Miami Heat big man Chris Andersen is inactive for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night due to a left thigh contusion, and guard Ray Allen will be available after battling a sore hip, the team announced. Andersen missed Monday's Game 4, and both missed shootaround.
Andersen has been effective for the Heat during the playoffs, shooting 63 percent from the field and providing sound defense on the pick and roll and at the rim. His absence means Miami will go small, though, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Rashard Lewis hasn't scored a single point in the series, but the Heat have played extremely well with him on the floor in the last two games.
Miami has to hope that Allen is close to 100 percent, as his shooting and ballhandling have been crucial in this series. He told Bleacher Report's Ethan Skolnick that he felt good enough to play:
Ray Allen just told me he's fine. Wasn't worried about it once he got in some pregame shooting.— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) May 28, 2014
Game 5 begins at 8:30 p.m. ET.