As the Miami Heat battle to hold their current spot in the 2019 NBA Playoffs, they have plenty of competition on their heels. And unfortunately, the current No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference finds themselves battling a few injuries during a key stretch of the season. As the Heat prepare to face the Oklahoma City Thunder Monday night, they could be down one of their main starters.
The injury concern comes in relation to point-forward Justise Winslow, who’s shifted into the starting point guard role this season and put together an impressive year. But Winslow suffered a thigh injury last Friday which sidelined him over the weekend when the team faced the Charlotte Hornets.
We’re going to take a look at the latest on the young playmaker’s injury status as well as the roster and starting lineup for the Heat in the game against the Thunder.
Latest on Justise Winslow Injury Status
While Winslow missed the Heat’s victory over the Hornets, the outlook seems to be fairly positive for him to return to the mix soon and potentially as soon as Monday. Nothing is set in stone currently, but as David Wilson of the Miami Herald revealed, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said after Winslow suffered the injury that he doesn’t expect it to be a “long-term concern.”
Beyond that, Winslow admitted that the thigh injury affected his game.
“I just didn’t have the top gear that I usually like to play with on both ends of the floor,” Winslow said, “so it affected me.”
The injury status of Winslow remains up in the air, but he’s expected to be with the team in Oklahoma City. Beyond that, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported that Spoelstra stated it’s “tough to tell” how long Winslow’s injury will hold him out.
*UPDATE: Justise Winslow has been ruled out for this game.
Miami Heat Roster & Starting Lineup vs. Thunder
*Notates expected starter
C: Bam Adebayo*, Hassan Whiteside, Ryan Anderson
PF: Kelly Olynyk*, Udonis Haslem
SF: Derrick Jones Jr.*, Rodney McGruder, James Johnson
SG: Dion Waiters*, Dwyane Wade, Duncan Robinson, Charles Cooke
PG: Josh Richardson*, Goran Dragic,
Justise Winslow* (status TBD)
If Winslow sits this game out, it will likely be Goran Dragic who absorbs the minutes, although he didn’t start last game. The Heat rolled with Bam Adebayo, Kelly Olynyk, Derrick Jones Jr., Dion Waiters and Josh Richardson in the first five. With that said, Dragic logged 28 minutes off the bench and tallied 19 points with four assists while shooting 7-of-11 from the field.
James Johnson also saw decent playing time with the second unit, scoring six points with three assists and three rebounds over 17 minutes. Along with Dragic’s 28 minutes, Richardson (38), Adebayo (31), Olynyk (31) and Wade (28) saw the most minutes for Miami during the 18-point victory.