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Heat’s Justise Winslow upgraded to questionable vs. Blazers, could play for first time since Dec. 4

Heat, Justise Winslow

The Miami Heat have upgraded swingman Justise Winslow to questionable for Sunday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Winslow hasn’t played since Dec. 4 because of a back injury:

The Heat are 25-10 on the season. They are in third place in the Eastern Conference standings.

Winslow has appeared in 10 games for the Heat this season. The lefty is averaging 12.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.3 assists while shooting 39.4 percent from the field, 23.1 percent from beyond the arc and 66.7 percent from the free-throw line.

The Heat are coming off a 20-point loss to the Orlando Magic. Miami All-Star small forward Jimmy Butler bashed the team for their poor defensive effort:

“We got to guard,” Butler said, via the Miami Herald. “I don’t think there’s any other way to say it. We can’t come into a game thinking we deserve to win, we should win, we don’t have to play hard, we don’t have to guard. We should just come in no matter our opponent, no matter where we’re playing and do what the hell we’re supposed to do.

“I think that whenever we’re making shots, we’re happy, we’re celebrating, we’re rah-rah. That’s not who we are because we got to be able to rely on defense. I think UD says it the best, that’s some front-running [expletive] whenever you’re making shots and you get to celebrate and then you’re up and you go down there and you get a stop. I didn’t see no celebrating on our end tonight. I saw a lot of low energy, not doing what we’re supposed to be doing, frowns and not competing. That’s all because we didn’t make shots.

“We’re not soft. But right now, that’s how I would describe us. I would. I think teams want to play us right now.”

Winslow, should he play on Sunday for the Heat, would help Miami get its defensive energy back.

We’ll see if he’s able to give it a go against Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Carmelo Anthony and the Blazers.