The Miami Heat had dropped two of three games before the coronavirus outbreak forced the NBA to halt play. Before that? Four wins in a row. The Heat are in the No. 4 spot in the East if the playoffs were to start today. They’ve got both the Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers on their tail and both those teams will get a huge boost on the injury report due to the break. The Heat also stand to benefit like most teams who could end up in the playoffs. Let’s take a look:
Miami Heat injury report
Jimmy Butler (toe) — DTD
Tyler Herro (ankle) — DTD
Meyers Leonard (ankle) — Out Indefinitely
Let’s start with Leonard, who hasn’t played since Feb. 3 due to an ankle injury. If anything, this break could be perfect for Leonard to get back on the court. Leonard should continue to rehab, though we didn’t have a timetable prior to the hiatus.
Butler was held out of the last game before the league suspended play due to a toe injury. This doesn’t seem like anything to be concerned about since Butler was only considered day-to-day.
Herro got back in the lineup before the break and only played seven minutes off the bench. Chances are he may be eased back once the NBA returns. If that’s in the playoffs, Herro may not see many minutes in the rotation right away. He’s a rookie in his first playoff action, coming back pretty much cold having played once since Feb. 3.
How will these injuries impact the rest of the season?
Getting Leonard back in the front court would be big for Miami in the playoffs. Outside of Bam Adebayo and Kelly Olynyk, the Heat lack depth at center. Leonard adds another body to the mix, which would take some pressure off the wings on defense. That’s an area the Heat are very deep at, wing, so Butler and Herro being 100% healthy only adds to that group. Miami is one of the deeper rosters that would scare me in the first round of a playoff series coming off an almost three-month break from play.