Eastern Notes: Bosh, Clifford, Smart

It remains to be seen if the Heat‘s medical staff will allow Chris Bosh, who has missed significant time the past two seasons due to blood clot issues, to take the court this campaign. Regardless of the team’s opinion, the forward has left little doubt regarding his desire to do so, Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel writes. Bosh posted a video on Snapchat earlier this week showing him working out, as well as posting a message where he said, “I know I’ve been gone for a moment, but now I’m back. Everybody is always asking me am I hooping? Yes, I’m hooping. Absolutely. I’m a hooper.

Bosh still believes the team should medically clear him to play, though the front office hasn’t given any indication that it will do so, but the team does say that it is trying to find an agreeable solution, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald notes (Twitter links). Miami strongly disputes any notion that it is trying to clear Bosh’s salary of $23,741,060 for this season of its books, Jackson adds.

Here’s more from the East:

  • Hornets head coach Steve Clifford is one of the most undervalued assets in the league, Jonny Auping of RealGM posits. The scribe notes that Clifford’s squads have been some of the hardest to score on in the league despite giving heavy minutes to unheralded defensive players like Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker. The strength of Clifford’s system, as well as the positive team chemistry he fosters, could potentially be seen as a draw should Stephen Curry decide to leave the Warriors and return to his home state, Auping adds.
  • Marcus Smart is in line to become a bigger part of the Celtics offense now that Evan Turner is no longer a member of the team, something the guard is looking forward to, Logan Mullen of WEEI 93.7 FM notes. “Becoming more aggressive. Becoming more of an offensive threat,” Smart said when asked how he will raise his overall game. “I’m improving and trying to improve every aspect of my game. Trying to become more of a second to third, fourth option on the team in scoring, assists and everything. Just anything I can do to help my team on the offensive end.” Smart also expects to take on more of a leadership role this season, Mullen adds. “I’m ecstatic about it,” Smart said. “This is a great opportunity for anybody, and there’s a lot of people who would die to be in the situation I’m in, so it’s a blessing and I’m ready to step up, like I said. I’m ready for more responsibility, especially as a leader and that role and that aspect. It’s crazy because being able to say that this is a guy who is a leader on the team and it’s only his third year, it’s incredible.”

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