COVID-19 protocols sideline Heat’s Bradley; Dragic, Olynyk, Leonard ailing

Ira Winderman, South Florida Sun Sentinel

The NBA’s coronavirus pandemic protocols have caught up with the Miami Heat, with guard Avery Bradley ruled out for Sunday night’s game against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden due to “Health and Safety Protocols.”

The absence comes two games after the Heat played at AmericanAirlines Arena against the Celtics, with Boston forward Jayson Tatum subsequently testing positive for COVID-19, and a game after the Heat defeated the Wizards on Saturday night, with Washington guard Bradley Beal missing that game due to contact tracing regarding Tatum.

The Heat also have an extended listing on the NBA’s 1:30 p.m. Sunday injury report:

Goran Dragic, Questionable, Right Knee Soreness.

Meyers Leonard, Questionable, Left Shoulder Strain.

Kelly Olynyk, Questionable, Left Groin Contusion.

Gabe Vincent, Probable, Right Knee Soreness.

On the other side, Boston continued to have nine players listed on its injury report.

For the Heat and the rest of the NBA, the concern remains being able to field competitive lineups amid the pandemic.

“It’s crazy,” Heat forward Jimmy Butler said of the increased absences around the league due to the pandemic. “But we still got to out there and compete. If our name’s called and we can’t play, we just can’t play. But on our team nobody is going out there really, with the COVID now.

“I like everybody trying to stay safe and keep it away from as many people as you can. It’s crazy to hear how many guys got to be quarantined from how many these days, 17 or 14, whatever the case may be.”

Included in those NBA absences are several for the Philadelphia 76ers, the Heat’s opponent for the final two games of this four-game trip, on Tuesday and Thursday nights.

“I see it, for sure,” Heat guard Tyler Herro said of the diminished rosters around the league. “It’s just crazy, the times we’re living in right now, with everything that’s going on. It’s a crazy season.

“My first year, my rookie year, we had a bubble, and my second year, now we’re kind of in a bubble but not in a bubble at the same time. So it’s just crazy, that’s really all I can say. But I am keeping up with it.”

Several Heat players already have dealt with COVID-19, including Bam Adebayo, Kendrick Nunn and Herro. That had both Adebayo and Nunn late to arrive to the NBA’s quarantine bubble setting last summer at Disney World.

“But that’s the times that we’re living in right now,” Herro said. “Everyone’s got to stay safe, wear their mask and just hopefully not get too close to anyone on the court who may have the virus.”