Barry Jackson

Dion Waiters’ ability to continue playing with the Heat this season comes into question

Heat guard Dion Waiters drives to the basket against Mavericks guard Wesley Matthews on Dec. 22. Waiters remains sidelined with a sprained left ankle.
Heat guard Dion Waiters drives to the basket against Mavericks guard Wesley Matthews on Dec. 22. Waiters remains sidelined with a sprained left ankle. pportal@miamiherald.com

Heat guard Dion Waiters has been giving serious consideration to undergoing ankle surgery, a procedure which would end his season, according to an associate.

A decision could come at any time, with continued rest and treatment as the other option being considered.

The Heat has not put pressure on Waiters to make a decision, or pressured him to make one decision over the other.

Waiters, who has sought multiple medical opinions, has missed eight consecutive games with a sprained left ankle.

He missed the final 13 games of last season with a sprain to the same ankle but decided to bypass offseason surgery because he was a free agent at the time. He has said that ankle surgery would sideline him 8 to 10 months.

Waiters, in July, signed a four-year, $52 million contract that is paying him $12.1 million this season, with a jump to $12.7 million next season.

The contract awards Waiters a $1.1 million bonus this season if he plays in 70 games — a clause he appears unlikely to meet.

Waiters has scored 48 points in 48 clutch minutes, defined by the NBA as the final five minutes of games with a margin of five points or fewer.

But he hasn’t been as efficient as he or the Heat would like.

He’s shooting 39.8 percent, down from 42.4 percent last season, and his 3-point shooting percentage has dropped from 39.5 to 30.6.

His 2.3 turnovers per game would be a career high. His 14.3 scoring average is down from 15.8 last season.

SCORING BALANCE

How balanced has the Heat’s scoring been?

Consider: All eight players that participated in Miami’s 114-106 win against Indiana on Wednesday scored at least 8 points, led by Goran Dragic’s 20.

According to Elias, Wednesday’s game marked the second Heat game this season in which every player that participated for Miami finished with eight or more points.

On Dec. 15, nine players checked in for the Heat in a win at Charlotte, and all nine finished with at least eight points.

No other NBA team has a game of that kind this season, and Miami had only two such games in franchise history prior to this season, one in 1989 and the other in 2005, both losses.

No Heat player ranks in the top 20 in scoring. Dragic is 43rd at 17.0.

Waiters is 63rd at 14.3. Josh Richardson is tied for 89th at 12.7. Tyler Johnson is tied for 102nd at 12.1.

Miami has three players between 122nd and 128th: Wayne Ellington (10.7), James Johnson (10.6) and Kelly Olynyk (10.4).

Hassan Whiteside is averaging 14.0 points but doesn’t have enough games to qualify for the league’s list of scoring leaders. He has played in 23 of Miami’s 41 games.

Miami and Denver are the NBA’s only teams with winning records who have no player in the league’s top 40 in scoring.

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