MIAMI (CBSMiami/SportsDirect) – The Miami Heat’s roster has changed quite a bit of late due to injuries.READ MORE: Fantasy Football Start Or Sit Week 8: Can Kirk Cousins Put Up Points On The Cowboys Defense?
The depleted Chicago Bulls are trying to hang around in the top eight of the Eastern Conference but will get no sympathy from the Heat.
The teams will try to throw enough healthy bodies on the floor to make it competitive when the Bulls visit the Heat on Tuesday.
Chicago pulled together behind some of the reserves and managed three straight wins before the attrition got to the team in back-to-back losses.
“You can’t really dwell on it or be frustrated and think about it every day,” Bulls center Pau Gasol told reporters. “We wish certain guys would be back and we wish that things were a little different, but they’re not. So you just got to go out there and do your best.”
Miami is still missing All-Star forward Chris Bosh (calf) but had more luck than Chicago on the buyout market when Joe Johnson chose the Heat among a host of suitors.
Johnson made his team debut on Sunday and contributed 12 points in 30 minutes to a 98-81 victory over the Knicks.
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ABOUT THE BULLS (30-28): All-Star guard Jimmy Butler (knee) is out indefinitely, joining center Joakim Noah (shoulder) and forward Nikola Mirotic (abdominal) with long-term injuries, and fellow guard Derrick Rose (hamstring) missed the last three games.
Chicago’s depleted lineup averaged 91.5 points in losses at Atlanta and to the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday and Saturday and will play five of the next eight on the road, where they own an 11-17 record.
“Play together, play within the game, help each other out, play hard (against) your opponent,” Gasol continued. “And that’s how you give yourself a chance regardless of the level of talent in this league. And then hopefully we’ll get some guys back. Guys that are important to our team that would help us quite a bit.”
ABOUT THE HEAT (33-26): Bosh’s health situation remains unclear, and Johnson should help fill the gap as a veteran scorer that can knock down a corner 3-pointer.
Johnson went 1-of 3 from beyond the arc in his debut after buying into Dwyane Wade’s recruiting pitch.
“Whenever I’ve felt the opportunity to reach out to someone and help our organization be better, I’ve always tried to do that,” Wade told reporters. “I just want to win. If you can have guys that help you do that, why not? It was our job to show him that he’s welcome. I know what I mean to the franchise, so I know a call from me means a lot.”
- Heat C Hassan Whiteside is averaging 18.8 points and 16 rebounds in the last five games.
- Gasol recorded his seventh career triple-double with 22 points, 16 rebounds and 14 assists on Saturday.
- The road team has taken each of the last four in the series.
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