The Miami Heat will have their first test without injured forward Chris Bosh on Tuesday against the Indiana Pacers in Game 2.
The game will be broadcasted on TNT at 7:00 p.m. EST, but you can also watch a live stream online available here.
Bosh is out indefinitely with an abdominal strain and is doubtful to return for the Heat in this series.
This season has to be extended for me to play again, Bosh said. So that's what's on my mind.
The loss of Bosh puts extra pressure on the team's main scorers, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, to put up numbers, as well as reserves like Joel Anthony and Ronny Turiaf to fill in valiantly. Bosh was averaging 14.7 points per game in the playoffs and gave the Heat extra versatility with his ability to hit jumpers.
Anthony and Turiaf filled in well after Bosh was injured in the first quarter of Game 1, but have more than their hands full with the Pacers' massive frontline. The Pacers boast a frontcourt of 6-foot-8 small forward Danny Granger, 6-foot-9 power forward David West, and 7-foot-2 center Roy Hibbert.
Those three talented big men will be difficult for a Bosh-less Heat team to defend, but Pacers coach Frank Vogel reiterated on Tuesday that Miami has plenty of talented players besides Bosh.
It changes their team, but we've got to understand it doesn't allow you to play 5-on-4, Vogel told reporters. They've got great players they can fill in for him. They've got different lineups that are sometimes more effective than the lineup with Bosh. Obviously, not having to worry about Bosh helps because he's such a terrific player.
On the offensive end, it will have to be the James-Wade show if the Heat hope to win. Both played well in Game 1 - James had 32 points and wade had 29 points - but will now face more double teams and junk defensive strategies without Bosh in the mix. James and Wade are more than up to the challenge, as the Pacers readily admitted ahead of the game, but Bosh's injury doesn't make things any easier for the powerful duo.
It also doesn't help that the Pacers are desperate to avoid returning to Indiana down 0-2 in the series, according to the Pacers' Granger.
With that type of intensity, Granger told the Indianapolis Star. This game is that important to us. You don't want to go back to Indiana down 0-2. That's really tough to come back from. We have to play this game in desperation.
Game 2 represents a huge opportunity for the Pacers and one that could determine their playoffs fate. Whether the Pacers are up to the challenge and can exploit the Heat without Bosh will be determined on Tuesday night.