Heat slid their usual small forward and 2012 MVP LeBron James to the power forward position and moved Shane Battier to fill the slot at small forward. The Heat also heavily used center Joel Anthony to provide some interior defense.

"We feel this team was built with a great deal of versatility," Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra told NBA.com. "We feel that that is one of our best strengths, and that this will also be an opportunity for some guys to step forward, but it'll also be an opportunity for us to use some of this versatility that we've been talking about."

The Heat looked like a different team without Bosh on Tuesday night as they were beaten by the Indiana Pacers 78-75.

It will be a real challenge for the team to remap their strategy in the middle of the series, and it should prove to be a tough obstacle to overcome for a team that many have picked to reach the NBA Finals. 

"We feel we have enough right now," Spoelstra said. "And there has to be an absolute sense of urgency like we had in the second half [against the Pacers], our margin for error is less than it was before, but we still wanna play to that same identity, so it's not as if we have to change our game, and other guys can step up right into how we want to play, aggressively on both ends of the court."