2016 NBA playoffs: Heat shootaround report for Game 6

Hassan Whiteside and the Heat are facing elimination in Charlotte tonight. (Getty Images)
Hassan Whiteside and the Heat are facing elimination in Charlotte tonight. (Getty Images)

The Heat are in Charlotte and spent this morning on the practice court at Time Warner Cable Arena for shootaround.

Here are the latest updates:

–Hassan Whiteside took another hit to his already bruised right thigh muscle late in Game 5. He went through shootaround and will play tonight.

“My thigh hurts, but I’m OK,” he said. “I’m gonna tough it out. I’ve been toughing it out since Game 3. I got hit last game and it re-aggravated it, but I’m just gonna keep playing through it. Season’s on the line.”

–Erik Spoelstra says he will stick with the same starting five: Goran Dragic, Dwyane Wade, Joe Johnson, Luol Deng and Whiteside.

–Tyler Johnson is no longer considered an emergency option as he was in Game 5. He is fully available tonight.

–Wade was thoroughly confident and at ease with the team’s situation being down 3-2.

“This is a very close series,” he said. “We don’t need to do anything over the top. We just need to do everything a little better than we did the last few games.”

–A great quote on the possibility of the season ending tonight that tells you quite a bit about who Spoelstra is:

“That’s when you feel most alive in this league. It’s a privilege to play in elimination games. The guys that were here last year, several of us and even guys that weren’t here, were not in the playoffs last year. You want to be in the playoffs for moments like this– the good, the bad, the anger, the frustration, the elation. That just doesn’t happen if you’re cruising along. It happens when you’re pushed or challenged. This is great competition. We feel we’ve done enough good things, really, to merit a couple more wins the last couple games, but that’s the way it goes. Who can make the most plays consistently and at the end? They made more plays down the stretch. You have to give them credit. But we like where we’re at and we like how we’ve played. We just have to get over the hump and get it done.”

–Wade on the hours between now and the 8 p.m. tipoff:

“It’s different for each individual. Some guys will go back to the hotel room and think about the moment, some guys need to get away from it and relax their mind. Everyone is different. You know that if you lose your season’s over, so everyone needs to be aware of that, but you don’t want to put too much pressure on that. You can’t go into every possession thinking that. Then you start getting away from the game plan and what you need to do for your team.”

[2016 NBA playoffs: Inside the Miami Heat’s spiral at the end of Game 5]

[2016 NBA playoffs: What in the world is Chris Bosh doing on social media?]

[2016 NBA playoffs: How serious is Hassan Whiteside’s hand injury?]

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