AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — The Heat will have no more than 11 players available for Wednesday’s matchup against the Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
That’s nothing new for Miami, which started the season in this predicament.
The Heat will be without forward Justise Winslow (sprained left wrist), guard Wayne Ellington (right thigh contusion) and center Willie Reed (hyper-extended right knee) in Detroit, according to coach Erik Spoelstra.
Reed is still day-to-day with an injury that he suffered in the first game of Miami’s current road trip Saturday in Washington. The Heat’s backup center was limited to “exercises on the side” during Tuesday’s practice at Seaholm High School in Birmingham, Mich.
With Reed out, the Heat used Josh McRoberts and Udonis Haslem as Hassan Whiteside’s backup in Monday’s loss to the 76ers. McRoberts logged 12 minutes of playing time and Haslem logged four minutes of playing time in Philadelphia.
McRoberts is averaging 1.5 points on 17.6 percent shooting to go with three rebounds in 11.9 minutes per game this season, as he continues to work his way back into shape after missing the first seven games of the season with a foot injury.
“This is really his training camp,” Spoelstra said of McRoberts. “That’s the way we’re looking at it. He’s getting some work in right now. But he’s a very unique basketball player. There will have to be some time on the court with the guys to be able to maximize his strengths because he’s a great passer, a super high IQ player. But he’s working his way into rhythm.”
Guard Dion Waiters is still dealing with lingering groin soreness and was limited to “mostly stuff on the side” in Tuesday’s practice. Waiters has played through the pain the past two games.