Heat Check

Heat backup center Willie Reed out again vs. 76ers on Wednesday

Miami Heat forward Willie Reed (35) recovers a loose ball in front of Indiana Pacers forward Rakeem Christmas (25) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, in Miami.
Miami Heat forward Willie Reed (35) recovers a loose ball in front of Indiana Pacers forward Rakeem Christmas (25) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, in Miami. AP

The Miami Heat will be without backup center Willie Reed again when it hosts Philadelphia Wednesday night.

“He was doing some light work on the bike upstairs, but he’s not ready for the court yet,” coach Erik Spoelstra said after shootaround Wednesday morning.

Reed went down in a heap with bursitis in his right ankle and had to be wheeled off the court on a stretcher last Saturday night, but his injury is far from serious.

He walked through the arena Wednesday in front of reporters without crutches, a brace or any visible limp.

The Heat (27-33) did miss him though in Monday’s loss at Dallas.

“It felt a little different,” point guard Goran Dragic said. “When Willie comes from the bench he gives us a lot of energy and a lot of huge plays. It was really different. But we’ve already dealt with a lot of injuries this season so we know how to handle those things. Of course we want to get him back as soon as possible. But we feel like we have enough weapons.”

Reed, 26, is averaging 5.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game in 14.7 minutes this season. But the Heat is 1-9 in games Reed has not played in this season.

He’s been a solid fill-in when Hassan Whiteside has been out with injury, averaging 14.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in his five starts this season.

“We missed Willie,” forward Luke Babbitt said. “Willie's a good player. He’s brought a lot to our team. We hope he gets back soon. But I think with [Udonis Haslem] and Okaro [Whiteside] and James [Johnson], we should definitely be able to make that work.”

 
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