Heat likely to be without G Johnson at Bucks (Jan 17, 2018)
Once again, Miami is looking for a shooting guard after Tyler Johnson suffered a sprained ankle Monday at Chicago and is listed as doubtful for Wednesday when the Heat travel to Milwaukee to take on the Bucks at the Bradley Center.
Miami's problems at the position began earlier this season when Dion Waiters suffered a sprained ankle that required season-ending surgery. Johnson moved into the role and thrived before issues with his neck and shoulder popped up last week.
That left two-way player Derrick Jones, Jr. to fill in while the Heat notched victories at Toronto and Indiana before Johnson was able to return.
Rodney McGruder has yet to play this season, either, after undergoing leg surgery during training camp.
"It seems like all position twos are going down," point guard Goran Dragic told the Orlando Sun Sentinel. "You got Rodney, Dion, Tyler. Basically we don't have position twos. OK, J-Rich, Wayne, but hopefully it's nothing, so we can get him back soon.
"We still want Rodney back. That's going to help us a lot."
Justice Winslow could see time in the backcourt against the Bucks, against whom he made his return Sunday after missing 14 games with a strained left knee.
"I'm very comfortable (playing shooting guard), for the most part," Winslow said. "It's kind of (the) point guard and the wings are interchangeable. It's pretty much the same. I'm comfortable pretty much everywhere.
"Right now, I'm more thinking about Tyler than how we're going to replace him. We got a couple days. Hopefully, nothing too serious, and he can be back out there soon."
Winslow finished with three points, four rebounds and four assists in Miami's 97-79 victory over Milwaukee earlier this week.
The Bucks shot a paltry 31 percent in that contest, their lowest shooting percentage of the season, while making only 4 of 28 attempts from beyond the arc.
"We played bad basketball," forward Giannis Antetokounmpo said after leading Milwaukee with 22 points on 6-for-12 shooting. "Usually when we don't make shots we try to do it ourselves. That's what I think at some points tonight happened."
It was Milwaukee's fourth loss in a six-game stretch, but the Bucks bounced back Monday afternoon with a 104-95 victory at Washington moving them back up to seventh in the East, a half-game ahead of eighth-seeded Detroit and a half-game behind Indiana for the sixth spot.
"One of the hardest things in this league to do is be consistent, and we are struggling with that," Bucks coach Jason Kidd said after Monday's win. "Hopefully, this can help us get to that point of being consistent on both ends."
The Bucks bounced back from that defeat with a victory the next day at Washington, where Antetokounmpo finished with 27 points and 20 rebounds -- making him just the sixth Bucks player since the 1976 merger to finish with at least 25 points and 20 rebounds in a game and the first since Ersan Ilyasova finished with 29 and 25 in 2012.
He was especially impactful down the stretch, scoring six points with eight boards in the final quarter, as Milwaukee led by just a point with under four minutes to play.
"Just shows he's going to do everything to put his team in a position to win," Kidd said.
With the victory on Sunday, Miami has won three straight in the series with Milwaukee and was 3-1 against the Bucks last season.