Miami Heat News: Whiteside Projected as Starter vs. Hornets, Deng and Andersen Questionable

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The Miami Heat just can’t get a break when it comes to injuries.

Though Luol Deng played the entire loss versus the Indiana Pacers without much of a problem on Sunday night, it was reported after the game that Deng had reaggravated a left knee injury that he initially suffered over a week ago. The injury caused him to miss the Heat’s loss to the San Antonio Spurs on March 31. He returned a couple nights later versus the Cleveland Cavaliers and scored 17 points in 36 minutes.

Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel reports the injury may be season-ending. Deng struggled through 29 minutes of playing time versus the Pacers, and shot a dreadful 1-of-8 from the field and scored just three total points.

The injury list just keeps piling up for a Heat team that simply can’t afford it with just five games remaining. Both Hassan Whiteside and Chris Andersen missed the Pacers game due to injuries. Michael Beasley exited the contest during the fourth quarter due to a hyperextended left knee. The severity of his injury is not yet known.

As a result of the piling list of Miami’s injuries, Erik Spoelstra was forced start the 6’8″ Udonis Haslem at center and the undersized Henry Walker at power forward.

Both Deng and Andersen are questionable against the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday night, while Beasley is doubtful. Surprisingly, Whiteside is being projected as a starter.

The Heat are currently on the outside-looking-in at the 10th seed in the Eastern Conference. They’ll travel back home to play the Hornets at 7:30 PM EST at the American Airlines Arena.
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D.J. Siddiqi grew up in the heart of South Florida in Broward County. Growing up in South Florida during the late 90's and 2000's, D.J. witnessed the Pat Riley years where the Miami Heat faced off with the New York Knicks all the way to the painful late 2000's seasons where the Heat were a one-man team with Dwyane Wade. D.J. has closely followed the Heat over the past decade-and-a-half, and unfortunately witnessed Game 2 of the 2011 NBA Finals in person when the Dallas Mavericks overcame a 15-point deficit to knock off the Heat. D.J. has writing experience as a columnist with sites such as Bleacher Report and Rant Sports, and he is proud to bring his knowledge of the Heat and the NBA to Heat Nation.