Some postgame notes and reaction from Wednesday night's Heat-Celtics thriller:
### Erik Spoelstra said Thursday afternoon that Chris Bosh will travel to Boston with the team but won't play in games three or four against the Celtics. Spoelstra said Bosh will take the trip to continue doing rehab work, and some court work, with the team's training staff and assistant coaches. "We want him around so he can work with [trainer/physical therapist] Rey Jaffet and [assistant coach] Keith Askins."
Asked when Bosh will be able to participate in contact practices, Spoelstra said, "That's way." Then he stopped himself and said "It's too early to tell." But he said that he is encouraged by his progress.
The Heat remains very hopeful that Bosh will be ready for the NBA Finals, and a return during this series has not been completely ruled out, though nobody is obviously counting on that. Bosh suffered an abdominal strain in Game 1 of the Pacers series on May 13.
Bosh has now done an on-court workout five consecutive days. The workouts, according to Spoelstra, have been a mix of rehab and basketball work, including shooting. But he has not participated in a team practice. The Heat did not practice Thursday.
### Spoelstra said it's not realistic to have LeBron James or Dwyane Wade defend Rondo for the entire game, though they will both continue getting the assignment during stretches.
### Spoelstra suggested he likely will stick with Ronny Turiaf as the starting center, even though Joel Anthony started the second half.
Some reaction from Wednesday night's game:
### Celtics coach Doc Rivers: "Rajon Rondo was absolutely phenomenal. It's tough to have him play that way and not win the game, honestly, because he did basically everything right. We had a lot of opportunities to win the game."
### Rivers, on the foul discrepancy (Boston committed 33, Miami 18): "LeBron James took 24 free throws and our team took 29. Paul Pierce fouled out of a game where he was attacking the basket. It's just tough. I tell my guys, doesn't matter, we can't get distracted. We will not get distracted in this series."
### Dwyane Wade scored just two points before halftime, 21 after. "In the third quarter, he isolated and made some shots over us." Said Rivers: In the first half, "We trapped him, got the ball out of his hands, made him be a passer. That's what we thought we would do. I love the game plan. We just didn't follow through with it in the second half as well as we did in the first half."
### Rondo took no solace in his masterpiece (44 points, 10 assists) because it came in a loss. "It's irrelevant. We lost. It's as simple as that." He played all 53 minutes. "I wanted to play every minute," he said. "It was a mental grind."
### Rondo thought he was fouled on a driving layup with 1:35 left in overtime and the game tied. Said Ray Allen: "We all thought he got hit but what can you do about it?"
### Wade: "It was exhausting. We put a lot of effort into coming back. We should have never dug ourselves such a hole. We did what we needed to do to get a win.... They blitzed me a lot on pick and rolls. In the third quarter, I tried to be aggressive when I had my one-on-one opportunities. Right now, I'm making the right adjustments for my team to win.... We're not celebrating. All we did was win two games at home.... We know we are going to get this team's best shot. Tonight, they gave us a great shot."
### Wade, on Rondo: "It seemed like he didn't miss. We tried to keep mixing it up on him. There was nothing you could do about it. We'll keep switching it up with different defenders."
### Wade said Allen's open three pointer to tie the game with 34 seconds in the fourth quarter "was a bone-headed play on my part... We shouldn't have come off the shooters."
### LeBron James: "So many ups and downs throughout the whole game. Rondo was absolutely amazing. It will go down in the record books. He showed why he's one of the superstars in this league. He's a unique player.... I told Mario [Chalmers] after the game that he kept us afloat. He made some big shots, gave us a lift, the third punch we needed. He played a great game."
### James, on missing the last shot in regulation: "I had a great look at it. It just didn't go down."
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While the focus of the Heat’s coaching staff remains squarely on the playoffs, a portion of the team’s front office is splitting its attention between this series and pre-draft preparation.
The Heat, which has the 27th selection in the first round but no second-round pick, has begun summoning prospects to AmericanAirlines Arena for workouts, including Georgetown forward Hollis Thompson and Vanderbilt shooting guard John Jenkins.
Several other prospects are booked for upcoming auditions, including power forwards Drew Gordon (New Mexico), Andrew Nicholson (St. Bonaventure), John Shurna (Northwestern) and Miles Plumlee (Duke), Vanderbilt center Festus Ezeli and Gonzaga center Robert Sacre.
Heat officials will attend a pre-draft camp in Minneapolis beginning today and the Chicago pre-draft camp next week.
Syracuse 7-0 center Fab Melo (7.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.9 blocks this past season) would be an intriguing possibility if he slips to 27th. A mock draft on hoopshype.com has Melo going 24th and the Heat taking Baylor small forward Quincy Miller 27th, with Ezeli and Jenkins going next.
Duke shooting guard Austin Rivers, son of Celtics coach Doc Rivers, is projected to go anywhere from the middle of the lottery to the middle of the first round.
Under one NBA schedule scenario, Game 7 of the Finals could be held two days before the June 28 Draft.
Forward Chris Bosh, out since May 13 with an abdominal strain, did some on-court work for the fourth consecutive day.
“It’s more rehab oriented,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “While [assistant coach] Keith Askins is doing some basketball drills, it’s more Rey Jaffet, our trainer and physical therapist doing the work.”
Spoelstra said he watched the workout “to show him some support and see how much he’s progressing. I didn’t need to have to watch it. It hasn’t got to that point.”
### The NBA Finals would begin Sunday, June 10, if both conference finals end in five games or fewer. Otherwise, the Finals would begin June 12. If the Heat makes it, it would host games three, four and five.
### The admiration for Shane Battier keeps growing inside the Heat. Coach Erik Spoelstra said Battier “competes as hard as anybody I’ve ever been around. He’s a tough hombre.”
Doc Rivers said of Battier: “Early in the year, people were wondering when he wasn’t making shots. We kept thinking his contribution will be on the other end. He’s a great individual defender and he’s maybe a better team defender. When you add him and the way he recovers to Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, it makes them awful quick defensively. Great pickup by them.”
### When Rivers spoke to Ray Allen Tuesday about the possibility of sitting out a game because of his troublesome ankle injury, Allen said his reaction was, “Hell, no. This is not the time to sit.”
Allen was already shooting on the AmericanAirlines Arena court on Wednesday morning well before his teammates arrived for shoot-around. Rivers walked in and cracked, “I’ve been looking for Ray all morning.”
The Celtics limited Allen’s game-day activity in recent weeks but changed course Wednesday. “So many people call and tell me, ‘You’ve got to get the ball in the air more,” Allen said. “I’m like, ‘Thank you for the advice. I’ve only been doing this for 20 years.’”
### The 21.5 local rating for Game 1 of the series was the Heat’s highest local rating ever on ESPN and also topped the 17.7 average rating for Dolphins games last season - the first time that has happened this postseason.