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Miami Heat News: Heat Expect to Be Without 4 Players for Regular Season Opener
- Updated: October 16, 2018
The Miami Heat are set to square off against the Orlando Magic as the 2018-19 regular season begins. Unfortunately, they might not be at full strength by tipoff, as four players have drawn designations on the injury list.
— Anthony Chiang (@Anthony_Chiang) October 16, 2018
Without a doubt, Dion Waiters and James Johnson will sit the opener out, but Wayne Ellington and Justise Winslow haven’t officially been ruled out. While their statuses could be upgraded or downgraded between now and game time, it’s safe to say that Miami will proceed with caution moving forward.
Waiters averaged 14.3 points, 3.8 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game last year before being stifled by an ankle injury that required surgery. The 26-year-old guard continues to recover from the operation, and has been playing catch-up since he came into the preseason out of shape.
Johnson, on the other hand, amassed 10.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game during the 2017-18 regular season. The former first-round pick is aging, but hopefully can bounce back and become a factor for Miami the rest of the way.
Once he is healthy, Winslow will look to improve on his numbers from last year, as he is still very young, only 22 years of age. Ellington, a Wynnewood, Pa. native, played well when the Heat needed him on his way to a double-digit point average last year.
Even without four of their guys, Miami has a great chance of starting the season with a win, but the organization won’t push any of these guys to play if they aren’t ready.