Miami Heat’s rotation vs. Milwaukee Bucks takes potential turn with latest injury news

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Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat guard Josh Richardson returned to practice with the team on Monday.

Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said that Richardson will be a game-time decision for Monday’s matchup against Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard and the Milwaukee Bucks.

Additionally, Spoelstra revealed that forward Caleb Martin — who hasn’t played since the team’s season opener against the Detroit Pistons on Oct. 25  — will likely be out with knee pain.

It also sounds like the status of big man Bam Adebayo is up in the air heading into Monday’s game.

The Heat’s official injury report includes five players.

The Richardson news is certainly encouraging and perhaps a bit unexpected.

Richardson played in two preseason games for the Heat, and his most productive one came against the Charlotte Hornets on Oct. 10. The 30-year-old dropped seven points, four rebounds, three assists and came up with one steal in a game the Heat went on to win by a final score of 113-109. In addition, Richardson converted three of his seven shots from the field, including one of his three 3-point attempts.

The wing rejoined the Heat this offseason on a two-year deal after spending the first four seasons of his pro career with the organization. He has played for six teams in the NBA — including the San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and Philadelphia 76ers — since the Heat drafted him with the No. 40 overall pick of the 2015 NBA Draft.

Across 65 games played and 10 starts, Richardson averaged 10.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 43.1 percent from the field during the 2022-23 regular season. He spent most of the regular season with the Spurs but was dealt to the New Orleans Pelicans in February.

Richardson’s absence could be particularly glaring against the Bucks if he is not feeling up to playing on Monday, considering he is a strong perimeter defender and Milwaukee point guard Damian Lillard is one of the best scorers at the point guard position in the NBA. As such, Heat fans should be hoping that Richardson will make his season debut with the team in Milwaukee.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA.