Hurricane Matthew changed the Heat’s travel plans, but it didn’t change their practice schedule.
After flying back to Miami following Tuesday night’s win over the Wizards to open the preseason, the Heat got back on a plane just a few hours later and flew to Houston on Wednesday evening to escape the potential effects of Hurricane Matthew. The Heat held two days of practices, which were previously scheduled to take place in Miami, at the Rockets’ facility Thursday and Friday in advance of Saturday’s preseason game against the Timberwolves in Kansas City.
“For us, we’re going to practice no matter where we are,” said 20-year-old forward Justise Winslow, who was raised in Houston. “We can be on the road, we can be at home, but regardless we’re going to get our work in. Just a little bit of adversity traveling unexpectedly, but it will be good for us. Every lesson is a good lesson to be learned. So we got to figure it out and just got to keep getting better.”
Coach Erik Spoelstra compared Miami’s situation to an “extended training camp.”
The Heat held training camp last week at the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas before returning to Miami on Saturday afternoon. The Heat have only held one practice in Miami since the start of camp, practicing at AmericanAirlines Arena on Monday before flying out to Washington in the afternoon for Tuesday’s preseason game.
“We were able to be here with a lot of privacy and get some work done,” Spoelstra said to reporters Friday of practicing in Houston.
Despite the Heat making travel plans to avoid Hurricane Matthew, Spoelstra and Winslow kept a close eye on the storm and were happy that it didn’t affect South Florida as much as expected.
“I’m glad it didn’t affect South Florida that much,” Winslow said Friday. “But regardless, it’s affecting a lot of people around the country. My prayers are with them, but I just hope everybody is safe out there.”
The Heat are expected to return home following Saturday night’s game against the Timberwolves. Miami will have a busy few days at AmericanAirlines Arena next week, as it will host its intrasquad scrimmage, the “Heat Red, White & Pink Game,” on Monday at 7:30 p.m. before hosting the Nets on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
Injury report: Stefan Jankovic (foot), Josh McRoberts (foot) and Beno Udrih (back) were limited in Friday’s practice. Josh Richardson (knee) did not practice Friday.