Erik Spoelstra knew exactly what the first question would be as he stepped to the podium for pregame remarks before his Miami Heat took on the Celtics in Game 3 at the TD Garden. Preemptively, he leaned into the mic and gave an answer.
"Same guys available," he said.
In other words, still no Chris Bosh, shockingly enough.
"I've probably given you guys too much information," the Heat coach said when prodded for more details on his star power forward. "His return is still indefinite. He's definitely not playing tonight. Every day, we'll reevaluate."
Bosh has been out since Game 1 of the Indiana series with a lower abdominal strain, and while he continues to participate in light drills at team practices, he's still not ready for a comeback. He'll be Miami's other inactive player tonight alongside Eddy Curry.
Perhaps the harder question, though, is what will happen to the Heat's dynamic if Bosh does happen to return later in this series. Without their only polished post scorer, the Heat have had to rework their offense, with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade making things happen from the perimeter. If Bosh does return, it's anyone's guess how he impacts this series.
"We'll gladly cross that bridge when we get there," Spoelstra said. "I hope we get to that point. But right now, I love you Chris, but our focus continues to be on the guys we have right now.
"The last two years, we not only couldn't win without Chris, but we couldn't play effectively without Chris," he added. "He was our most important player. We've had to make adjustments on the fly. We've had to reinvent ourselves, it seems like daily. So if it gets to that point, I'll gladly take that quote-unquote 'challenge' to work him back."
The Celtics aren't approaching this series any differently due to Bosh's continued absence -- they're down 2-0 in this best-of-seven, and their urgency is exactly the same, with the seven-time All-Star or without him.
"I don't honestly pay much attention to 'with him' because he's not there," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "I'm just looking at how they're playing right now, and they're playing terrific. They're moving the ball, they're trusting each other, and other guys are involved. [Mario] Chalmers and [Udonis] Haslem have been terrific. So I don't think it's surprising.
"LeBron and Dwyane are terrific playmakers, not just scorers. They're involving other guys. But it comes from those two guys -- they've trusted their teammates, they're not taking hero shots for the most part, and they're playing team basketball."