Ray Allen, Udonis Haslem sit out
The defending champs are trying to three-peat. The Heat Index.
Allen has been ill the past two days with flu-like symptoms and also missed Monday's practice, while Haslem will miss his second consecutive game as he recovers from back spasms. The Heat will start Shane Battier in Haslem's spot at power forward.
Tuesday will mark the third time in the past four games, and fourth time overall this season, that Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has had to adjust his starting lineup either due to injury or an absence. The Heat are hoping to shake out of a sluggish 4-3 start to the season that has seen the two-time defending champions struggle defensively.
Miami is ranked first in the league in offensive efficiency, but just 25th overall among 30 teams in defense. Spoelstra said before Tuesday's game that improving on the defensive side of the ball was the team's lone priority over the past two days on the heels of Saturday's 111-110 home loss to Boston.
"Ninety-nine percent (of the focus) was [about] us," Spoelstra said of facing the Bucks. "One percent (was) about preparation, and that was to do our due diligence."