Barry Jackson

Heat, Warriors missing rotation players for Monday meeting

dsantiago@elnuevoherald.com

Some Heat notes on a Monday afternoon:

• The Heat and Warriors will be missing key bench players on Monday night when the NBA’s two-time defending Western Conference champions and the league’s most interesting road show visit AmericanAirlines Arena for the only time this season.

Heat guard Tyler Johnson will miss his second game in a row with a sprained shoulder, coach Erik Spoelstra said Monday. Johnson, who ranks second in the NBA among bench scorers at 14.2 per game, did not participate in shootaround Monday.

Meanwhile, the Warriors announced that Andre Iguodola, 33, would be given the night off to rest his body.

Iguodola is averaging 5.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists.

The Heat also remains without forwards Justise Winslow and Josh McRoberts and guard Josh Richardson.

NO, REALLY

It’s one of the peculiarities of Heat season: A Heat team that is 29th in the league in scoring leads the league in number of players who are averaging double figures in points.

Entering Monday, only Dallas (96.6 points per game) entered averaging fewer points per game than Miami’s 98.8.

But the Heat has eight players averaging in double figures in points, most in the NBA – one ahead of the Clippers and two ahead of four other teams.

The star-heavy Golden State Warriors, who lead the NBA in scoring at 118 per game, have only four, led by Kevin Durant’s 26.0 and Stephen Curry’s 24.6.

“We have eight guys in double figures; it's crazy,” Spoelstra said. “You would think we would be averaging what Golden State is averaging when you have that many guys scoring in double figures. This team, even coming into training camp, we felt it would be built on balance. That's continued to be the way this team should play.”

The Heat’s double-figure scorers, entering Monday: Goran Dragic at 19.6, Hassan Whiteside at 17.3, Tyler Johnson at 14.2, Dion Waiters at 13.8, James Johnson at 11.5, Richardson at 11.2, Winslow at 10.9 and Wayne Ellington at 10.8.

But the Heat’s top scorer, Dragic, ranks only 34th in the league in that category.

BIG 3/WARRIORS COMPARISON

The star-studded Warriors remind Spoelstra of the Big 3 era Heat in one regard.

“Them building a culture and having big ticket guys sacrifice,” Spoelstra said. “That's admirable. Not everybody is willing to do that.

Not everybody is willing to share the game and move the ball.. and defend and do little things. They've proven they've been able to do all that. In that regard, you can see some similarities.

“But there are a lot of things that are different in the way they play and the personnel they have and even coming off a Finals loss and signing Durant is different from what we went through.”

• Coaches are voting this week on All-Star reserves, with full All-Star rosters to be announced Thursday on TNT.

And Spoelstra said Monday that he’s taking the responsibility more seriously.

“I know how important it is to the players, especially to the guys giving their heart and soul and emotions into the game and should be rewarded for it,” Spoelstra said. “I do have to admit in some years past I would give it to my assistants. Not anymore. We actually have a staff meeting about it so we're responsible. That's the ultimately respect for players. I told the same thing to Hassan.

“If you are going to leave it to whatever, players they're not all voting. Fans, you have no idea where that's coming from. But coaches, you may agree, disagree, not like them. But coaches are paid to figure out who helps teams win and that's the ultimate compliment if you get voted in by coaches. I'm taking that responsibility a lot more seriously than I have in the past.”

Whiteside and Dragic are the Heat players expected to receive at least some consideration for All-Star invitations.

• Whiteside, on Monday morning, needed only three words to assess his 26-point, 20-rebound game against the Warriors earlier this month: “Hassan being Hassan.”

For my post with UM and Marlins news today, please click here.

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