Heat’s Herro, Lowry, Strus, Tucker, Vincent all questionable for Game 6 vs. Celtics; Butler not on injury report – The Mercury News

The Miami Heat apparently will play it close to the vest until their season is over.

The team on Thursday listed five players as questionable for Friday’s 8:30 pm Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden, a best-of-seven series they trail 3-2.

That left no delineation between a player who has missed the past two games due to a strained left groin, in sixth man Tyler Herro, and a pair of players who have pushed forward without missing any time this postseason, with Max Strus and Gabe Vincent also listed as questionable, each with a hamstring strain.

Also listed as questionable is point guard Kyle Lowry, who has missed eight games this postseason with a hamstring strain, and power forward PJ Tucker, who has been dealing with troublesome knee irritation.

“Everybody that was available [Wednesday] night hopefully will be available and we’re ready to go,” Spoelstra said Thursday, essentially confirming that Strus, Vincent, Lowry and Tucker will play.

Not on the injury report but clearly limited is forward Jimmy Butler, who has been dealing with knee soreness for weeks.

“In terms of the list, I don’t even look at that list anymore,” Spoelstra said when asked about Butler. “Obviously we have to report stuff so we don’t get fined.”

Of Herro’s status, Spoelstra said, “I don’t know yet. He still has to do his treatment session tonight and then we’ll see him tomorrow at the shootaround.”

For their part, the Celtics again are listing point guard Marcus Smart and center Robert Williams III as questionable, after both played in Wednesday night’s 93-80 Boston victory at FTX Arena. Smart has been dealing with an ankle sprain, Williams with ongoing knee pain.

Also again out for Boston is guard Sam Hauser, who is dealing with a shoulder issue.

Let it fly

A day after his team missed a franchise postseason record 38 3-pointers in going 7 of 45 from beyond the arc in Game 5, Spoelstra said the only change he wants to see is, “make some more.”

He said it is hard to envision that not happening.

“We have so many ignitable guys,” he said. “I’ve mentioned this before, but we have a list of four or five guys, if they hit one or two, that can be a snowball rolling down a hill and that can quickly turn into five or six.

“So we want to continue to get our guys aggressive. They’re not afraid of the moment. They live for the competition.”

He also noted, “Our defense is capable of doing that to them, as well.”


Spoelstra said the chess match is as expected this deep into a series.

“I think both teams have been able to get to their core, foundational stuff,” he said. “But both teams have had to make adjustments, as well. And that’s what the competition has forced each team to do.

“I think when you get to this point against a good defense, what you want is to get open shots. And I thought we were able to generate some good, clean looks [Wednesday].”

The tape, Spoelstra said, was not as harrowing as might have been thought.

“You’re not going to get wide-open looks every single time down against a good defense,” he said. “But in terms of getting to our strength zones and our identity, even after watching it today, I felt pretty good about it.”

more, or less

With his team on the cusp of elimination, Spoelstra would not address whether he might go deeper into his roster for rotation answers.

“We’ll go with the rotation that we feel is best for [Friday] night and adjust on the fly if we need,” he said. “But we feel comfortable with everyone on our roster.”


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