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Posted at 12:40 PM ET, 06/07/2012

Chris Bosh may have larger role in Game 6, Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra says

With the Miami Heat teetering on the precipe of an unseemly exit from the NBA playoffs, one thing is certain about Game 6 tonight against the Boston Celtics: Chris Bosh will get more minutes.

He may even start.

In any event, Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra said that Bosh, who played 14 minutes in his first playoff appearance Tuesday night, will have a larger role with the Heat trailing the Celtics 3-2 in the series. Bosh, who had nine points and seven rebounds in the Heat’s 94-90 loss in Game 5, had missed nine games after suffering an abdominal strain in Game 1 of the conference semifinals against Indiana.

“I'm still going through that thought process,” Spoelstra said (via ESPN), “but I think he'll be able to handle a bigger load of minutes, and it'll be based more on how he'll feel during the game.”

Spoelstra declined to reveal his lineup until tonight, but Bosh said after Game 5 that he could have played more minutes. Spoelstra drew criticism — he’s drawing a lot of it these days — for not using Bosh more.

“Those are the decisions you have to make,” Spoelstra said, “and I know after the fact, those can always be second-guessed. But we're treading in kind of new waters right now, and [Bosh] had been out quite a while. But he'll play more [Thursday] night.”

They’ll need him. The Heat has won just once in eight games in Boston over the last two seasons and, if the team can’t make it twice in nine games, they’ll head back to Miami and an offseason of second-guessing.

“There’s added pressure, but I think it will be a great thing for us,” Bosh said. “You really rise to the occasion when the pressure is there. Hopefully, this will be one of these moments where we look back and say, ‘Remember, we were down 3-2 going into Boston?’

“People on the outside think it’s easy. It’s the most difficult thing you have to do as a professional. We’re finding that out now. We’re going into one of the toughest places in the world.”

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