Four starters are absent for the Heat, leaving them again shorthanded vs. the Thunder

January 11, 2023

The Miami Heat revealed on Tuesday morning that guard Tyler Herro and center Bam Adebayo would miss Tuesday night’s matchup with the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder, despite the team’s health improving.

The Heat had announced on Monday that forwards Caleb Martin and guards Kyle Lowry would not be playing in the contest.

Only Jimmy Butler was left from the Heat’s preferred starting lineup, which had only started 14 of the team’s 41 games as of Tuesday night.

Additionally, because coach Erik Spoelstra was dealt a mixed bag of starting lineups, the Heat had to introduce their 18th starting lineup after only using 13 of the first 17 for two or fewer games.

Ninety minutes before Tuesday night’s tip, Spoelstra said, “this really kind of seems like our norm.”. “I don’t say that in jest, but with the available, different people, we were able to win games even though we’ve had players in and out of the lineup. “

Adebayo suffered a right wrist injury against the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday after being labeled as questionable for that match due to a thigh injury that required ongoing medical attention.

Adebayo previously missed four games this season, with the Heat going 2-2 during those absences. Two absences were brought on by knee bruises, one by an ankle sprain, and one by illness.

Spoelstra referred to Adebayo’s wrist injury as providing “a little bit more relief.”. He was uncomfortable neither catching nor shooting.

In that one-point loss to the Nets, Herro slipped on a slick court area during the final play. He is currently out with a sore left Achilles.

Fortunately, it only slightly jammed and tweaked his ankle, according to Spoelstra. “Over the past 24 hours, he’s improved. “

Due to Herro’s eight-game absences in November due to a sprained left ankle, the Heat went 3-5. His only other previous absence occurred when he sat out last Friday’s road victory over the Phoenix Suns because of back spasms.

Due to pain in his left knee, Lowry cannot play. Lowry had missed five games before this one, with the Heat going 4-1 during those absences (two for rest, two for a sore left knee, and one for personal reasons).

He’ll be day to day from here, and we’ll see, Spoelstra said, adding that the end of the road trip left his knee a little sore.

Martin has missed four of the last six games with strained left quadriceps.

Before Tuesday, Martin had missed seven games: one due to an NBA fighting suspension, two dues to a sprained left ankle, and four dues to a quadriceps strain, making the Heat 3-4 without him.

The Heat’s latest absences include guard Duncan Robinson (finger surgery), center Omer Yurtseven (ankle surgery), and rookie forward Nikola Jovic (back spasms). These players are expected to be out for at least three weeks.

Robinson had his surgery last week in Los Angeles and is now back with the team while wearing a cast on his hand.

Yurtseven, who underwent surgery in November, can now walk while wearing a brace on his left and no longer needs a scooter for support.

Jovic’s lower back is experiencing a stress reaction.

Spoelstra said, “I think we’ve handled some of the adversity we’ve had.”

The Heat have been playing with a reduced roster all season, carrying only 14 players on their standard roster as opposed to the maximum of 15, to avoid paying the harsh NBA luxury tax.

Other Heat players have also been dealing with injuries, including center Dewayne Dedmon, 42, who has tendinitis in his left foot; guard Gabe Vincent, who recently underwent surgery for an effusion in his left knee. And captain Udonis Haslem, 42, is listed as questionable because of tendinitis in his right Achilles.

Butler, guard Max Strus, forward Haywood Highsmith, guard Victor Oladipo, and versatile players Orlando Robinson and Jamal Cain were the only members of the Heat roster who were not initially listed as questionable for Tuesday night.