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Heat’s Dewayne Dedmon out for Game 4 vs. 76ers due to illness

The Miami Heat were cut down to size ahead of Sunday night’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers, with backup center Dewayne Dedmon ruled out due to illness.

Dedmon had been one of seven players listed as questionable by the Heat going into Game 4 of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center.

Dedmon had emerged as a more significant element of the Heat rotation after 76ers center Joel Embiid returned in Friday’s Game 3 from the concussion and facial fracture that had him out for the series’ first two games.

After playing four minutes in the series opener, when Embiid was away from the 76ers, Dedmon had played 11 minutes in Game 2 and 12 in Game 3.

Beyond Dedmon, the options for Heat coach Erik Spoelstra behind starting center Bam Adebayo are rookie Omer Yurtseven, or going undersized with starting power forward P.J. Tucker shifted to center.

Dedmon’s illness was listed as a head cold. NBA teams are required to note if a player enters NBA COVID protocols.

Dedmon is on a one-year, veteran minimum contract, to become a free agent on July 1.

No chances

Also listed as questionable by the Heat ahead of Sunday night’s game were 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 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.


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