Heat Coach Drops Injury Update on Backup Big Man Cody Zeller

Cody Zeller was a no-go for the second straight game when the Miami Heat hit the court against the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night. According to Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, however, the former No. 4 overall pick should be back in the lineup sooner rather than later.

Reported the Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang: “Erik Spoelstra says the hope is Cody Zeller will be able to return in ‘a couple of days.’ He’s expected to play in the same mask he used last season when he broke his nose as a member of the Blazers.”

Zeller suffered his latest nose break during Saturday’s bout with the Orlando Magic when he caught an inadvertent blow to the face from guard Jalen Suggs. He was subsequently removed from the contest after just four minutes of action to receive stitches under his right eye.

In 10 appearances with the Heat this season, the 30-year-old has averaged 4.7 points and 3.5 rebounds per game while connecting on 51.7% of his field-goal attempts. Miami has conceded just 108.1 points per 100 possessions defensively when he has been on the court.

Ex-Heat Center Meyers Leonard Will Remain With the Bucks Through Postseason Play

Per an announcement from the team on Tuesday evening, the Milwaukee Bucks have officially signed ex-Heat center Meyers Leonard for the remainder of the 2022-23 season.

The veteran pivot’s second 10-day deal with the Bucks expired 24 hours earlier; by giving him a standard contract, the team ensures that he’ll be around for the playoff push. As of this writing, Leonard has appeared in five games for Milwaukee, averaging 2.8 points and 2.0 rebounds per contest.

Leonard was a part of the Heat squad that made it to the NBA Finals in the bubble back in 2020. And his floor-stretching ability was an important arrow in Spoelstra’s quiver during the regular season. Alas, his run in South Beach ended in controversy the following year.

After using an anti-Semitic slur while streaming on Twitch, Leonard was suspended by the league for several games. He was later traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, who waived him in short order.

Between the livestream incident and ankle/leg injuries, the 31-year-old had to battle for a second opportunity in the Association.

Of his verbal snafu, Leonard told ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap in January: “There’s not a hateful cell in my body. And I know that I made a huge, huge mistake… There are absolutely no excuses for what happened that day. And ignorance, sadly, is a very real thing… I am not running from this, but I did not know that it happened.”

Mock Draft Sees Buckeyes Frosh Join the Heat

While the Heat still have a playoff run ahead of them, we’ve reached that time of year where NBA Draft coverage ramps up amid March Madness. To that end, Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman just put out a mock draft that had the team taking Ohio State wing Brice Sensabaugh with the No. 20 overall pick.

Wrote Wasserman:

A knee injury shut Sensabaugh down in the NCAA tournament, and now NBA teams will wait to see whether it will limit him pre-draft. Assuming he does declare, he should have produced enough to warrant top-20 interest in his self-creation and three-level shot-making accuracy for a 6’6″, 235-pound wing.

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