Heat Will Benefit Playing Without Big 3

Heat Will Benefit Playing Without Big 3

One more, and we might have seen Keith Askins locking down, Bob McAdoo unleashing feathery jumpers or even Pat Riley.

OK, that last one's a stretch.

Still, one more injury and the thinly-stretched Heat would have needed somebody to fill the 10th spot, in order to continue practicing five-against-five, after hobbling back from its five-game road trip. After all, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James were all doing the same thing as Riley and Micky Arison on Monday:

Watching.

More specifically, watching Eddie House shoot.

"Everytime he touched it, pretty much," Wade said. "One time he literally shot without turning his body around to the basket. I've never seen nobody get the ball up as fast as Eddie House."

Almost as fast as the Heat's stars have gone down.

First, it was James turning his ankle late in the loss to the Clippers on Wednesday, which didn't keep him from sinking a three-pointer on the same possession but did keep him out of the next two games.

Then, Saturday in Chicago, Wade knocked knees with Kurt Thomas, then slammed both elbows on the floor. Later in that game, Bosh paid the price for Omer Asik's hustle, as the 7-foot rookie from Turkey rolled into his ankle.

Of the three, Bosh is least likely to play Tuesday against Atlanta, even though an X-ray and MRI showed no significant damage. Wade said that his knee, while sore, won't keep him out as it did against Phoenix in late December. James was close to playing Saturday, before Wade helped talk him out of it, and said he was "optimistic" about returning.

Which all raises a rhetorical question:

How lucky is the Heat?

Not simply in the way you'd think, either.

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