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NBA tells Miami to call up Austin G League players for tonight’s Spurs-Heat game

The NBA shows the lengths it’s willing go to make games happen.

NBA: Preseason-Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

This is getting very interesting, very quickly. With the Spurs and Heat set to square off this evening, injuries and more players entering COVID Health and Safety protocols has Miami on the brink of being unable to field a complete enough team for the game to happen.

With PJ Tucker, Zylan Cheathham, and Gabe Vincent joining Udonis Haslem and Kyle Lowery in Health and Safety Protocols, Dewayne Dedmon, Bam Adebayo and Victor Oladipo all out with various injuries, and Jimmy Butler questionable at this time with an ankle injury, it was beginning to look like tonight’s matchup would become the 10th NBA game to be postponed this season.

However, Sun Sentinel writer Ira Winderman has confirmed that regardless of anything, the game will go on. The NBA has told the Heat to call up three players from the Austin Spurs, showing the length they will go to postpone as few games as possible. There is also a current lift on game limits for two-way players, so Caleb Martin and Marcus Garrett will count towards the roster count, allowing the Heat to field a complete enough team.

So far they have added Austin Spur Aric Holman, signing him to a 10-day hardship exemption, and need just one more player to field a compelte team.

The Spurs had injury updates following morning shootaround as well, but not to this extend. Lonnie Walker has been downgraded to doubtful with a right knee contusion, and two-way player Devontae Cacok has entered COVID Health and Safety Protocols.

Walker appeared to suffer the knee contusion in the second half of the Spurs’ loss to the Utah Jazz on Monday, when he landed awkwardly and came up with a slight limp, but he kept playing at the time. Cacok becomes the second Spur to enter Health and Safety Protocols, joining Dejounte Murray.

The NBA recently updated their rules to where a player can now rejoin the team after six days if he tests negative three straight times and is fever-free for 24 hours, so assuming Murray is doing well, he could now theoretically join the team as soon as their New Year’s Day game in Detroit.

This will definitely be an interesting game, with a bit of Austin vs. San Antonio vibe to it, but San Antonio must remain focused on the task at hand and not pay attention to the team on the other side of the court.