Heat Notes: Butler, Rozier, Love, Martin, Wright

The Heat are trying not to focus on being shorthanded as they look for a way to upset the top-seeded Celtics, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. An already difficult task is being made even harder by the absence of starters Jimmy Butler, who sprained his MCL during a play-in game, and Terry Rozier, who has been sidelined with neck issues. In addition, Duncan Robinson has been limited by a lingering back injury he suffered late in the season.

“We have our guys, we have enough to get the job done,” coach Erik Spoelstra insisted after a 20-point loss in Game 3. “We understand the challenge and that’s what our competitors love about this series. We know we have to play hard and we also have to play well.”

Butler and Rozier have already been ruled out for tonight’s Game 4. Spoelstra told reporters on Sunday that Rozier is considered “day to day,” but no timetable has been set for his return. Butler was projected to miss “several weeks” after getting hurt on April 17, but he sounded optimistic in an interview with TNT’s Chris Haynes during Saturday’s game.

“I don’t know about a timeline, but we’ve been working,” Butler said. “I want to hoop. I want to get out here. I want some of this.”

There’s more from Miami:

  • Spoelstra appears to be pivoting away from Kevin Love, who is facing a bad matchup against Boston, Chiang adds. The veteran big man, who was limited to one four-minute stretch in Game 3, is minus-24 in his 23 minutes of action in the series. “I was looking for a spark once we were down 20,” Spoelstra said in explaining the decision to bench Love. “This is not an indictment on anybody. Things move fast in a playoff series.”
  • Caleb Martin plans to “just be assertive and not be passive” tonight after he followed a 21-point Game 2 with five points on four shots in Game 3, Chiang states in a separate story. Martin, who starred against Boston in last year’s conference finals, said he needs to look to score more often. “I think there were sometimes I passed up shots,” he said. “I felt like I was trying to get the ball moving a little bit more, being a little bit less aggressive in letting it go. So that’s on me. I can’t be as passive. I got to let the ball go.”
  • Delon Wright, who missed Game 3 for the birth of a baby girl, has returned to the team and will be on the active roster tonight, tweets Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press.
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