Wednesday , Feb , 23 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Miami Heat Team Report – February 23

=== Miami Heat Team Report – February 23 ===

(Sports Network) – It appears as if the Eastern Conference-leading Miami Heat
may have to do without injured All-Star center Shaquille O’Neal this evening,
when they battle the Indiana Pacers at Conseco Fieldhouse.

O’Neal strained his left knee early in Miami’s 105-101 overtime defeat to the
Chicago Bulls at the United Center on Tuesday night. X-Rays were negative
after the game, but the extent of the injury is still unknown.

Dwyane Wade registered 21 points and 11 assists, while Damon Jones chipped in
18 points in the defeat. Eddie Jones scored 15 and grabbed nine rebounds,
while Udonis Haslem tacked on 13 points and nine boards in the loss. Wang
ZhiZhi came off the bench with 11 points in the contest.

Miami was sharp from the field, hitting 50 percent of its shots. The Heat
drilled 6-of-17 (.353) from three-point range and 13-of-25 (.520) from the
free throw line.

The Heat had won 10 of their last 11 games prior to the All-Star break. Miami
has still registered 15 victories in its last 22 contests. The Heat haven’t
lost in 11 tries on Wednesday this season.

Miami, which is in the midst of a two-game road trip, is 18-10 in foreign
buildings this season. The Heat have won 13 of their last 19 road games

Not having O’Neal in the lineup would be a big loss for the Heat, as he has
registered 22.7 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per contest this season.
O’Neal is also leading the league in field goal shooting percentage, hitting
nearly 60 percent of his attempts.

Word out of Miami is that the Heat will not be trading sharpshooting guard
Wesley Person after all. Person had been unhappy with his role on the squad,
but the team has reportedly told him to sit tight.

After the Indiana game, the Heat will have consecutive days off before taking
on Orlando in a home-and-home starting Saturday at American Airlines Arena.