Miami Heat

Wrist injury sidelines Winslow for Hawks game

Miami Heat forward Justise Winslow missed Tuesday’s game against the Hawks with a bruised left wrist.
Miami Heat forward Justise Winslow missed Tuesday’s game against the Hawks with a bruised left wrist.

Heat forward Justise Winslow missed Tuesday’s game with a left wrist injury that has bothered him the past few weeks, and he’s uncertain when he will play again.

Asked if he could miss a week or two, Winslow said: “I don’t know. We’ll see. I don’t want to come back too soon and then I take three steps forward and 10 steps backward. I want to get it to where it’s feeling 100 percent, where if I do hit against something, it doesn’t hurt. I don’t know how long it will take….

“I was falling too much, landing on it. I was doing my best to play through it. I could play through it, but it’s a long season. I want to get healthy.”

Coach Erik Spoelstra said “what he needs is full rest and full treatment.”

Winslow is the only natural small forward on the Heat’s roster. Rodney McGruder made his first career start in Winslow’s absence against Atlanta.

Winslow said life tasks, such as “pushing doors open and driving” have been uncomfortable, but X-rays have ruled out any break in the wrist.

Winslow said he doesn’t recall when he injured the wrist but it happened a few weeks ago when he fell on it during a game.

Winslow, who often guards the opponent’s top wing scorer and some power forwards as well, is shooting just 33.1 percent from the field and 21.4 percent on threes. Winslow said he could feel the injury on his jump shot and it made him hesitant shooting.

“Initially, you think, the shot, that does affect it, but he also continues to play a physical brand of basketball,” Spoelstra said. “It just keeps on getting re-aggravated. It started to get better, and with the games it wasn’t getting better.”


Guard Goran Dragic, who has missed three games with an ankle injury, planned to do a light workout and receive treatment before Tuesday’s game, but Spoelstra said it wasn’t yet clear if he will be able to play Thursday against Milwaukee.

• Not only did guard Tyler Johnson enter Tuesday ranked seventh in the league among bench scorers at 13.0 points per game, but he’s tied for 18th in three-point shooting percentage among all players (43.5 percent) and ninth among shooting guards in overall shooting percentage at 47.2.

He’s averaging 15.5 points per 36 minutes, up from 13.1 last season. He’s also averaging a surprisingly high 4.8 rebounds per game after filling the box score with 11 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists in Monday’s 94-90 loss at San Antonio.

• Spurs players made note of the Heat’s physicality after Monday’s game. “They get away with a lot of contact, because otherwise the referees would have to stop the game pretty often,” Spurs center Pau Gasol told The San Antonio Express News.

Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said the Heat is “probably not the most talented offensively. But they are physical and rough offensively. They make you feel their bodies.”

• After breaking out of a slump to score 27 points Monday, guard Dion Waiters conceded: “I can’t keep letting guys down…. I’ve been kind of just playing within the system. But I got to be who I am - that’s aggressive and just make plays for my teammates.”

• Per Elias, the Heat is now 3-26 on the road against the Spurs, equaling the second-worst road winning percentage (.103) that any current NBA franchise has against another. The Nets are 4-39 (.093) on the road against the Spurs and the Kings are 3-26 (.103) when they play at Miami.

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