The Miami Heat will once again have to overcome the absence of starting point guard Kyle Lowry.
Lowry will miss Monday’s game against the Chicago Bulls at FTX Arena for the same personal reasons that kept him out of nine straight games over two weeks, Jan. 17-Feb. There is no timetable for his return.
The Heat went 5-4 in that extended first streak without Lowry.
If Lowry isn’t able to return in the next few days, the Eastern Conference-leading Heat will face some of the best in the East without him. After hosting the Bulls in second place on Monday, the Heat then have a back-to-back road against defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday and against the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday before returning home to face Joel Embiid, James Harden and the 76ers. from Philadelphia on Saturday.
Gabe Vincent started in place of Lowry at point guard in each of the first nine games he missed for personal reasons.
In addition to missing Lowry, the Heat will be without Markieff Morris (reconditioning back to competition), Victor Oladipo (G League assignment) and Javonte Smart (G League) on Monday against the Bulls. Caleb Martin is listed as questionable with lingering left Achilles pain that forced him to miss five of the last seven games before the All-Star break.
Oladipo is yet to play this season as he continues to return from surgery in May to repair the quadriceps tendon in his right knee. This is the second time in recent weeks that Oladipo has been sent to Heat’s G League affiliate Sioux Falls Skyforce to participate in five-on-five courtwork, but he is not expected to play in the G League games.
Oladipo is expected to join the Heat in Milwaukee for Wednesday’s game against the Bucks, but it’s still unclear when he’ll make his season debut. Multiple league sources have confirmed an ESPN report that the hope is that Oladipo, who hasn’t played in an NBA game since April 8, will be able to return to action within the next two weeks.
That could bring Oladipo back during the Heat’s seven-game home stint that runs Saturday through March 18.
The Bulls ruled out Lonzo Ball (left knee meniscus tear), Alex Caruso (right wrist fracture), Tyler Cook (G League), Marko Simonovic (G League) and Patrick Williams (left wrist ligament tear) for the Monday’s game in Miami. Nikola Vucevic is listed as probable with a sprained left ankle.