Heat Notes: Playoff Prospects, Rozier, Depth, Herro

Sunday’s loss at Indiana was extremely damaging to the Heat‘s hopes of avoiding the play-in tournament, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Miami slipped into eighth place at 43-35, a game-and-a-half behind Indiana and a half-game back of Philadelphia. The Pacers clinched the tie-breaker with the Heat, now holding a 2-1 advantage in head-to-head games, and Indiana will get the sixth seed if the teams finish in a three-way tie.

Miami’s long-shot hopes of escaping the play-in involve winning its final four games while the Pacers lose two of their last three. The Heat’s schedule is favorable with a trip to Atlanta on Tuesday, followed by a home game with Dallas the next night and a pair at home against Toronto to end the season. The Pacers will play at Toronto and Cleveland before finishing up the season at home against Atlanta. A complete collapse by Cleveland, Orlando or New York over the final week is Miami’s only other chance to finish in the top six.

There’s more on the Heat:

  • Terry Rozier sat out the fourth quarter on Sunday due to neck stiffness that caused him to be listed as questionable heading into the game, Chiang adds. Rozier played just 22 minutes and was limited to four points on 2-of-7 shooting from the field. “I never like to make excuses, but I shouldn’t have went today,” he said. “I shouldn’t have played. I felt like I hurt the team by trying to be a warrior and get out there.”
  • The Heat’s season-long injury issues have resulted in significant minutes for numerous players, which could be an advantage heading into the postseason, Chiang states in a separate piece. “It’s a good thing that we can go 10 people into the rotation and everybody feels comfortable,” Jimmy Butler said. “Everybody knows the plays and everybody knows where they’re supposed to be at. … That’s a good problem to have whenever you’re going into the playoffs. It’s a good problem to have whenever you’re trying to be as deep as possible.”
  • Tyler Herro credits a decision to rest with helping him return after missing more than a month due to a hyperextended left knee and medial tendinitis in his right foot, per Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. The time off, combined with a platelet-rich plasma injection, enabled him to resume playing over the weekend. “So the PRP shot was kind of bringing it some extra reinforcement, to kind of hopefully release some pressure on the tendon,” Herro explained. “And I was able to do that with some weeks of rest after the PRP shot. And, ultimately, that’s what got me back on the floor.”
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