USA News

For Heat, injury report means during NBA playoffs when it doubt ‘questionable’ it out

It has been the Miami Heat’s way for weeks now, and based on how the NBA has responded to injury reports just this weekend, it likely is an approach that will continue:

When it doubt, “questionable” it out.

Sunday, ahead of Game 4 of this best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers, it meant seven Heat players listed as questionable for the 8 p.m. tipoff at Wells Fargo Center.

The expectation, as has consistently been proven the case since the start of the playoffs, again was that the Heat’s questionables would settle into uniform and be there at Erik Spoelstra’s disposal.

And, still, there they all were Sunday, listed as questionable: Dewayne Dedmon (head cold), Tyler Herro (ankle sprain), Kyle Lowry (hamstring strain), Caleb Martin (ankle sprain), Max Strus (hamstring strain), P.J. Tucker (calf strain) and Gabe Vincent (knee irritation). All had played in Friday night’s Game 3, most similarly listed as questionable ahead of that game.

The contrast is the approach that was taken ahead of Friday’s game when the 76ers not only had center Joel Embiid listed as out at the start of the day, but even when his status changed to “doubtful” at midday, the team never altered that delineation before Embiid went out to jump center at tipoff.

A $50,000 NBA fine to the 76ers followed.

Issued Saturday in the wake of that injury-report chicanery was an NBA release that read:

“The NBA today announced the Philadelphia 76ers have been fined $50,000 for violating league injury reporting rules. The team failed to disclose center-forward Joel Embiid’s participation status in an accurate and timely manner prior to Game 3 of their conference semifinal playoff series vs. the Miami Heat on May 6 at Wells Fargo Center.”

In the wake of that sanction, the 76ers listed Embiid, with his facial fracture and sprained right thumb, as questionable for Sunday’s game, well aware he would play.

Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers explained the Friday rollercoaster, with NBA ears obviously not sympathetic.

“I felt like he was gonna play [Friday] morning, but I didn’t know. But I felt like it,” Rivers said. “He did our whole walkthrough, which, again, we didn’t do a lot. He didn’t take a lot of shots, which made me start getting a little concerned.

“But by mid-afternoon, I was pretty positive.”

Embiid wound up playing 36:20 Friday night, closing with 18 points and 11 rebounds in the 76ers’ 99-79 victory.

During the first round of the playoffs, the Phoenix Suns also were sanctioned by the NBA for their handling of the injury report.

The NBA in that case issued a statement that read, “The NBA today announced the Phoenix Suns have been fined $25,000 for violating league injury reporting rules. The team failed to disclose guard Devin Booker’s participation status in an accurate and timely manner prior to Game 6 of their first-round playoff series vs. the New Orleans Pelicans on April 28 at Smoothie King Center.”

NBA injury reports are issued hourly ahead of games.

()

File source

Tags
Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button
Close