Heat coach Erik Spoelstra demands help in backcourt vs. Wizards


Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has his hands full with an injury-riddled roster, and the team’s next two games are against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday and Friday nights.

“At some point, hopefully we’ll be getting some guys back,” Spoelstra said, following a team shootaround on Tuesday. The Heat are 7-11 and rank 12th overall in the Eastern Conference standings.

According to some NBA betting sites, the Heat have the 13th-best odds to win the championship in 2023. Check out which sportsbooks show higher odds for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Philadelphia 76ers.

“Even if they’re not fully 100 percent, even if they’re close enough, maybe they can give us a little bit of reinforcement, even if it’s just short minutes,” continued the Heat coach. “That’s where we are right now.”

Now, after losing 105-101 to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night, the Heat are on a four-game skid. While Spoelstra is unsure when Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro will return, the veteran coach knows his team needs help.

“Just give us whatever you have,” added the Heat coach. “Whatever you have, just give us something. If you’re used to playing 30 minutes, just give us 15. If you’re used to playing 20 minutes, give us eight, so we can kind of manage things right now.”

Erik Spoelstra believes if a Heat player is healthy enough to participate for limited minutes, he should against the Wizards

On Monday, the Heat were without Jimmy Butler (knee), Udonis Haslem (personal), Tyler Herro (ankle), Victor Oladipo (knee), Duncan Robinson (ankle), and Omer Yurtseven (ankle).

Miami’s backcourt is a shell of what it used to be. Fifteen games into the 2022-23 season, the Heat rank 29th in scoring, averaging 108.2 points per game. Their offensive efficiency rating ranks 23rd (1.064).

On the other hand, the team is hanging on defensively. The Heat are allowing 109.8 points per game, which ranks ninth in the league. But their opponents are shooting 47.6% overall.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Haslem and Butler were upgraded to questionable for Wednesday night’s matchup against the Wizards. Although Oladipo, Yurtseven, and Herro remain out indefinitely, Gabe Vincent is now listed as questionable as well.

Oladipo has not played since the 2022 NBA Playoffs. In their first-round series versus the Atlanta Hawks, the two-time All-Star averaged 14.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game.

If Butler, Herro, and Oladipo can stay healthy together in the second half of the season, the Heat could be a solid playoff contender. G.M. Andy Elisburg might attempt an in-season trade at some point.

Fortunately for Miami fans, the Wizards are also dealing with a fair number of injured players. Bradley Beal (quad), Monte Morris (ankle), and Rui Hachimura (ankle) are listed as questionable versus the Heat. Not to mention, Delon Wright (hamstring) is out indefinitely.

After a two-game homestand versus the Wizards, the Heat then play the Hawks at State Farm Arena on Sunday. Of course, Miami will then take on the Boston Celtics in back-to-back contests at TD Garden.

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