PHILADELPHIA – Dion Waiters will miss his third consecutive game tonight because of a sprained left ankle as the surging Heat play the 76ers tonight, but the Heat guard said he “definitely” will play Monday when the Heat return home to face the Magic.
Waiters was disappointed he would not be playing in his hometown of Philadelphia, but understands what is at stake. And when asked if he would be playing if this were the postseason, Waiters didn’t hesitate.
“Playoff, hell yeah. For sure,” he said. “It would’ve been have sore. But definitely Monday.”
Waiters was injured Monday in Minnesota. An X-ray on the ankle showed just a sprain.
“He understands,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He got a little bit of a workout in before the game (Friday) night. But it certainly wasn’t anything cutting and moving and jumping. Just to test it. We’re encouraged by that. He was able to some light shooting, a light workout. He’ll continue to build from there.”
The Heat will replace one Philadelphia native with another as Wayne Ellington continues to start in Waiters’ absence.
The situation, though, was costly for Ellington who had to pay for a good amount of the 80 tickets that were needed for his friends and family.
“It’s crazy man,” Ellington said. “I haven’t had that many tickets since my rookie year. Everybody wants to come and check us out.”
The Heat (24-30) are going for their 14th consecutive victory.
Ellington has scored 28 points on 9-of-20 shooting in the two starts since Waiters was injured.
“It’s always fun man to get back home and play in front of your family and friends,” Ellington said. “This is that feeling man. Obviously Philly has a special place in my heart. Always will. Sometimes it can be emotional, but I’ve been back here so much now it’s kind of just another game.”