The Miami Heat are ready to take on the Indiana Pacers for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, but they may have to do it short-handed. Chris Andersen missed Game 4 with a thigh injury, yet the Heat still rolled to a victory.
Andersen is still questionable for Game 5. He didn't practice yesterday, and he did not go through shoot-around this morning with the team. He is listed as day-to-day and is questionable for the Heat.
More important than that, key reserve Ray Allen is also questionable. Allen also did not go through shoot-around with the team this morning. Allen did finish the game despite getting hip checked in Game 4 by David West. Here is the play so you can see for yourself: VIDEO
The Heat survived with Andersen, but it would be much harder without Allen who has been such an integral part of the Heat's offense. Both players will have decisions made shortly before game time.
"That's more minutes for Dwyane Wade, and that's not necessarily a good thing." -- Frank Vogel on the chance Ray Allen doesn't play.
We saw how the Heat survived without Andersen -- Miami started Rashard Lewis and used Udonis Haslem as the big off the bench. If Allen doesn't play, there are a couple options. Most likely: two point guard lineups. This would mean a continued 30+ minutes for Norris Cole, and much more Mario Chalmers. The Heat could also elect to go back to James Jones, or they could try their hand at Toney Douglas who would like the chance to play some defense on Indiana's guards.
David West shrugged off the Heat's injury woes by simply saying, "They have LeBron James."
Well, that's true.
The Heat and Pacers play at 8:30 PM on ESPN.
UPDATE (7:57 PM)
Chris Andersen will not play tonight. He is inactive.