The Miami Heat suffered a few setbacks before losing to the Boston Celtics on February 11. Both Josh Richardson and Terry Rozier suffered injuries that knocked them out of the game and potentially for longer.
Reports haven’t confirmed anything, but their injuries knocking them out for an extensive period could prove problematic for the Heat. It’s worse than that, too. If they miss the rest of the season, the Heat missed the deadline to file for Disabled Player Exceptions.
Miami Heat Beat’s Brian Goins reported that the deadline for such an exception passed on January 15 via his X account.
All hope may not be lost for the Heat. Goins then outlined what they would have to do to gain an exception that would get them some help.
The Heat are 28-25, which puts them at the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference. Miami has title aspirations like they’ve had for the past few years. Losing Rozier and Richardson for a while may get in the way of that. However, the Heat were the No. 8 seed when they went to the 2023 NBA Finals, so seeding has not proven to be an issue for them.
Josh Richardson Calls Shoulder Injury ‘Freak Accident’
Josh Richardson spoke with reporters after the Heat lost to the Celtics. He described how things went down leading up to the very play when he injured his shoulder.
“It’s just a regular play, honestly,” Richardson said, per Five Reason Sports Network’s YouTube Channel. “I reached, and (Jayson Tatum) was spun, and I tried to pull the ball there at a weird angle, so it’s kind of like a freak accident.”
Richardson voiced his gratitude that the injury itself could have been worse, though he’s not sure of the full extent of the damage.
“I felt my shoulder pop out on the floor, and then it popped back in laying on the ground, so thank goodness for that,” Richardson said, per ESPN. “I’ll know more tomorrow.”
Richardson played with Tatum for the Celtics from 2021 to 2022 before the Celtics traded him to the Spurs. With Jimmy Butler out due to a personal matter on top of all of that, the absences will decimate the Heat’s depth.
Erik Spoelstra’s Thoughts on Heat’s Newest Injuries
During his postgame press conference, Head Coach Erik Spoelstra gave his thoughts on seeing Rozier and Richardson sustain their latest injuries.
“You, more than anything, just feel for those guys,” Spoelstra said, per Miami HEAT’s YouTube Channel. “They’re competitors. They want to be out there. They’re trending in a much better direction.
“Josh was just starting to get healthy and really starting to get his legs under him and really starting to make an impact on both ends of the floor for us. Terry was getting a lot more comfortable, but you still want to see a fortitude that’s being developed over the course of the season. That’s what I’m noticing now in the last two weeks. We’re starting to develop some grit and competing more to our identity.”
The Heat have some open roster spots, so they could use them on players who have or will hit the buyout market that could fill in.