Erik Spoelstra begs injured Miami Heat players to play at less than 100 percent: ‘Whatever you have just give us’

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The Miami Heat are currently in the midst of an ugly four-game losing streak, and to make matters worse, a lot of key players are banged up. Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra has come forward to ask those banged up players to suit up despite the nagging injuries.

“At some point, hopefully we’ll be getting some guys back,” Spoelstra said. “Even if they’re not fully 100 percent, as long as they’re close enough. Maybe they can give us a little bit of reinforcement even if it’s just short minutes. That’s where we are right now. Just give us whatever you have, whatever you have just give us. If you’re used to playing 30 minutes, give us 15. If you’re used to playing 20 minutes, give us eight. So we can kind of manage things right now.”

Key contributors have been absent during the Heat’s recent losing streak.

Tyler Herro has missed eight straight games with an ankle injury. Jimmy Butler and Gabe Vincent have both been out for three games. Sharpshooter Duncan Robinson has missed two of the last three games.

Other players currently sitting out with injury include Victor Oladipo and Omer Yurtseven.

It appears as though Spoelstra is hoping that his players will be willing to play while not fully healthy in order to help the team avoid slipping further in the standings. Players deciding to play through injuries is typically reserved for the playoffs.

While the Heat are not in a win-or-go-home situation at the moment, they do seem to be at risk of letting the current campaign slip away.

The good news is that reinforcements could soon be on the way. Herro, the Heat’s talented young scorer, recently stated that he hopes to be back for the Heat’s game on Wednesday.

Due due to the sheer numbers of injuries, depth of the rotation has been a concern for the Heat in recent games. Spoelstra has had to lean heavily on 36-year-old Kyle Lowry. He played 51 minutes in last week’s overtime loss to the Washington Wizards.

Spoelstra has also had to lean on inexperienced players in the frontcourt, such as Jamal Cain, Haywood Highsmith and Nikola Jovic.

It’s obviously not ideal for a Heat team that was just one win away from advancing to the 2022 NBA Finals earlier this year.

There were already concerns about the Heat’s roster heading into the current campaign. That was before the injury bug bit Miami hard.

Only time will tell if Spoelstra’s plea to his players to come back earlier than they may want to will work. The Heat have some tough games on the horizon, and Spoelstra would surely love to get some more talent back int the lineup.

The next five games for Miami will all feature teams that are currently within the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference.

Miami will face the Wizards on Wednesday and Friday. They will then face the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday before two away games at TD Garden against the defending East champion Boston Celtics.

If the Heat are forced to play those games shorthanded, their current losing streak could extend quite a bit longer.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Heat Nation.