With the Celtics and the Heat locked in a neck-and-neck battle for the 2nd seed, and the teams facing off tomorrow, we're focusing completely on what's going in Miami
Heat Index: After a disillusioning home loss to the Bucks earlier this week with control of the No. 2 seed in their hands, coach Erik Spoelstra tried a new tactic heading into Friday night. With the Celtics losing Thursday in Chicago, the Heat were given another chance to fulfill their own destiny with the 2-seed. If they could win the last four games of the season, it would be theirs.
[...] In that spirit, Dwyane Wade came back from his thigh injury, LeBron James arrived at the arena four hours before game time for an hour’s worth of shooting and Chris Bosh was diving on the floor for loose balls in the first quarter.
Miami Herald: On Friday morning, Spoelstra challenged his team to approach its final four games of the regular season with the same sense of urgency required for postseason basketball.
“The way we’re treating the four games is equivalent to a four-game series,” Spoelstra said. “It’s time. It’s time for us to respond. It’s code red now; that’s how we have to treat it.”
Miami Herald: “That’s one down, and we have to move forward and get ready for Sunday and continue like this,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
It’s like the postseason is already here. Not bad for a home finale to the regular season.
The high drama awaiting Sunday’s matinee was made possible by a determined effort from the Heat on Friday to replicate playoff-like urgency against the Bobcats, a team with nothing left to play for this season other than knocking off the Heat on its home court.
Heat Index: With injuries preventing Erik Spoelstra from establishing a set rotation, the lineups the Heat have been throwing out have been volatile to say the least. But there’s one clear lineup trend we keep seeing: Bosh on the court with Dwyane Wade and LeBron James looking on from the bench.
[...]Strictly from a scoreboard perspective, it wasn’t very successful Friday night, although it gave James and Wade some much-needed rest. All in all, Bosh Time lasted 10 minutes and the Heat were outscored 25-20 during those minutes — and Bosh had a lot to do with that deficit. On one occasion, he turned the ball over taking his man off the dribble. On the possession before that, he dropped an entry pass from Mario Chalmers (not the best pass, to be fair to Bosh). He also missed some easy layups and was charged with an offensive foul.