Gerald Green’s locker stall still included a nameplate, some clothes and a brand new scouting report Sunday evening.
There was no jersey waiting for him, however.
It remains unclear when the veteran swingman will return to action, after missing his fourth consecutive game, this one against Toronto. Green, a late scratch last Tuesday against Atlanta because of what the Heat called an “illness,” was hospitalized before the team flew to Minneapolis on Wednesday after Miami Fire-Rescue called police for assistance to help deal with “a combative patient” at the Marquis Residences at 1100 Biscayne Blvd.
During the team’s two-game trip, coach Erik Spoelstra spoke of Green being “safe and healthy,” and several teammates said they had connected with him, but no one was forthcoming with details of what led to Green’s hospitalization. On Saturday, WPLG-10 reported that Green had been released from the hospital, which the Miami Herald has since confirmed.
On Sunday, prior to Spoelstra’s pregame news conference, Heat VP of media relations Tim Donovan said there would be no Green update, and that the coach would not field questions on the subject. One source did tell the Herald that, while the situation is “delicate,” citing privacy concerns, there should be more clarity soon. Further, contrary to some social media speculation, sources say there are no plans for the team to cut ties with Green at this time.
Green signed a minimum contract of $1.4 million this offseason and, after leading Miami in scoring in three preseason games, has averaged 10.3 points in three regular-season games.
Even with Green out, and the Raptors playing more traditional frontcourt lineups than many NBA teams, Spoelstra still didn’t need his extra big men Sunday. And it’s not clear how often he will, as so many opponents downsize.
Amar’e Stoudemire, Chris Andersen and Udonis Haslem were all active, but only Haslem played, and that didn’t come until two minutes remained. They have played in just five combined games this season and just 47 combined minutes.
Josh McRoberts continues to work as the Heat’s primary frontcourt player off the bench, with either Chris Bosh or Hassan Whiteside.
THIS AND THAT
Bosh’s four three-pointers Sunday tied a career high. … Whiteside recorded his third double-double of the season as his friend, DJ Khaled, watched from the crowd. … After starting the season with five consecutive games of at least 20 points, Dwyane Wade has shot 8-for-28 over the past two games. … DeMarre Carroll, Toronto’s major offseason acquisition, sat out with a sore heel. … The Heat wore its Home Strong jerseys for the first time to honor those who serve in the U.S. military.