The Miami Heat flew in an all-too-familiar style with Victor Oladipo to open their three-game Western swing on Tuesday, with the veteran guard still grounded.
Still to play this season, Oladipo is dealing with knee tendinosis and held back in South Florida, meaning he will miss at least the first seven games this season.
On a more encouraging note, center Omar Yurtsyon, who has yet to play this season because of a sprained ankle, flew with the team for the trip that will feature three games in four days.
Yurtseven tweaked the ankle during the Heat’s Oct. 4 preseason opener against the Minnesota Timberwolves at FTX Arena and hasn’t played since 27 minutes into the game.
Oladipo was held out of the Heat’s first three appearances in what was billed as a “return to competitive conditioning” before appearing in the final two, most recently in an October 12 exhibition victory over the New Orleans Pelicans. I continue for 18 minutes.
Oladipo missed most of last season due to surgical complications with his opposite knee.
Returning with the team are forwards Caleb Martin and Nikola Jovic, both of whom were suspended for their involvement in Saturday’s brawl against Toronto in the FTX Arena stands after Monday night’s loss to the Toronto Raptors. I was spread out.
The waiting game
No, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said, he wasn’t meant to limit Jimmy Butler to just the final 3:38 of the fourth quarter of Monday night’s loss.
But undeterred, Butler was caught watching and waiting from the scorers’ table before returning to action.
Butler reported to the scorer’s table with 6:20 to play in the fourth, but was taken out of action with an unexpected run at 8:29.
“I didn’t have a timeout,” said Spoelstra, who actually had two but prefers to save those moments as dunks. “It frustrated the heck out of me. I almost considered getting fouled, not taking a technical foul. [an intentional stoppage that gives the opposition a free throw], but in half court. And in retrospect, I probably should have. Sitting him on that sideline was too much, especially when every possession really mattered.
“I thought we were getting decent execution and decent looks. But we also wanted Jimmy Butler in the game and we usually sent him to the table with plenty of time. But the way things have gone before. , I had no time out.
The Heat used their final two timeouts in the final 50.4, after the Raptors had jumped out to a five-point lead that was an eight-point Heat advantage.
After a 1-3 homestand to open the season, hopefully the road is now a road to redemption, with a Western swing that opens Wednesday night against the Portland Trail Blazers, continuing Thursday night against the Golden State Warriors. will continue and conclude on Saturday. Sacramento Kings
“I always feel these tours can be an opportunity,” Spoelstra said, “but especially right now, when we’re having a little bit of trouble. They’re opportunities to come together and build some collective commitment. .
“There’s not going to be anybody out there but us. It’s an opportunity for us to really start to bond, hit some bumps on the road and hopefully push through it and get some wins.”
Point guard Kyle Lowry said it will be a step-by-step process.
“I think we’ve got to go out there and play at the end of the day,” he said. “The road is the road, it’s a hostile environment and we’ve just got to go out there and find a way to try to win the game and take it one possession at a time, can’t see the whole journey. . Watch it. That the next game is Portland and focus on Portland.