The struggling Miami Heat hope to get things going on the team’s three-game Western Conference road trip this week, but they will have to do it without services of two important players – small forward Justice Winslow and shooting guard Dion Waiters.
Miami announced that both players will not travel with the team this week in order to receive treatment on their injuries according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Winslow last played against San Antonio on Nov. 14, so he has missed eight straight games. The 20-year-old reportedly tried to play through the wrist injury, but it was only getting worse, so the organization decided he needed to rest.
In nine games this season, Winslow is averaging 11.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.56 steals per game while playing a team-high 35.9 minutes per night. He’s fifth on the team in scoring and third in rebounding.
Waiters was also playing through his injury, a groin issue, until he missed Monday’s game. He will sit out at least three more due to missing the west-coast trip, which is really too bad because Waiters has been playing some of the best basketball of his career.
The guard is averaging 14.2 ppg, 4.0 apg, 3.4 rpg and 1.3 3-pointers while shooting 38.4 percent, including 34.4 percent from behind the arc. Only Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic have scored more points for Miami than Waiters, who’s previous career high is 15.9 ppg from 2013-14. That season, he shot 36.8 percent from the 3-point line.
Miami needs to get Winslow and Waiters back as quickly as possible. The Heat are 3-5 during Winslow’s absence and are just a couple games out of last place in the Eastern Conference at 5-12.