The Heat had just eight available players for most of Saturday’s win over the Clippers. But Miami expects to have more options to turn to in Monday’s game against the Lakers at Staples Center.
Wayne Ellington is expected back for Monday’s contest after missing the first two games of the trip due to the death of his grandmother. Goran Dragic is also expected to play against the Lakers, as he’s not listed on the injury report after missing Saturday’s contest as a precaution following his return from a swollen right knee.
Josh Richardson is listed as questionable with a right shoulder impingement. He was hopeful Saturday he would be able to play against the Lakers.
“It just started this afternoon, really,” Richardson said Saturday of his shoulder injury. “I kind of did it yesterday [in Friday’s win over the Suns]. I felt OK after the game. But this afternoon when I was about to come in, it started flaring up a lot. So I tried to warm up, but it just didn’t feel right.”
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Tyler Johnson is also questionable for Monday’s game due to a left hip contusion he suffered in the first quarter of Saturday’s victory. X-rays returned negative, but he never returned to the game.
“I’m optimistic. I’m always optimistic about everything,” Johnson said Saturday when asked if he’ll be able to play against the Lakers. “If there’s any way I can try to play on Monday, that’s what I’m going to try and do. I’m going to take the next day to try and get treatment and get as many sessions in as I can.”
The Heat remains without center Hassan Whiteside, who is in Miami for the birth of his first child, and Dion Waiters, who has yet to play this season as he continues to recover from January ankle surgery.
Miami has been forced to play shorthanded to start the year, with at least two players out in every game so far this season. Through the first 25 games, 10 Heat players have already combined to miss 83 games due to injury or personal reasons.