Erik Spoelstra says sitting Wayne Ellington among his toughest coaching decisions: ‘It makes me sick to my stomach’
The tide of the season has changed the Miami Heat rotation after a slew of injuries and returns from the infirmary. Head coach Erik Spoelstra has had to shuffle his guys in and out of the rotation, but no move has hurt more than sitting his trusty veteran Wayne Ellington.
Ellington’s career has flourished during his brief time with the Heat, even putting his name in the franchise record books, making the most 3-pointers in a season of any Heat player in team history in 2017-18.
The North Carolina product enjoyed a good run in November, but the return of the likes of Dwyane Wade, Tyler Johnson and others have further complicated the logjam at the guard position, making it difficult for him to see the floor.
Ellington has seen three-straight DNPs and Spoelstra is torn to see him miss the floor as often as he has over the latter part of December.
“It makes me sick to my stomach that I can’t play Wayne,” said Spoelstra, noting it is among his toughest coaching decisions this season, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Ellington signed a one-year deal, $6.3 million deal to return to the Heat, but he’s been far pressed to get the same playing time he received last season upon a wave of injuries for his teammates.
The impending return of Dion Waiters will further complicate his playing time situation, adding yet another shooting guard that is bound to soak up minutes in an already flooding shooting guard position.
After a career-best season in 2017-18, Ellington is posting 8.3 points per game on 35.8 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from deep.