Just when the Miami Heat appeared to be getting things on the right track, the team is plagued with a few crucial injuries. While Heat guard Avery Bradley is out for three to four weeks with a calf strain, Miami’s other veteran starting guard, Goran Dragic, is now out with a sprained ankle.
Dragic, 34, is out for the Heat’s Super Bowl Sunday matchup against the New York Knicks, which is a huge blow for Miami. Especially, since the team has not revealed how long the veteran will be out.
On Friday night, head coach Erik Spoelstra chose to put the Slovenian star in the starting lineup over Tyler Herro, and the Heat went on to have their biggest win of the season. After losing 103-100 to Washington two days earlier, the Heat crushed the Wizards 122-95.
Due to COVID-19 and injuries, the Heat have circled through no less than 15 different starting lineups so far this season, and based on Dragic’s performance as a starter, many feel that’s where he should remain in the lineup. On February 5, he clocked nine points, four assists, and three rebounds in 22 minutes of play.
With Dragic now being out, “Nobody’s going to feel sorry for us, and we don’t want any pity,” Spoelstra said, as tweeted by Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman. “We have the majority of our core together, and that’s what’s most important.”
Miami head’s into their matchup on February 7 with a record of 8-14.
With Bradley Out, Kendrick Nunn Will Likely Step in for Dragic
With both Dragic and Bradley out for the foreseeable future, the Heat will have to rely on Kendrick Nunn to step up. When Dragic left Friday’s game after injuring his ankle, Nunn scored a team-high 25 points against the Wizards.
Nunn, who finished just being Ja Morant in the Rookie of the Year voting last season, is confident he can get the job done.
“It is tough,” Nunn said of staying ready. “We are professionals. It is our job to do that. I am built to do that. Whether it is starting, coming off the bench, DNP’s or whatever. Whatever minutes I get, I will always be ready for.”
“I think I have given them some trust to be able to trust me, to call on me whenever,” the 25-year-old continued. “I will produce. I believe the coaches trust me.”
The Heat Have a 5-2 Record When Playing on Super Bowl Sunday
May the odds ever be in the Heat’s favor for their game on Super Bowl Sunday. Winderman tweeted on February 7 that Miami has a 5-2 record when playing on the NFL’s biggest day.
“Having played on Super Sunday in 2016, ’15, ’13, ’12, ’11, ’02, ’97. Heat have played in New York on Super Bowl Sunday twice previously, going 1-1 with a 94-83 win at NY on 2/3/02 and a 95-89 loss at NY on 1/26/97.”