Gabe Vincent is expected to play for the Miami Heat in Game 6 after sitting the Game 5 loss with an ankle injury, league sources tell @YahooSports. He was listed as questionable on yesterday’s injury report.
— Ben Rohrbach (@brohrbach) May 27, 2023
“The 26-year-old Vincent wanted to play in Game 5, but the Heat took precautionary measures with a 3-1 lead in the series, sources said,” wrote Rohrbach. “Boston’s win forced a Game 6 in Miami with the possibility of a home Game 7 — and the chance the Celtics become the first NBA team to come back and win from a 3-0 deficit — on Monday.”
Vincent injured the ankle during the final quarter of Tuesday night’s Game 4 loss in Miami.
Had the Heat won either of their last two games, Vincent would have had lots of time to rest his injured ankle before the start of the NBA Finals. The winner of the Heat-Celtics series will face the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night in the opening game of the championship series.
Prior to the start of Game 4 on Tuesday night, the Heat seemed to easily be on their way to a berth in the NBA Finals. However, consecutive losses have now raised the chances of the Heat having to return to Boston one more time if they lose on Saturday.
Even though the Heat have home-court advantage going into Game 6, that edge has not been all that effective in this particular series. The Heat won the first two games on the road and, as noted, the Celtics staved off elimination in Miami on Tuesday.
Vincent has helped aid the Heat during the playoffs, with the team having been without fellow guard Tyler Herro for virtually the entire postseason.
During the 2022-23 regular season, Vincent averaged only 9.4 points per game. However, he’s averaging double digits in scoring this postseason, including 17.5 points per game against the Celtics.
Vincent was an integral part of Miami’s Game 3 blowout of the Celtics, notching 29 points. In that flurry of scoring, he went 11-of-14 from the field, including six 3-pointers.
When Vincent left Tuesday night’s loss, he had tallied 17 points. Whether or not he can come anywhere close to that figure on Saturday night is unknown, but assuming he plays, Miami will be happy just to see him on the floor.
The Heat are in an uncomfortable position entering Saturday night’s battle, since no NBA team has ever blown a 3-0 advantage during the playoffs. Vincent will try to do his part to make sure that the Heat no longer remain contenders to become the first team in that ugly category.