An update on Miami Heat’s roster coming in Friday against Rockets


Friday’s game between the Miami Heat and the Houston Rockets is currently.

Despite a growing outbreak of COVID-19 and a long list of injuries, the Heat are on track to have the eight-player minimum required by the NBA to play against the Rockets at Toyota Center on Friday (7 p.m., Bally Sports Sun). But the final decision on whether the game will actually play as originally planned will only be determined a few hours before kick-off.

The Heat underwent another round of COVID-19 tests on Friday morning, with results expected before the game.

But Miami continued to bring in COVID-19 replacements in an effort to have enough players available for Friday’s game, including former Heat keeper Mario Chalmers and center Chris Silva. Chalmers and Silva are both expected to sign their 10-day deals with the Heat in time to play against the Rockets.

Chalmers, who won two NBA championships as the Heat’s point guard in 2012 and 2013, last played in an NBA game on April 11, 2018, as a member of the Memphis Grizzlies. He tore his right Achilles tendon in March 2016 and it derailed his NBA career as he has since played in Italy, Greece, Puerto Rico and even in the Big 3 basketball league. three against three in order to come back. in the league.

Silva initially signed an undrafted South Carolina prospect with the Heat before 2019-20, averaging three points and 2.7 rebounds in 55 games over two seasons before being traded to the Sacramento Kings in March in the part of the agreement that brought Nemanja Bjelica back. Silva has averaged 15.1 points and 9.8 rebounds in 12 games for the Iowa Wolves in the G League this season.

Chalmers and Silva join goalkeeper Kyle Guy, forward Haywood Highsmith, forward / center Aric Holman and goalkeeper Nik Stauskas as players the Heat have added in recent days on 10-day deals as players from COVID-19 replacement. Guy, Highsmith and Holman have already signed their contracts, but hopefully all six will be available for the Heat on Friday against the Rockets.

They will be needed, as the Heat currently has eight players in NBA health and safety protocols: Zylan Cheatham, Marcus Garrett, Udonis Haslem, Kyle Lowry, Duncan Robinson, Max Strus, PJ Tucker and Gabe Vincent.

Garrett and Robinson are the latest Heat players to deal with COVID-19 issues, entering protocols on Thursday. Robinson’s absence will end his franchise-record streak of 182 consecutive appearances dating back to April 2019.

Additionally, the Heat ruled out five players with injuries: Bam Adebayo (thumb surgery), Dewayne Dedmon (sprained knee), Markieff Morris (whiplash), KZ Okpala (sprained wrist) and Victor Oladipo (recovery knee injury). Morris and Oladipo did not travel with the team to Houston, but the rest of Miami’s injured players are traveling.

Additionally, Jimmy Butler is listed as questionable to play on Friday due to a sprained right ankle.

So, with how many players does it leave the Heat against the Rockets?

Friday morning, the Heat should have nine players available for Friday’s game in Houston (one more than the minimum of eight required by the NBA): Chalmers, Guy, Tyler Herro, Highsmith, Holman, Caleb Martin, Silva, Stauskas and Omer Yourtseven. Only three of those players (Herro, Martin and Yurtseven) started the season on Miami’s roster.

If Butler can play, the Heat will have 10 players available for their clash against the Rockets.

There’s also a chance Garrett and Lowry will be out of protocol in time to play on Friday. Lowry’s six-day quarantine was allowed to end as early as Thursday evening based on test results and Garrett’s status is still awaiting confirmation as he returned an inconclusive test result.

If Garrett and Lowry are cleared, that would give Miami 12 players available on Friday in the event that no other roster is positive for COVID-19 and Butler is able to play despite a sprained ankle.

Lowry stayed in Miami on Thursday but was set to join the Heat in Houston on Friday morning. Although Lowry is listed as absent, there is some optimism that he may be able to play against the Rockets.

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association recently agreed to shorten the quarantine period from 10 days to six days for players and coaches who test positive for COVID-19 if test data shows they are no longer at risk of infection. .

Under the new rules, Lowry’s six-day quarantine could end on Thursday since he tested positive last Friday, with players considered positive on Day 0. If he’s not playing against the Rockets, his next chance to go. comeback will be Sunday against the Sacramento Kings at the Golden 1 Center.

As for other Heat players in Protocols, Haslem and Strus’ six-day quarantine ends Monday; Cheatham, Tucker and Vincent’s six-day quarantine ends Tuesday; and Garrett and Robinson’s six-day quarantine ends Wednesday.

The Heat’s training and training staff are also understaffed due to COVID-19. Assistant coach Caron Butler and head athletic coach Jay Sabol are staying away from the Heat as they are in protocols, and other team staff have also tested positive in recent days.

Friday’s New Years Eve game in Houston marks the first of six straight road games for Miami – a trip that was originally scheduled to include seven games before Wednesday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs has been postponed because the Heat n had not enough players to proceed with the game.

This story was originally published December 31, 2021 10:48 a.m.

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Anthony Chiang covers the Miami Heat for the Miami Herald. He attended the University of Florida and was born and raised in Miami.


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