Heat Notes: Morris, Haslem, Strus, Herro

With a couple of days to cool down following Monday’s incident in Denver, Heat players are hoping to put the skirmish behind them, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Nuggets center Nikola Jokic was suspended for one game for striking Markieff Morris in the back following a hard foul late in Monday’s contest. Morris was fined $50K for the initial hit, while teammate Jimmy Butler received a $30K fine for “attempting to escalate” the conflict.

Morris suffered whiplash and has been ruled out of tonight’s game against the Lakers, Chiang adds. He was at the team’s shootout this morning, but didn’t participate and left for a doctor’s appointment without speaking to reporters.

“Obviously in a situation like that, alpha males and reactions take over,” said team captain Udonis Haslem. “A couple of days later, we all want what’s best for everybody. I don’t think Jokic is a bad guy. I actually love him as a basketball player and I love him as a person. I think he’s a really good guy. I think emotions just got the best of everybody.”

There’s more on the Heat:

  • Max Strus will miss his fifth straight game tonight with a sprained left knee, Chiang adds. Strus was initially listed as probable, but woke up with pain in the knee today following a workout Tuesday. “He had a really good day of work yesterday,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He’s definitely making progress and I think he needs a little bit more time.”
  • Tonight will mark Miami’s first meeting with Kendrick Nunn since he signed with the Lakers in free agency, notes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. The Heat decided to rescind their qualifying offer to Nunn because of luxury tax concerns, but Spoelstra said he enjoyed the two years they spent together. “He surprised everybody in the league,” Spoelstra said. “He really contributed and helped us win at a high level. And he got better as a basketball player. And he developed a relationship with some that I know will continue. I’m a big fan of K-Nunn.”
  • The offseason addition of Kyle Lowry is one obvious reason for the Heat‘s 7-3 start, but Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer identifies a few more. One is the resurgence of Tyler Herro, who is back to being the dangerous offensive threat he was after the NBA’s restart in 2020. He’s averaging 20.3 PPG and has become a more efficient scorer in his third season.
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