Miami Heat Betting: Chris Bosh nearing Return?

chris-bosh-returnThe Miami Heat are certainly exceeding expectations with Chris Bosh out due to a blood clot. They are currently sitting fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 36-26 record and just one game back of Boston for the third seed. And they’ve won seven of their last nine games without Bosh while also doing very well against the spread.

However, they certainly wouldn’t mind having the 11-time All-Star and his production back on the court. According to a recent tweet, it might not be long before Bosh returns to the lineup.

“Feeling Good! Feeling great!” Bosh tweeted. He added, “Workout was good today! Music playlist was all over the place from @KingsOfLeon @alt_J @GavinRossdale @theblackkeys @GaryClarkJr”

Okay, so this isn’t a resounding declaration that Bosh will be suiting up for Miami soon. But the fact that he’s on the court and getting in quality workouts definitely bodes well for the team.

The 12-year veteran has been out since sitting out the All-Star game, when he was first diagnosed with a strained calf muscle. However, a source close to the team later said it was a blood clot that was keeping Bosh sidelined. Neither he nor the team has verified the clot, but if he does have one, which seems to be the case, it doesn’t seem severe enough to keep him out for the rest of the season.

This is a different story from last season, when a blood clot worked its way into Bosh’s lung and ended his season at the All-Star break. The forward had to spend several days in the hospital in what many feared would be a life-threatening situation. As for the 2015 Miami Heat, they faltered down the stretch, finishing 37-45 and failing to earn a playoff spot.

Everything is looking much better this time around, though, since he’s working out and the team is still rolling too. But Bosh is on blood thinners right now, and as long as this is going on he won’t be playing any games. After all, blood thinners increase the risk of athletes bleeding after contact. So Bosh definitely won’t be playing later today, when the Heat take on the Philadelphia 76ers.

Despite his limitations, he has shot around with the team and hung around practices on occasion. And Miami Heat President Pat Riley says that Bosh is doing his best to make it back onto the court at some point. However, there’s still no timetable on when he might play again.

For the season Bosh is averaging 19.1 PPG, 7.4 RPG and shooting 36.5% from the three-point line. In an era where it’s extremely helpful for big men to have long range, Bosh is of huge help to Miami. But the good news for him and the team is that other stars like Dwayne Wade, Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic have picked up the slack while Bosh is out.

The team picked up even more fire power after recently adding Joe Johnson to the roster. Given all the quality players that the Heat have, they’re expected to be among the contenders for the Eastern Conference title. The Cleveland Cavaliers are favored while the Toronto Raptors are doing quite well too. However, Miami certainly has the talent if they can get Bosh back in time and have good team chemistry going into the postseason.

NBA Power Rankings: March 1, 2016

steph-curry-thunderAs great as Golden State has been, they still have detractors. And last week was marred by comments from Oscar Robertson and Isiah Thomas, who claim that Steph Curry’s incredible success is due to poor perimeter defense these days. For his part, Curry doesn’t seem to phased as his team marches on to the best record in NBA history. And we don’t seem too phased either since they once again top our power rankings. See where everybody else ranks below, and take a look at last week’s power rankings here.

1. Golden State Warriors (53-5); same spot – As if the Warriors needed to further convince anybody else how great they are (apparently they do), they just beat Oklahoma City on the road again…thanks to Curry’s game-winning 35-footer.

2. San Antonio Spurs (50-9); same spot – The Spurs remain the one team that looks like they could possibly stop Golden State. But even that seems like a stretch now.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder (42-18); up 1 spot – OKC somewhat redeemed a loss to the Pelicans by almost beating Golden State. The Clippers are gaining on them for the third spot in the West.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers (42-17); down 1 spot – Kyrie Irving won’t admit that he’s unhappy in Cleveland. But whether or not it’s true, this isn’t an ideal time for such a report to surface.

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Dallas Mavericks5. Toronto Raptors (39-19); same spot – The Raptors still remain 2.5 games behind the Cavaliers. But a recent home win over Cleveland shows that Toronto is definitely a threat to win the East.

6. Boston Celtics (36-25); same spot – Boston got a solid 12-point win over Miami on Saturday to keep a firm grip on the number-three seed. They’d make an interesting opponent for Toronto in the playoffs.

7. LA Clippers (39-20); same spot – The Clippers continue to play their best basketball of the year with Blake Griffin sidelined.

8. Miami Heat (34-26); up 1 spot – Chris Bosh still faces an uncertain future. But the Heat are rallying around his absence and have posted a 4-2 record since the All-Star break.

9. Memphis Grizzlies (35-24); down 1 spot – Marc Gasol will miss the rest of the year with a foot injury. Hard to see the Grizzlies doing much better than this with Gasol missing.

10. Portland Trail Blazers (33-28); up 4 spots – There’s no question that Portland is the surprise team of the year after losing LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, Robin Lopez and Wesley Matthews in the offseason.

11. Atlanta Hawks (33-27); down 1 spot – Atlanta continues struggling to find last season’s magic. They still have 26 games to try and find it before the postseason.

Orlando Magic v Charlotte Hornets12. Charlotte Hornets (31-28); same spot – The Hornets are streaking up the standings now that their team is healthy. They could be even better as their chemistry improves with Al Jefferson back in the lineup.

13. Indiana Pacers (31-29); down 2 spots – Indiana looked like they had last night’s contest won against the Cavaliers. Then officials took away a late three by Paul George after determining that the shot clock had expired.

14. Dallas Mavericks (32-28); down 1 spot – The Mavericks were a bit of a surprise at the beginning of the season. But lately, they’ve cooled off and will need some good play just to stay in the postseason.

15. Detroit Pistons (31-29); up 3 spots – Detroit played terrible leading up to the All-Star break. But with four straight wins, they’re now looking like a dangerous low-seed playoff team.

16. Houston Rockets (29-31); same spot – Houston’s disappointing season leaves plenty of questions as we inch towards the offseason.

17. Chicago Bulls (30-29); down 2 spots – For the first time this season, Chicago is suddenly out of a playoff spot.

john-wall18. Washington Wizards (29-30); up 1 spot – Washington has used two wins over the Sixers and a victory over the LeBron-less Cavaliers to put themselves in the postseason hunt.

19. Utah Jazz (28-31); down 2 spots – Utah’s downfall this year has been their road play since they’re just 9-19 away from home.

20. Orlando Magic (26-32); same spot – Despite Orlando’s January/February collapse, this is still a young team that’s playing close to .500 basketball.

21. Milwaukee Bucks (25-35); up 4 spots – Interesting to hear that Dwight Howard “likes Milwaukee,” even though he wouldn’t opt into their trade due to contract extension reasons.

22. New Orleans Pelicans (23-35); up 2 spots – This has been a lost season for New Orleans, but at least they’re playing decent now.

23. New York Knicks (25-37); down 2 spots – The Knicks have gotten more attention for controversy than their play. The latest involves Carmelo Anthony and ex-Knick Amar’e Stoudemire.

24. Sacramento Kings (24-34); down 1 spot – Every time Sacramento shows some promise, they go on a losing streak; this time it’s three games.

danillo-gallinari25. Denver Nuggets (23-37); down 3 spots – Danilo Gallinari will unfortunately have to miss some time due to torn ligaments in his foot.

26. Minnesota Timberwolves (19-41); same spot – Minnesota’s young nucleus still has a long way to go. But they’ve split their last 10 games and have shown some promise.

27. Brooklyn Nets (17-43); same spot – Joe Johnson is gone and Brooklyn is officially on their way to a rebuild.

28. Phoenix Suns (15-45); same spot – Only the Sixers have a worse road record than the Suns this season (4-29).

29. L.A. Lakers (11-49); same spot – Kobe Bryant probably wishes his last season was over right now in the midst of an eight-game losing streak.

30. Philadelphia 76ers (8-52); same spot – Philadelphia is still hunting for that ninth win that will at least tie them for the worst record ever.

NBA Power Rankings: Feb 22, 2016

Milwaukee Bucks v Cleveland CavaliersTeams are back on the court after the All-Star break and, already, a few of the top squads have lost. Golden State, San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Toronto are all trying to shake off the rust after losses, and one of these teams fell in our power rankings as a result. That said, let’s see which team this is, and here’s a look at last week’s power rankings.

1. Golden State Warriors (49-5); same spot – Perhaps fueled by his All-Star snub, Damian Lillard dropped 51 points on the Warriors to lead Portland to a 137-105 victory. Golden State righted the ship, though, with a 115-112 road win over the Clippers.

2. San Antonio Spurs (47-9); same spot – The Spurs came out of the break with a 105-86 loss to the Clippers, but have since won two easy ones against the Lakers and Suns.

3. Cleveland Cavaliers (40-14); up 1 spot – Blowout wins against the Bulls and Thunder recently have the Cavs looking like the cream of the East crop. It also doesn’t hurt that their lead on the Raptors is 4 games now.

4. Oklahoma City Thunder (40-16); down 1 spot – The Thunder have stumbled out of the mid-season pause with home losses to Indiana and Cleveland. But Durant and Westbrook should get them back in the contender conversation soon.

doug-mcdermott-career-high5. Toronto Raptors (36-18); same spot – Losing to a short-handed Bulls team and allowing Doug McDermott to score 30 had to hurt. But Toronto did come back with a nice 13-point victory over the Grizzlies.

6. Boston Celtics (33-24); same spot – No major trade for the Celtics this year, however, their current lineup is more than capable of a solid playoff run.

7. LA Clippers (36-19); same spot – Awkward handshakes aside, the Clippers are playing really well with a victory over the Spurs and a narrow 3-point loss to Golden State. It’ll be interesting to see how the Jeff Green trade impacts this team.

8. Memphis Grizzlies (32-23); same spot – It’s unclear if Lance Stephenson will help the Grizzlies win now. But they must be happy to part with Green and get a first-round pick.

9. Miami Heat (31-24); up 1 spot – Another health scare for Chris Bosh, but Miami is still playing pretty good in his absence right now. Hopefully Bosh can get his blood clot issue cleared up.

al-horford10. Atlanta Hawks (31-24); down 1 spot – Atlanta chose to keep their core together. They’re banking on doing well this year and re-signing Al Horford in the summer.

11. Indiana Pacers (30-25); up 1 spot – With George Best healthy and Myles Turner getting better all the time, Indiana could be a dark-horse contender in the East.

12. Charlotte Hornets (29-26); up 1 spot – The All-Star break didn’t cool off Charlotte since they’ve now won five straight and hold the East’s seventh seed.

13. Dallas Mavericks (30-27); down 2 spots – Dallas has been pretty mediocre lately. But they could get a little boost by signing David Lee in the near future.

14. Portland Trailblazers (28-27); up 2 spots – Portland has come out after the break and ripped off three straight wins, including the aforementioned Warriors victory. Pretty incredible for a team that lost several key players in the offseason.

15. Chicago Bulls (28-26); down 1 spot – Chicago needs to stay in the playoff hunt until Jimmy Butler and Nikola Mirotic return, which will be at least a couple more weeks.

dwight-howard-rockets16. Houston Rockets (28-28); up spots –  The Rockets just couldn’t find a decent trade for Dwight Howard, so they decided to keep him. This certainly makes Houston better in the short term.

17. Utah Jazz (27-27); down 2 spots – Utah is 8-2 in their last 10 games, but they’re still on the outside looking in regarding the postseason.

18. Detroit Pistons (27-29); down 1 spot – Detroit keeps losing, but adding Tobias Harris should help this team turn things around and compete for a playoff spot.

19. Washington Wizards (25-29); same spot – The big question is how Markieff Morris affects this team’s chemistry. But it’s undeniable that he’ll add more talent to the Wizards.

20. Orlando Magic (24-30); same spot – Orlando picked up a quality player in Brandon Jennings, and they are poised to hunt for stars in the free agent market.

21. New York Knicks (24-33); up 1 spot – New York was surprisingly quiet at the trade deadline. They’ll definitely be looking to get better in free agency this summer.

randy-foye-thunder22. Denver Nuggets (22-34); down 1 spot – Nice trade by Denver to get rid of veteran Randy Foye for a couple of second-round picks.

23. Sacramento Kings (23-31); same spot – The Kings have won two out of the break, but they have a lot of ground to make up for the last playoff spot.

24. New Orleans Pelicans (22-33); up 1 spot – Anthony Davis is coming off a franchise-record 59 points and 20 rebounds against the Pistons.

25. Milwaukee Bucks (23-33); down 1 spot – Surprisingly, the Bucks were interested in trading for Dwight Howard before the trade deadline.

26. Minnesota Timberwolves (17-39); same spot – The T-Wolves have really struggled to win at the Target Center, going just 9-20 on their home floor.

27. Brooklyn Nets (15-41); same spot – New GM Sean Marks quickly made an impact by cutting Andrea Bargnani.

28. Phoenix Suns (14-42); same spot – The losing continues for Phoenix as they’ve now dropped 11 in a row.

29. L.A. Lakers (11-45); same spot – Truly the only reason to pay attention to L.A. right now is to see Kobe play his last stretch of games.

30. Philadelphia 76ers (8-47); same spot – This team probably wants to fast-forward to next season and see just how “special” Joel Embiid can be.