Mickey getting chance with Heat as they face Celtics
BOSTON — Jordan Mickey played in just 41 games during his two years in Boston.
Now, in his third season in the NBA, Mickey has become a contributor for the injury-ravaged Miami Heat, who ended the Celtics’ 16-game winning streak Nov. 22 and will visit TD Garden on Wednesday night.
“Our scouting department really liked him,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said after Mickey emerged from mothballs to deliver valuable work for his new team. “When they brought his name to me (and I) watched film, I liked him. And in training camp and in preseason he really showed a lot of this, particularly in practice.
“Since then, what he’s shown is a work ethic and a competitive, professional character behind the scenes.”
With Hassan Whiteside, Justise Winslow, James Johnson and Goran Dragic all hurt, Mickey has averaged 8.7 points and 7.3 rebounds per game over the last three games. He has set or tied his career scoring high in three straight games and had nine points and a career-best 10 rebounds in Monday night’s loss in Atlanta.
“You’ve got to always be ready. … You have to always continue working on your game, no matter if you’re playing or not,” Mickey said. “You never know what’s going to happen and when you’ll get your opportunity.”
Mickey isn’t the only former Celtic hitting the parquet Wednesday, facing a Celtics team that pulled off a last-minute victory at Indiana. Kelly Olynyk, who played four years in Boston, should get a nice ovation from his old home crowd.
Olynyk, who signed with the Heat as a free agent, is averaging 9.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per game with Miami — numbers right around his career totals.
The teams have split two games in Miami already this season and the Heat, 9-8 on the road this season, now try to snap a four-game losing streak on the parquet.
The Celtics (26-7, 10-3 at home) pulled off the dramatic Monday night, becoming the first team in the NBA this season to win a game after being down by five or more with 30 seconds or less remaining. According to STATS, NBA teams had been 0-366 in the same situation this season.
Terry Rozier, who stole the inbounds pass and then slammed it home with one second remaining for the win, told his teammates, down by one, in the huddle, “Let’s play some football” before his interception and winning slam.
“I’m always bragging about my football skills,” Rozier said. “So I got to show it a little tonight.”
As for Miami’s injured players: Winslow (knee) is on the trip and is closing in on a return; Dragic has a sore elbow; Whiteside (knee) will not be there; Johnson (ankle) is out.
Dion Waiters was under the weather Monday, missing the shoot-around with what he said was bad spaghetti, but played and recorded 23 points and five assists.
The Heat summoned Matt Williams Jr. from their G-League team and he will be in uniform Wednesday night.
For Boston, Marcus Morris (knee) remains out while Daniel Theis continues to be questionable with a broken nose. He played 17 minutes at Indiana.