At Wednesday practice, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said that James Johnson has met conditioning requirements needed to rejoin the team. He will travel with the team to Atlanta for their Thursday game against the Hawks. Dion Waiters, though, will not join the team.
James Johnson has made his conditioning targets and will travel to Atlanta. Waiters will remain behind for conditioning. https://t.co/UcLaxzCn8X— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) October 30, 2019
Additionally, Derrick Jones Jr. will not travel with the team after suffering a groin strain in Miami’s Saturday win over the Milwaukee Bucks. Rookie forward KZ Okpala, who has played a grand total of two minutes and 38 seconds this year, will also not travel with the team due to an Achilles injury.
Derrick Jones Jr. (groin) and KZ Okpala (Achilles) will not travel to Atlanta.— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) October 30, 2019
Miami’s perimeter rotation has thrived early in the season, with rookies Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn, the veteran sixth man Goran Dragic and the dynamic two-way players Jimmy Butler and Justise Winslow. It may be hard to see Waiters find a way in the rotation, barring an injury.
But Johnson might have a way in. Kelly Olynyk has scored two points in Miami’s last two games combined, and Meyers Leonard hasn’t done much better. Moreover, both Olynyk and Leonard are defensive liabilities against quicker power forwards.