Add Goran Dragic to the Miami Heat’s list of inured players.
The Heat starting point guard was held out of the contact portion of Wednesday’s training camp practice at FAU after hurting his ankle on the first day of camp Tuesday. Dragic didn’t seem too concerned about the setback and is hopeful he will be a full participant in practice soon.
“It’s just a precaution,” Dragic said. “I tweaked it yesterday. It’s no swelling, it just hurts. I’m just trying to be smarter this time. I went through practice, but not 5-on-5.”
When asked when he will return to full health, Dragic responded: “I don’t know. It depends. [Athletic trainer Jay Sabol] said every ankle is different. In the past, I’ve come back quick. So I’m hoping that’s going to be the case again. Just stay on it, do treatment, take the medicine and see how it’s going to go.”
Dragic joins forward James Johnson and guard Dion Waiters as Heat players dealing with injuries at the start of camp.
Johnson has not been cleared for contact work after surgery to repair a sports hernia in May and isn’t certain he will be ready for the Oct. 17 regular-season opener at Orlando, and Waiters is likely to miss the start of the season as he recovers from January ankle surgery.
The rest of the Heat’s roster went through live 5-on-5 scrimmaging for the second consecutive day Wednesday.
“We did a bunch [of 5-on-5] today,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “That’s where this camp may be a little bit different because it’s roughly the same group for the third year. We’re getting stuff done earlier.”
DJ play my song
There’s some time for fun at Heat training camp.
For the second consecutive year, the team has a DJ playing music for players and coaches following practices at FAU. It’s a concept Spoelstra has approved of since visiting with then-Oregon football coach almost a decade ago.
“I love it,” Spoelstra said. “I guess going back to when I saw Chip Kelly 10 years ago. He was doing this far before anybody else. I walked into his first practice and I said, ‘This is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen,’ and we brought it back to Miami. We didn’t have a DJ those years, but we always played music.”
No time to waste
The Heat has less than a week to prepare for its preseason opener.
Miami travels to San Antonio to take on the Spurs on Sunday before heading to Charlotte to face the Hornets on Tuesday. This time crunch has accelerated the Heat coaching staff’s evaluation process.
“Because things are shortened and we obviously would like to get off to a good start, we would like to start that process earlier than later,” Spoelstra said when asked about using the first two preseason games as evaluation tools. “We do have some evaluations to make.”
And there are difficult rotation decisions ahead. Among the 14 Heat players under guaranteed contracts, 13 are rotation-level players.