Heat center Willie Reed to miss second straight game because of ankle injury



Miami's Willie Reed reacts after after his ankle injury during Saturday's game against Indiana. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
Miami’s Willie Reed reacts after after his ankle injury during Saturday’s game against Indiana. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

MIAMI – Heat backup center Willie Reed will miss his second game tonight since being wheeled off the floor Saturday against Indiana.

Reed, who was diagnosed with bursitis in his right ankle is making progress, according to coach Erik Spoelstra, but “is not ready for the court yet.”

Spoelstra said Reed was doing “some light work” on the exercise bike.

The Heat (27-33) face the 76ers (22-37) at AmericanAirlines Arena at 7:30 p.m.

Miami is 1-9 in games Reed has not played this season after he missed the Heat’s loss in Dallas on Monday. James Johnson played the bulk of the backup center minutes behind Hassan Whiteside against Dallas. Whiteside had 19 points and 19 rebounds in 38 minutes.

Reed is averaging 5.3 points and 4.8 rebounds in 14.7 minutes per game and give the Heat great energy off the bench.

“We missed Willie,” forward Luke Babbitt said. “Willie’s a good player. He’s brought a lot to our team. We hope he gets back soon. But I think with UD and Okaro and James, we should definitely be able to make that work.”

Forward Okaro White’s minutes increased in Reed’s absence. Udonis Haslem, though, did not play against the Mavericks.

“When Willie comes from the bench he gives us a lot of energy and a lot of huge plays,” guard Goran Dragic said. “It was really different. But we’ve already dealt with a lot of injuries this season so we know how to handle those things. Of course we want to get back as soon as possible. But we feel like we have enough weapons.”

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