The 9-14 Miami Heat travel to Phoenix for the start of an crucial six-game road trip that could make or break their season. 

Erik Spoelstra's squad is dealing with a number of injuries, and he will at least begin the road trip without three key players...for somewhat unknown reasons.

​Hassan Whiteside did not make the trip, as he remained in Miami for the birth of his first child. Wayne Ellington also did not travel due to personal reasons, and the team will miss Dion Waiters as well (though Goran Dragic returns).

Whiteside and Ellington are expected to rejoin the team during the trip, which has the Heat on the road until Dec. 16. 

Dragic continues to work towards a return from a right knee injury that has kept him out of Miami's last eight games, and Waiters continues to recover from January surgery on his left ankle.

Nine ​Heat players have already combined to miss 75 games due to injury or personal reasons this season. 

Considering the injuries, a 3-3 finish to the trip should be the ultimate goal. Anything worse will have them falling off the pace for the final playoff spot in the East.