Miami has been hit hard by injuries — Bam Adebayo is out following thumb surgery, Jimmy Butler‘s ankle was going to sideline him Wednesday, plus Markieff Morris (neck) and Dewayne Dedmon (knee) — then a COVID wave hit and the team put PJ Tucker, Gabe Vincent and Max Strus in protocols. On top of Kyle Lowry and Udonis Haslem, who were already there.
With all that, Miami will not be able to dress eight healthy players Wednesday, so the team’s game against the Spurs has been postponed, the league announced.
The following was released by the NBA: pic.twitter.com/fQZ2ZC8Zed
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) December 29, 2021
This is what the Heat were looking at:
So with this group, could field a (decent) starting lineup of:
C — Omer Yurtseven
PF — Caleb Martin
SF — Duncan Robinson
SG — Tyler Herro
PG — Marcus Garrett
But bench would be players who have never played a single minute, ever, for Heat. https://t.co/Js5S1pPuCE
— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) December 29, 2021
This is the 10th game postponed by the league this season.
The NBA has increased its testing in the wake of holiday family gatherings, plus the coming New Year’s Eve events. It has also followed the CDC’s guidelines and reduced the quarantine time for players who test positive but are asymptomatic to five days. In addition, teams with multiple positive tests now are required to sign replacement players — primarily out of the G-League — in an effort to keep enough players on the court and games taking place. Even if some of the names were unknown to fans — or people working in front offices.
None of that could save the Heat vs. Spurs game.