Report: Markieff Morris will have to earn his role back with Miami Heat once he returns from injury

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A new report indicates that Miami Heat forward Markieff Morris will have to earn back the role he had with the team before being injured in November.

Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel responded to a question about Morris and noted that nothing is guaranteed once the veteran returns.

“What matters now is where Markieff stands with his health and with his game, and where that game might (or might not) fit in,” Winderman wrote. “His first 10 games were promising. But there only have been 10 games. Where Erik Spoelstra was quick to sub in Markieff when P.J. Tucker previously went out, there might now be an inclination to go smaller, to create more time for Caleb Martin, Max Strus or other wings. Markieff was put in a tough spot with the injury, but everything with this team has to be earned. And for Markieff that eventually will mean earning it back. That’s where the focus seemingly should stand.”

The 32-year-old Morris suffered his injury during the Heat’s Nov. 8 loss to the Denver Nuggets. The injury was controversial in nature, coming in the form of a cheap shot by Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic.

Morris has been out of the Heat lineup ever since. In 10 games with the Heat prior to the injury, he averaged 7.7 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game.

Such numbers aren’t especially noteworthy, though having Morris as an option off the bench is something that Spoelstra no doubt sees as an asset.

The Heat enter Saturday’s road game against the Phoenix Suns with a 24-15 record, having split the first four games of their road trip. The Heat currently have the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference.

When Morris does return, the Heat will surely be happy to have him back. However, it remains a mystery if he’ll be able to regain the minutes he’d been getting prior to his injury.

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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.