TV: NBA TV
- LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers will miss tonight’s game for Miami. James tweaked a right hamstring in New Orleans on Friday, Wade sprained an ankle in Chicago earlier in the week and Chalmers also picked up his injury before coming to San Antonio. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said each player is day-to-day.
- Spoelstra said the team’s move to keep its two megastars out against the Spurs in San Antonio had nothing to do with the approach Spurs coach Gregg Popovich took Nov. 29 when the Spurs kept its three megastars Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili in San Antonio rather than play in Miami. The Spurs were fined $250,000 by the league for that move. “I can see where you guys would draw those conclusions, but no,” Spoelstra said. “Things happen. This was unforeseen. Dwyane retweaked about every minor injury he’s had and LJ obviously tightened up his hamstring and I didn’t put him back in the fourth quarter (in New Orleans).”
- The Heat will start Norris Cole, Mike Miller, Rashard Lewis, Chris Bosh and possibly Udonis Haslem. Spoelstra said it’s possible Haslem will not play because of a bad foot.
- When asked if he understood the Heat’s caution with its star players, Popovich feigned surprise: “What do you mean? What kind of (bleep) is that? You kiddin?’ What a bunch of rummies. They’re doing that? Who would think of something like that? That’s below the belt. There’s no place for that kind of stuff. It is what it is. The motivation for it, you guys figure it out. It would be a great article.”
- Popovich turned serious when reminded the Heat had a letdown when the Spurs showed up in Miami with their reserves and almost won, losing 105-100. “It happens all the time in the NBA,” he said. “No matter how good a team is, no matter what the team’s record is, there will be to some to degree a letdown mentally. I won’t know a damn thing until I get on the court and see if we respond the way we should respond. We gave them a hell of a game in Miami and I totally expect them to give us the same kind of game here even thought their stars, quote unquote, aren’t playing.”
- Manu Ginobili will miss more than a week for the Spurs after he strained his right hamstring on Friday in the 104-102 victory over the Clippers. It could keep him out into the playoffs, Popovich said. “It’s a huge blow for us because he’s the guy who allows our second team to do what it’s been doing all year long,” Popovich said.
– Tim Price