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GAME PREVIEW: Depleted Heat visit Rockets in last game of 2021

A hodgepodge collection of players employed by the Heat visit Houston to play an NBA game.

Washington Wizards v Miami Heat Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

GAME STORY

The Miami Heat (22-13) will take what appears to be a Summer League roster to face the Houston Rockets tonight at 7:00pm.

Only Tyler Herro, Omer Yurtseven and Caleb Martin remain on the active list at the moment from the Heat’s actual roster, with Duncan Robinson and Marcus Garrett now added to the NBA health and safety protocols. Robinson’s franchise record streak of consecutive appearances will come to an end at 182 games. Hopefully Kyle Lowry is allowed to rejoin the team tonight, as he is close to nearing a return.

In their place, Miami has added several new additions including NBA champion Mario Chalmers and former Heat player Chris Silva. For more from writer Matt Hanifan on how the new players will fit in click here for info on Chalmers, Silva, Haywood Highsmith, and Nik Stauskas; click here for Aric Holman, and finally click here for Kyle Guy.

NBA regulations require a minimum of eight players, and the Heat are dangerously close to failing to reach that number with five additional players injured — though Jimmy Butler has been upgraded to questionable for tonight’s game after spraining his ankle late in the Heat’s victory over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday.

Houston has, at the time of this writing, four players in the league’s health and safety protocols: Garrison Mathews, Jae’Sean Tate, KJ Martin Jr., and D.J. Augustin. They have won just two of their last 10 games and are on a five-game losing streak, but have a 7-8 home record for the season. Only the Orlando Magic and the Detroit Pistons have worse records than the Rockets.

ODDS: FiveThirtyEight gives the Heat a 64% chance to win the game.

HEAT VS ROCKETS: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 31 AT 7:00 PM.

INJURIES

MIAMI:

  • Victor Oladipo: out (knee; surgery rehab)
  • Zylan Cheatham: out (health and safety protocols)
  • Jimmy Butler: questionable (ankle)
  • KZ Okpala: out (wrist)
  • Dewayne Dedmon: out (knee)
  • Markieff Morris: out (neck)
  • Kyle Lowry: out (health and safety protocols)
  • Udonis Haslem: out (health and safety protocols)
  • P.J. Tucker: out (health and safety protocols)
  • Max Strus: out (health and safety protocols)
  • Bam Adebayo: out (thumb)
  • Gabe Vincent: out (health and safety protocols)
  • Duncan Robinson: out (health and safety protocols)
  • Marcus Garrett: out (health and safety protocols)

HOUSTON:

  • Garrison Mathews: out (health and safety protocols)
  • Jae’Sean Tate: out (health protocols)
  • KJ Martin Jr.: out (health protocols)
  • D.J. Augustin: out (health and safety protocols)

LINEUPS

Projected Starters

Celtics Position Heat
Celtics Position Heat
Marcus Smart PG Kyle Lowry
Jaylen Brown SG Max Strus
Jayson Tatum SF Jimmy Butler
Al Horford PF PJ Tucker
Robert Williams III C Bam Adebayo

BROADCAST INFO

TV: Bally Sports Sun, NBA League Pass
RADIO: The Ticket 790AM & The HEAT Radio Network (Jason Jackson, Ruth Riley Hunter)
SPANISH RADIO: WAQI 710AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda, Joe Pujala)

Come back to Hot Hot Hoops at game time to join our GameThread and chat about the game live with other Heat fans!