WASHINGTON (AP) — The idle Big Three became a quartet Wednesday night, with Udonis Haslem joining LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh among those not suiting up for the Miami Heat’s game against the Washington Wizards.
Haslem sat out because of a sore right ankle after recording his first double-double of the season in the Heat’s 94-83 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.
“It was nothing out of the ordinary. I was just chasing a rebound and I planted, and it just was a sharp pain that I felt,” Haslem said. “Iced it last night and (the trainer) and the staff just said it would probably be best to just rest a day.”
Haslem said the ankle has been bothering him for a while.
“I don’t want it to be a situation where I go into the playoffs with something nagging,” he said. “We just want to have all cylinders firing and everybody as healthy as possible.”
That’s becoming an ongoing theme with the Heat. Reigning NBA MVP James was given another night off because of his nagging right hamstring, even though he scored 28 points against the Bucks.
“Not a setback,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Want to make sure he feels right. He was a little bit tight yesterday after the game. That was probably to be expected. It was the same amount of tightness he had after Saturday night’s game, but we had two days off in between, so he was able to manage that.”
Wade missed his sixth consecutive game with a sprained ankle and bruised knee. While he and James made the trip to Washington, Bosh stayed home and missed a third straight game because of flu-like symptoms.
Wizards coach Randy Wittman said he understood the Heat’s desire to rest their ailing players ahead of the playoffs, given Miami’s realistic goal of repeating as NBA champs. He’s certain Washington fans would feel the same under similar circumstances.
“Would you rather see Nene, or would you rather see John Wall play game No. 80?” Wittman said. “Or would you like to see the Wizards win a world championship? Let’s see how that poll ends up.”