Miami Heat rumors might have good news about the return of Luol Deng. The Heat were without Deng during a Wednesday, March 23, loss to the San Antonio Spurs. Miami lost 112-88, getting out-scored 32-16 in the third quarter alone. Each game has become very important, as Miami still has a shot to clinch the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Becoming the No. 3 seed would guarantee home court advantage through at least the first round of the 2016 NBA Playoffs. Currently, Miami is 41-30 and tied with the Charlotte Hornets for fifth place. That also puts the Heat a half-game behind the Atlanta Hawks (42-30) and Boston Celtics (42-30) for the No. 3 seed. Getting Deng back quickly could be crucial in the race to the postseason.
A report from the Palm Beach Post addresses the most recent Miami Heat rumors about Luol Deng. The short-term news could be very good for the team, as Deng may return as early as Friday night, March 25, against the Orlando Magic. When Deng spoke about recovering from a bad bruise to his left thigh (suffered against the Charlotte Hornets on March 17), he sounded very optimistic about getting back on the court.
“We just want to give it two days. It happened in the Charlotte game. The Cleveland game was Okay, didn’t feel great, but we played well. My mindset (Tuesday at New Orleans) was try to do as much as I can. I wasn’t gonna come out at the end of the game. It’s just being smart, really. It’s not something I see being long.
“It was my usual running and moving just getting tighter. That always happens with bruises. You can get away with a bruise during the game and maybe the next couple days, but after like three days or so it gets tighter and tighter. It feels better today. We’re just trying to be smart and get as much treatment as we can on it. Hopefully I’ll be ready next game.”
In 63 games for the Miami Heat this season, Luol Deng has averaged 12.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.0 steals per game. During the month of March, though, Deng has averaged 14.8 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. His minutes are up to around 33 a night, giving Deng a better opportunity to score more points. It has not just helped out the Heat, but also fantasy basketball owners who have invested in him for the second half of the NBA season. This recent injury may simply turn out to be a way for Deng to get some much-needed rest as the Heat prepare for a big playoff run.
Despite the new Miami Heat rumors about Luol Deng playing against the Orlando Magic, he remains listed as questionable on the NBA injury report. How important it is for him to get back on the court is underscored by how he performed in the five games before the injury. Deng had 98 points over those five games, working out to nearly 20 points per game. He also averaged just about eight rebounds a night and was shooting well above 50 percent from the field. If the Heat can get that type of output from Deng in the final weeks of the regular season, the team could easily move up the standings.
Upcoming games for the Miami Heat include match-ups against several sub-.500 teams. Following the game against the Orlando Magic, Miami will play the Brooklyn Nets on March 28, the Los Angeles Lakers on March 30, and the Sacramento Kings on April 1. Though West Coast road trips can be tough to predict, the Heat will be favored to win all those games. Having Orlando on the schedule three more times certainly doesn’t hurt either, as the Magic slipped to 29-42 with another loss. With Luol Deng close to a return, Miami Heat fans and fantasy basketball owners should be pleased with the schedule.
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