Erik Spoelstra: Heat would be ‘much different basketball team’ with healthy Justise Winslow, Josh McRoberts

Head coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat follows the play during the first half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena on January 3, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Head coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat follows the play during the first half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena on January 3, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

ORLANDO — It’s been a painful week in the NBA.

This week’s NBA news included some injuries that will force a few big names to miss extended time. Toronto guard Kyle Lowry (wrist), Golden State forward Kevin Durant (knee) are expected to — at least — miss the bulk of the remaining regular-season games, and Philadelphia center Joel Embiid will miss the remainder of the season with a left knee injury.

Lowry had wrist injury and Durant hurt his knee in Washington on Tuesday night.

As a coach of a team that’s dealt with its own injury problems this season, Erik Spoelstra can commiserate with those players and teams.

“It’s horrible,” Spoelstra said of the injury news. “I hate looking at the news and you see another player out. We’re in a competitive business, but you don’t want to see players out.”

Through the first 62 games of the season, 14 Heat players (including Chris Bosh) have combined to miss 259 games due to injuries. Miami leads the NBA in most games lost to injury.

Injured forwards Justise Winslow (right shoulder surgery) and Josh McRoberts (left foot stress fracture), who are out indefinitely, were Heat starters before going down. Winslow played in just 18 games and McRoberts played in just 22 games this season before their injuries.

“I try not to think about it, but we would be a much better, a much different basketball team right now if Justise Winslow and Josh McRoberts were with us the entire year,” Spoelstra said. “Add that kind of depth and versatility, we would look different. I try not to think about that.

“But I don’t like news of players being out — even if it’s in the Eastern Conference. There’s a karma to the game, you can’t root for somebody to be down to try to benefit you.”

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