With Chris Bosh in Miami undergoing tests for blood clots in his lung, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra addressed the team before its shootaround on Friday morning. Spoelstra had spoken with Bosh and said the forward was “in great spirits” despite being admitted into a hospital on Thursday.
The Heat still doesn’t know if Bosh will return this season, but they were able to focus on basketball for a few hours Friday night. In its first game in nine days, Miami returned from the All-Star break in fine fashion, defeating the lowly Knicks 111-87 at Madison Square Garden.
Eight of the nine active Heat players scored in double figures, led by rookie Shabazz Napier’s career-high 18 points.
“We liked that it was a team effort,” Spoelstra said. “You hear this all the time that this league is a business, but that doesn’t mean you go through a lot of emotions as players and staff. We’ve been through a lot in the last 24 hours, a lot of change, but guys were able to compartmentalize and come together and just focus on the task at hand.”
Never miss a local story.
Heat forward Udonis Haslem set season-highs in points (13) and minutes (28) and started for only the third time this season. He also made the first three-pointer of his 12-season career, catching a pass from Napier and connecting on a shot from the corner with 50.5 seconds remaining.
Haslem had missed all 13 threes in his career, but he had been practicing the corner three-pointers for the past few weeks. Still, he had not attempted a three in a game since March 7, 2007. Dwyane Wade said Haslem had been winning some shooting contests against Mario Chalmers and other teammates, although Haslem wouldn’t offer too many details.
Wade, playing for the first time since Jan. 27, finished with 12 points on 4-of-10 shooting. Wade, who was out with a strained right hamstring for seven games, went to the bench with 4:39 remaining in the third quarter and didn’t return as the Heat already had an 11-point lead.
“I just played,” Wade said. “There was a couple times I got out on the break. I just played. I didn’t think about [the injury]. I had some great practices this week to be able to test myself, so now it’s just about getting my rhythm back, getting my legs under me.”
The Heat flew to Miami immediately following the game to get ready for Saturday night’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans, when Goran and Zoran Dragic might make their Heat debuts. Minutes before the trade deadline on Thursday, the Heat acquired brothers Dragic brothers from the Phoenix Suns for four players and two draft picks.
All of those players had not undergone physicals as of Friday night, so the Heat only had four reserves against the Knicks, who have the league’s worst record at 10-44. Still, Miami had a 50-32 rebounding advantage and led by as many as 28 points.
Spoelstra said the Heat had tried to trade for Goran Dragic a few times before finally being successful Thursday. Dragic, a third-team All-NBA selection last season, is averaging 16.2 points and 4.1 assists this season
“He’s a dynamic, explosive playmaker,” Spoelstra said. “He has an ability to get in the paint. He has an ability to make other guys better. He gives us another guy that can attack off the dribble, a multi-skilled-type player. We’ve liked him for a long time. It’s not a secret.”