If a 7-14 start to the season wasn’t bad enough, the Miami Heat got some more bad news Thursday. Avery Bradley will miss three to four weeks with a strained right calf, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Bradley was one of the Heat’s prime free agent targets this off-season; Pat Riley and Jimmy Butler both recruited him. He was thought to help resolve an issue that plagued Miami throughout all of the 2019-20 season — point-of-attack defense against opposing point guards.
In his season debut Dec. 25 against the New Orleans Pelicans, Bradley scored 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting and played great defense on J.J. Redick. In a Dec. 30 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, Bradley scored 16 points and played tough defense on Khris Middleton — a welcome sign indicating that Bradley could guard up and defend opposing small forwards.
Avery Bradley’s defense vs JJ Redick and Khris Middelton pic.twitter.com/63EAzBahQz— Heat Nation (@HeatNationCom) December 31, 2020
But along with Butler, Bradley missed a significant portion of time due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols after a January 9 game against the Washington Wizards. After returning Jan. 27, he suffered a knee injury and missed another two games. And now this calf injury will have him out for about a month.
In Bradley’s absence, Kendrick Nunn and Gabe Vincent will play more.