It started with Gordon Hayward’s ugly ankle injury on the first night of the season. Then other notable NBA players like Chris Paul (knee), Jeremy Lin (knee) and Myles Turner (concussion) have gone down since. The injury bug hasn’t spared the Heat either with Rodney McGruder out for at least three months (left tibia stress fracture), Hassan Whiteside (bruised knee) and Dion Waiters (ankle) all ailing to varying degrees. But is the NBA’s move to shorten the preseason and start the regular season earlier in an effort to create more days in between games to blame? "There is some validity to the fact that there is 10 less days of preseason," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said after Saturday’s shootaround at AmericanAirlines Arena. "Our guys came in [to camp] in tremendous shape. But you still notice that, you feel that. You’re cramming in six games, less practices, and then all of a sudden that first game it was on. I don’t know how many, what percentage of the NBA players were truly ready, were physically ready for how fast and aggressive a real regular season game is." The season began on Oct. 18 this year - eight days earlier than last season and the Heat played two fewer preseason games. "People say 10 days doesn’t matter, it does," Spoelstra said. "It does matter. But we’ll just have to see how it plays out with the rest of the league." Spoelstra said every player except Whiteside would be available for Saturday night’s home opener against the Pacers.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra thinks shortened preseason contributing to more injuries
Miami Herald | Oct 22