The Heat will take on the Hornets in Game 7 of their opening-round series today. As Miami prepares for the matchup, let’s take a look at some notes from the team:
- Coach Erik Spoelstra confirmed that Josh Richardson will be active, tweets Jason Lieser of The Palm Beach Post. An MRI on Richardson’s injured left shoulder came back negative, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, but a friend of Richardson tells Jackson that the rookie is still experiencing discomfort.
- Spoelstra has faith in Udonis Haslem to contribute during crunch time, Jackson passes along in the same piece. “It became pretty clear [Friday] night, the game became medieval,” Spoelstra said. “Those are the moments I turn to UD.” Haslem, who has been with the Heat since signing with the team as an undrafted free agent in 2003, will become a free agent again at the end of the season.
- Haslem didn’t see many minutes for the Heat before Game 6, but he isn’t concerned about the lack of playing time. Instead, he’s focused on staying ready for when his number is called and remaining professional, writes Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. “I’ve been around a lot of great basketball players. They’ve taught me a lot about professionalism. I’ve had to rely on that probably more this year than any other year of my career,” Haslem said.
- Game 7 gives center Hassan Whiteside another chance to prove that he’s worth a max salary, Winderman writes in a separate piece. Whiteside blamed a thigh injury for his poor performance in Game 6, but Winderman says today gives him an opportunity to show the Heat that he can perform in pressure situations. The writer adds that Richardson’s availability may leave no minutes for 30-year-old swingman Gerald Green, who’s headed for free agency when the Heat’s playoff run ends.
Arthur Hill contributed to this post.