It’s not exactly the way most would have expected it to play out, but Joel Anthony is the Miami Heat’s last man standing.
With power forward Chris Bosh missing Thursday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers and Friday’s against the Utah Jazz due to the death of his grandmother, Anthony now stands as the only Heat player to start all 35 games this season.
The Heat announced Thursday that Bosh will be away from the team at least until the weekend. Coach Erik Spoelstra said it is possible Bosh rejoins the team for Sunday’s nationally televised game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center, the final game of this three-game trip.
Bosh had appeared in and started all 34 games prior to Thursday, with LeBron James missing one and Dwyane Wade missing nine. Starting point guard Mario Chalmers also has missed one game.
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Thursday marked just the third game Wade had appeared with James but without Bosh since the three stars came together in the 2010 offseason.
“It’s going to be an adjustment for us,” Wade said. “But one thing that we preached all year is our depth. And we’ve just got to understand we might have to change up a little bit offensively of what we’re comfortable with and what we do, but the rest of our principles stay the same.”
James said Bosh’s presence can’t help but be missed.
“He’s been playing great for us this year,” he said. “Hopefully guys will step up in his absence and we can keep the momentum going.”
Unlike last season, when Bosh missed five games, the Heat this season have the advantage of a healthy Udonis Haslem.
“We’ve done it before without Chris, but we didn’t have U.D. So we struggled mightily last year when he was out,” Spoelstra said. “But hopefully we feel we have enough depth.”
Spoelstra said his team has already shown an ability to play through hardship.
“I think our overall sense of focus and urgency has been very good this year,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of opportunities for lulls, relaxations from winning and that’s not our mindset right now.”
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