Miami • Dwyane Wade has been battling knee soreness. LeBron James was hobbling after a falling into a courtside cameraman. Chris Bosh remains sidelined indefinitely with an abdominal strain. Mike Miller looks to be in agony whenever he moves.
An extra day of rest doesn't sound like much, but it means plenty right now to the Miami Heat.
Now halfway to their goal of an NBA championship, the Heat took a welcomed and needed day off Friday after closing out their Eastern Conference semifinal matchup with the Indiana Pacers.
The East finals open Monday in Miami against either Philadelphia or Boston, teams that will settle their second-round series with a Game 7 on Saturday night.
"We can use it," James said after the Heat ousted the Pacers with a Game 6 win in Indianapolis on Thursday. "Any team in the postseason, any extra day that you can get, it definitely helps us. So we're going to take advantage of it."
It's not like the Heat were planning to sit at home all day, since most players at this time of year tend to hit the training room on off days. Still, for the first time in a while, Friday provided a chance for the reigning East champs to relax a bit, especially after three hard-fought wins in five days allowed Miami to claw back from what was a soon-forgotten 2-1 series deficit to the Pacers.
Wade and James combined to score 197 points in the final three games of the Indiana series, while the Pacers' starters collectively managed 184.
Bosh told ESPN.com this week that he is improving, but he stopped short of offering a date for his possible return.
• The NBA fined Heat coach Erik Spoelstra $25,000 on Friday for "critical public comments" about officiating in the series with Indiana.