Sore wrist will force Heat forward Justise Winslow to miss at least one game

 

Heat forward Justise Winslow has been dealing with a sprained left wrist since erlay in the season. (AP Photo)

Heat forward Justise Winslow has been dealing with a sprained left wrist since early in the season. (AP Photo)

MIAMI – The pain in Justise Winslow’s left wrist has not subsided so the Heat’s second-year forward will miss tonight’s game against Atlanta and possibly more.

Winslow sprained the wrist early in the season and has played through the pain. But the decision was made Tuesday for the struggling Winslow to shut it down and get it right.

Rookie Rodney McGruder will make his first career start tonight against Atlanta in place of Winslow.

“I could kind of play through it but. … I was just falling too much and landing on it and kind of tweaking it more,” Winslow said. “I decided to get some rest and try to get as close to 100 percent.”

Winslow was asked if he could miss up to a week or two.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t want to come back too soon and take three steps forward and take 10 steps backwards. I want to get it to where it’s feeling 100 percent, if I do hit it, it doesn’t hurt. That’s one of the big issues right now. I don’t know how long it will take. I’ve had one day off here, one day off here, a couple of days off in a row so we’ll see how it feels.”

The Heat play Milwaukee Thursday before starting a four game road trip Saturday in  Washington.

Winslow said he feels it while performing day-to-day chores like opening a door and driving and while doing most everything on the court from setting screens to guarding his man in the post to shooting.

Winslow is shooting just 33.1 percent from the field (42 of 127) and 21.4 percent on three pointers (6 of 28). And although he has never used the wrist as an excuse, Winslow has express frustration with the questions about his shot.

“I think the biggest thing was I would be predetermining the pain before I shot it and then I would be a little hesitant shooting the ball,” he said Tuesday. “That was one big thing.”

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Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said each time the wrist would start to feel better, Winslow would aggravate it.

“He continues to play a physical brand of basketball so he’s getting hit, he’s getting tangled, he’s falling on the ground virtually every single game,” Spoelstra said. “And he uses every part of his body defensively, he’s a very physical player. So there’s going to be contact and it just keeps on getting re-aggravated.

“He’s gutting it out. What he needs is full rest and full treatment and then we’ll go from there. … We’ll just see how he feels tomorrow, see how he feels the next day.”

Dragic improving: Point guard Goran Dragic, who will miss his third game tonight since spraining his left ankle Thursday against the Bulls, remains day-today after going through a light workout and treatment  before the game.

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