Heat hope Cody Zeller can return from broken nose soon
Miami Heat center Cody Zeller underwent a procedure on his broken nose on Friday, and he is working his way back to the court.
Zeller, who the Heat picked up after the All-Star Game, suffered the broken nose — the second of his career — against Orlando on Saturday. Fortunately for Miami, the Heat expect him back soon.
“Everything looks encouraging,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I know what he wants to do and I know, based on previous history of guys with these kind of procedures, it will be sooner than later. But you just have to see how the swelling is and all that. He does have his old mask, so that will be a good thing.”
Zeller, who was listed as out for Miami’s road game against the Chicago Bulls on Saturday, has played 10 games with the Heat, averaging 13 minutes per game off the bench. He has scored 4.7 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.
Yurtseven readjusting in his first games back
Heat center Omer Yurtseven finally made it back on the court after missing Miami’s first 68 games due to ankle surgery.
“It’s been hard, especially losing the ability to run and then building yourself back up,” Yurtseven said. “And that way back was grueling. It was a battle.”
The second-year center made his season debut against the Orlando Magic on Saturday and has played between six and 11 minutes in three games since returning to action.
“Every day is like another big step. … Being able to feel that is amazing, but it’s also like I want more,” Yurtseven said. “I can’t wait for the next day.”
The return to the court has not gone perfectly, though. Yurtseven had three quick fouls in Miami’s win over Memphis on Wednesday and had to be subbed out of the game.
“I understand that it would be an adjustment,” Yurtseven said. “My biggest thing is no matter what, even if it’s a game even if it’s a practice, improving is the No. 1 goal. And I think those things stack up, whether it was a foul that day. I played the last five, six minutes, and I think I still got something out of that game to improve and get better and help the team close that out.”
Spoelstra complimented Yurtseven on his work toward getting ready for game action, and he said the second-year center would need time to adjust to game action after missing most of the season.
”He missed four and a half months,” Spoelstra said. “Those are not easy transitions, particularly stepping into this kind of competitive forum is much different than preparing in preseason, which was the last time we saw him. But I really commend his work. He’s dedicated.”
Grizzlies’ Brooks fined for pushing cameraman during Heat game
Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks received a $35,000 fine for shoving a cameraman during Memphis’ loss to Miami on Wednesday, NBA executive vice president and head of basketball operations Joe Dumars announced.
With 2:40 left in the second quarter on Wednesday, Brooks was chasing a loose ball, stopped near the scorer’s table and pushed the person on the sideline.
Miami does not face Memphis again this year.