Monday, April 20, 2015

Did LeBron mislead Pat Riley last summer during free agency with a smiley face emoji?

Did LeBron James mislead Pat Riley last summer during free agency with a smiley face emoji?

Here's the circumstantial evidence... Sherlock-Holmes-Sherlock-Holmes-detective-crime-smiley-emoticon-001232-facebook

— On Monday, Riley was asked about the draft and next season and the Heat's president, in classic Riley style, dropped a loaded one-liner, which was immediately interpreted as a dig at LeBron. Emotes_face_embarrassed


"No more smiling faces with hidden agendas, so we'll be going in clean," Riley said. Sarcasticemoji-2

— Asked to clarify if that comment was about James, Riley said, “that could be anyone across the board,” before adding, “I’ve already got about half a dozen emails from people I don’t even know recommending [a player], and somewhere in that email or text is always a smiley.” 

OKemoji

OK, first question: Who the heck has the liberty to send Riley a text-message emoji other than, say, his kids?

I don't see Heat general manager Andy Elisberg shooting off an emoji text to Pat Riley:

ANDY: The Final Four was cray. Cal...LOL...BTW, Sam Dekker. Surprisedemoji

Nick Arison doesn't strike me as the emoji type...

NICK ARISON: Let's move up in the draft. This kid from Duke is a BALLR. Emoticon-Devil-Devilish-Evil-icon

But, seriously people, is it so hard to believe that LeBron sent Riley a smiley face emoji last season that Riley misinterpreted as some sign that LeBron was returning to Miami?

RILEY: Hey Yellow-goat-md, getting ready for next season yet?

LEBRON: Happy_smiley_face_mischievous_sinister_smilie_sticker-r6fb1d133fdce416892ba15f4a78df091_v9wth_8byvr_512

Monday, April 13, 2015

Early look at tonight's game between the Heat and Magic, plus a breakdown of the Heat's playoff chances

MAGIC (25-55) AT HEAT (35-45)

When/Where: 7:30 p.m., AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami

TV/Radio: Sun Sports/FM 104.3, AM 790 and MIX 98.3FM (Spanish)

Series: Heat leads the all-time series 57-45.

Line: Opened at Heat by 9 1/2. Line down to Heat by 6 1/2.

INJURIES: Chris Andersen (left foot sprain), Luol Deng (left knee sprain), Hassan Whiteside (right hand laceration) and Dwyane Wade (hip/knee pain) are probable; Henry Walker (right elbow soreness) is qustionable; Chris Bosh (blood clot), Josh McRoberts (right knee meniscus) and Shabazz Napier (sports hernia) are out for the season.


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/nba/miami-heat/article17357804.html#storylink=cpy

SCOUTING REPORT: It's a must-win scenario for the Heat, which is two games behind the Brooklyn Nets with two games to play. The Heat has lost six of its last seven games.

The Magic has played well against the Heat this season. The Heat needed overtime to pull out and unlikely overtime victory in Orlando on Feb.25. The Heat defeated the Magic 102-101 on Dec.29 in Miami.

Projected starting lineups
Heat: Luol Deng, Udonis Haslem, Hassan Whiteside, Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic
Magic: Tobias Harris, Dewayne Dedmon, Nikola Vucevic, Victor Oladipo, Elfrid Payton

STANDINGS

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 6.08.56 PM

PLAYOFF PERMUTATIONS

If either the Nets or Pacers win another game, the Heat is out of the playoff race.

Nets remaining schedule...

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 6.13.27 PM

Pacers remaining schedule...

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 6.13.53 PM

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Adjusted playoff odds for the Heat, Celtics, Nets and Pacers

The Heat likely needs a victory tonight to remain in the playoff race, and the good people at numberFire have provided us with some projections to quantify just how desperate the Heat now finds itself with three games left in the regular season.

According to projections, the Heat has a 17 percent chance of making the playoffs entering tonight's home game against the Toronto Raptors. For a complete breakdown of tonight's game plus an in-depth look at the playoff race, CLICK THIS LINK.

After losing on Thursday to the Bulls, the Heat's playoff chances dropped 17.4 percent. According to numberFire, the Heat has a 3.7 percent chance of finishing seventh in the East and a 13.3 percent chance of finishing eighth in the East. Here are the current projections for all four teams in the Eastern Conference playoff race:

1. Nets - 82.9 percent (up 11.6 percent)2. Celtics - 81.8 percent (up 12.1 percent)
3. Pacers - 18.7 percent (down 5.5 percent)
4. Heat  - 17.0 percent (down 17.4 percent)

The Heat isn't facing a true "must-win" scenario tonight, but it's close enough. A victory against the Raptors would give the Heat at least a chance to stay in the playoff picture. A loss to the Raptors coupled with wins by the Nets and Celtics on Sunday would eliminate the Heat from the playoff picture.

Starters, scouting report and playoff implications for tonight's game between the Heat and Raptors

RAPTORS (46-32) AT HEAT (35-44)

When/Where: 7:30 p.m., AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami

TV/Radio: Sun Sports and NBA TV/FM 104.3, AM 790 and MIX 98.3FM (Spanish)

Series: Heat leads the all-time series 48-22 and 28-8 in games played in Miami. Heat is 1-1 against the Raptors this season. The Raptors snapped its 16-game losing streak to the Heat on March 13 and can now win the season series between the two teams for the first time since 2008. The last time the Raptors defeated the Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena was Nov.19, 2008.

Line: Opened at Heat by 3. Heat now favored by 3 1/2.

INJURIES: Chris Andersen (left foot sprain), Luol Deng (left knee sprain), Hassan Whiteside (right hand laceration) and Dwyane Wade (hip/knee pain) are probable; Henry Walker (right knee soreness) is out; Chris Bosh (blood clot), Josh McRoberts (right knee meniscus) and Shabazz Napier (sports hernia) are out for the season. For the Raptors, Amir Johnson (sprained right ankle) is out.


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/nba/miami-heat/article17357804.html#storylink=cpy

SCOUTING REPORT: With three games left in the regular season, the Heat desperately needs a victory on Saturday night. The Heat has three games left in the regular season and now trails the Nets and Celtics by two games in the loss column after both teams won in convincing fashion on Friday night. The Pacers are earned an important victory, which further complicated the Eastern Conference playoff race. It's not a true must-win scenario for the Heat, but another loss could doom the Heat's playoff chances all the same.

While the Nets and Celtics enjoyed games on Friday against teams resting players or preparing for the playoffs, the Heat has no such luck on Saturday against the Raptors. Toronto can secure home-court advantage in the playoffs with a victory against the Heat.

The Raptors are averaging almost 10 points per game more than the Heat this season. The Heat is 28th in the league in points per game (94.4), 24th in three-point field goal percentage (.335) and last in rebounding (38.9). The Heat has lost five of its last six games and eight of its last 11. The Raptors won in dramatic fashion on Friday night in Orlando with Sixth Man of the Year candidate Lou Williams hitting a game-winning three-pointer with 9.9 seconds remaining.

NOTE: Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry isn't expected to play more than 30 minutes, according to Toronto coach Dwane Casey. Lowry recently missed time to recover from several injuries caused by the wear and tear of the season. He played 33 minutes on Friday against the Magic. Casey said Lowry might have played too many minutes against Orlando, but the Raptors needed the win to help secure home-court advantage for the first round of the playoffs.

Starting lineups
Heat: Luol Deng, Udonis Haslem, Hassan Whiteside, Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic
Raptors: Terrence Ross, Tyler Hansbrough, Jonas Valanciunas, DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry

STANDINGS

Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 1.37.37 PM

SCOREBOARDING

The Nets, Celtics and Pacers all won on Friday night...Tonight's games that will affect the Heat's playoff push...

Raptors at Heat, 7:30 p.m...NOTE: The Heat holds playoff tiebreakers against the Nets and Celtics. The Pacers hold a playoff tiebreaker against the Heat.

Heat's remaining schedule...

Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 1.41.49 PM

Sunday's games that will affect the Heat's playoff push...

Nets at Milwaukee Bucks, 3 p.m...NOTE: The combination of a Heat loss to the Raptors and a Nets victory against the Bucks would ensure the Nets finished the regular season with a better record than the Heat.

Nets remaining games...

Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 1.43.34 PM

Cavaliers at Boston Celtics, 3 p.m...NOTE: The combination of a Heat loss to the Raptors and a Celtics victory against the Cavaliers would ensure the Celtics finished the regular season with a better record than the Heat. LeBron James could sit out Sunday against the Celtics.

Celtics remaining schedule...

Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 1.49.33 PM

Thunder at Indiana Pacers, 6 p.m...NOTE: The Pacers hold a playoff tiebreaker against the Heat.

Pacers remaining schedule...

Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 1.50.48 PM

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Injury updates and a scouting report on tonight's game between the Heat and Bulls

BULLS (46-32) AT HEAT (35-43)

When/Where: 8 p.m., AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami

TV/Radio: TNT/FM 104.3, AM 790 and MIX 98.3FM (Spanish)

Series: Bulls lead the all-time series 54-44. Heat is 1-1 against the Bulls this season.

Line: Opened at Bulls by 1. Bulls now favored by 1 1/2.

INJURIES: Chris Andersen (left foot sprain), Luol Deng (left knee sprain) and Hassan Whiteside (right hand laceration) are probable; Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers are questionable with illnesses; Chris Bosh (blood clot), Josh McRoberts (right knee meniscus) and Shabazz Napier (sports hernia) are out for the season. For the Bulls, guard Derrick Rose (right knee) and Kirk Hinrich (hyperextended left knee) are questionable.


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/nba/miami-heat/article17357804.html#storylink=cpy

SCOUTING REPORT: With an identical record as the Toronto Raptors, the Chicago Bulls will be playing for playoff position tonight against the Heat. The Bulls hold the playoff tiebreaker against the Raptors. Derrick Rose started for the Bulls on Wednesday scored nine points in 20 minutes in Chicago's 105-103 loss. The introduction of Rose into the Bulls' rotation this late in the season is a risk for Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, but one worth taking considering Rose's MVP-ability when healthy. The Bulls will be looking to strengthen its continuity tonight against the Heat, so expect Rose to start again despite the back-to-back scenario.

Bulls guard Jimmy Butler, a candidate for Most Improved Player, will be looking for a bounce-back game against the Heat after a poor showing (five points) against Miami in January. That game featured Hassan Whiteside's triple-double breakout performance on national television. Another national television showcase, the Heat will be playing for a spot in the playoffs. Wins by the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night dropped the Heat to 10th in the Eastern Conference standings, but the Heat only trails the eighth-place Brooklyn Nets by one game in the loss column.

Projected starting lineups
Heat: Luol Deng, Udonis Haslem, Hassan Whiteside, Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic
Bulls: Mike Dunleavy, Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah, Jimmy Butler, Derrick Rose

STANDINGS

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 2.17.17 PM

SCOREBOARDING

Tonight's games that will affect the Heat's playoff push...

Bulls at Heat: A victory would put the Heat in place in the East and a half game behind the Nets. The Heat holds playoff tiebreakers against the Celtics and Nets. The Pacers hold the playoff tiebreaker against the Heat.

Heat's remaining games:

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 3.27.10 PM

FRIDAY'S GAMES that will affect the Heat's playoff push...

Boston at Cleveland: LeBron James indicated on Wednesday that he could sit out this game and also the next to rest for the playoffs. Both games are against Boston, which is locked in a playoff race with the Heat. Back-to-back wins for the Celtics against the Cavaliers would keep the Celtics in the driver's seat for the seventh seed and a match-up with the Cavs in the first round.

Celtics' remaining games...

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 3.25.19 PM

Washington at Brooklyn: The Nets could need a victory to remain one game ahead of the Heat for eighth in the East. The Nets hold the playoff tiebreaker against the Pacers. The Heat hold the playoff tiebreaker against the Nets. The Celtics also hold a playoff tiebreakers against the Nets.

Nets' remaining games...

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 3.23.29 PM

Indiana at Detroit: Currently ninth in the East, the Pacers hold the playoff tiebreaker against the Heat. The Nets hold the playoff tiebreaker against the Pacers.

Pacers' remaining games...

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 3.26.11 PM

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Injury updates, projected starting lineups and a scouting report of tonight's game between the Heat and Hornets

HORNETS (33-43) AT HEAT (34-43)

When/Where: 7:30 p.m., AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami

TV/Radio: Sun Sports/FM 104.3, AM 790 and MIX 98.3FM (Spanish)

Series: Heat leads the all-time series 54-37. Hornets lead the Heat 2-1 in the four-game series this season.

Line: Opened at Heat by 8 1/2. Heat now favored by 6 1/2.

INJURIES: Dwyane Wade (left knee contusion), Luol Deng (left knee sprain) and Hassan Whiteside (right hand laceration) will play; Michael Beasley is out with an illness; Chris Bosh (blood clot), Josh McRoberts (right knee meniscus) and Shabazz Napier (sports hernia) are out for the season. The Hornets, Al Jefferson (right knee soreness) is out. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (sprained ankle) is out. Cody Zeller (right shoulder soreness) is doubtful. Bismack Biyombo (broken nose) is expected to play.


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/nba/miami-heat/article17357804.html#storylink=cpy

SCOUTING REPORT: It's a playoff-elimination game for both teams. The Heat has lost three games in a row. A loss to the Hornets would give Charlotte the playoff tiebreaker. The Hornets have lost two of their last three games and five of their last seven. Hassan Whiteside missed the Heat's game on Sunday against Indiana, but is back in the lineup despite complications with the 10 stitches in his right hand. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Whiteside's minutes could be limited. Deng had an MRI on his left knee on Monday, but has been cleared to play.

Starting lineups
Heat: Luol Deng, Udonis Haslem, Hassan Whiteside, Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic
Hornets: Jeff Taylor, Marvin Williams, Bismack Biyombo, Gerald Henderson, Kemba Walker

STANDINGS

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 5.39.52 PM

How the NBA's trip to Cuba came together so quickly and ... Will the Miami Heat play a preseason game in Havana?

The NBA is going to Cuba.

The professional basketball league announced on Tuesday that it is hosting a development camp in Havana on April 23-26. Recently retired guard Steve Nash and NBA legend Dikembe Mutombo are two of the players who will lead the four-day event, scheduled to be the first visit to Cuba by an American professional sports entity since President Barack Obama announced plans to improve diplomatic relations between the two countries.

"We've seen the bridges that basketball can build between cultures," NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum said. "We look forward to sharing the values of our game with Cuban youth and learning together through the common language of sports."

Initial planning for the NBA’s trip to Cuba came together not long after President Obama’s announcement in December that the United States and Cuba would begin steps towards restoring full diplomacy between the governments of both countries. An advance team from the NBA’s league office in New York visited Cuba in early March. During those meetings, Cuban officials were enthusiastic about the NBA conducting a camp.

The big question I'm sure everyone is now wondering: Will the Miami Heat play a preseason game in Cuba anytime soon? It's certainly possible — the New York Cosmos soccer team is playing the Cuban National Team on June 2 — but there are no current plans for the Heat, or any other NBA team, to play an exhibition game in Cuba, according to a league source.

Though isolated in many ways from the United States for half a century, Cuba has fostered a strong foundation of basketball development over the decades. The men’s national team won a bronze medal at the 1974 Summer Olympics, and the women’s national team finished third at the 1990 FIBA World Championship. The women’s team most recently won the FIBA Americas championship in 2013.

In addition to the development camp for the Cuban Men’s and Women’s National Teams, the NBA and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) also plan to refurbish three basketball courts during the trip and also conduct two youth clinics. The NBA’s trip to Cuba is in association with the Cuban sports ministry, Cuba’s National Institute of Sport, Physical Education, and Recreation (INDER) and the Cuban Basketball Federation.

“This is a great day for Cuban basketball and our federation,” said CBF president Ruperto Herrera. "To have both the NBA and FIBA collaborate on youth instruction and the development of the game in our country is magnificent.

“We thank the Republic of Cuba and INDER for opening the doors for these basketball camps that will end up benefiting the future of national and international basketball."

In addition to the participation of Nash and Mutombo, WNBA legend Ticha Penicheiro will also provide instruction during the basketball camp. Other camp instructors include Orlando Magic coach James Borrego, Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder, Utah Jazz assistant coach Brad Jones, USA Basketball youth development coach Don Showalter and Victor Ojeda, director of the Basketball Academy of the Americas.

"In the continued effort to strengthen our national federations, it is extremely gratifying to see Cuba serve as the center of a development camp of this magnitude," FIBA President Horacio Muratore said. "This is a country that loves basketball and we are proud to work together with the NBA on this historic venture."

Tommy Sheppard, the Washington Wizards’ vice president of basketball administration, along with New York Knicks associate athletic trainer Anthony Goenaga and FIBA Americas referee Geraldo Fontana also will conduct workshops for coaches, trainers, and other sports professionals, according to a news release by the NBA.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Hassan Whiteside and Birdman out against the Pacers on the night Paul George returns to basketball

HEAT (34-42) AT PACERS (33-43)

When/Where: 6 p.m., Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Ind.

TV/Radio: Sun Sports/FM 104.3, AM 790 and WAQI 710AM (Spanish)

Series: Pacers lead the all-time series 41-57. Heat is 1-2 against the Pacers this season, losing in Miami 81-75 on Nov.12 and losing 106-95 on New Years Eve in Indianapolis. The Heat defeated the Pacers 89-87 on Jan.23.

Line: Pacers were 6 1/2-point favorites before tip off.

INJURIES: Dwyane Wade (left knee contusion) and Udonis Haslem (illness) are questionable. Hassan Whiteside (right hand laceration) also is questionable. Chris Andersen (left foot sprain) is questionable. Chris Bosh (blood clot), Josh McRoberts (right knee meniscus) and Shabazz Napier (sports hernia) are out for the season. For the Pacers, Rodney Stuckey is probable (sore right wrist).


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/nba/miami-heat/article17357804.html#storylink=cpy

SCOUTING REPORT: This one feels like a must-win scenario for the Heat after Saturday's loss to the Pistons. Unfortunately for Miami, the Pacers have momentum on their side. Forward Paul George returns to basketball tonight after breaking his leg last summer with Team USA. Heat center Hassan Whiteside re-injured his lacerated right hand on the Heat's final defensive play of the game against the Pistons. Whiteside confirmed that the 10 stitches between his middle and ring fingers came apart. He was a late scratch from Sunday's game.

In addition to Whiteside's setback, Heat reserve center Chris Andersen injured his foot in the first half against the Pistons and was also a late scratch against the Pacers. With Whiteside and Andersen out of action, Henry Walker was inserted into the lineup alongside leaves Udonis Haslem, the Heat's only healthy center. Haslem started on Saturday at power forward but struggled after missing consecutive games due to an illness.

The Pacers have lost two consecutive games and nine of their last 11, but, despite the late-season slide, Indiana could tie the Heat for ninth in the East with a victory tonight. The Heat has lost six of its last eight games.

PLAYOFF TIEBREAKERS: With the Heat trailing the Pacers 1-2 in the season series , the Heat needs a victory to give itself a chance at the playoff tiebreaker. The head-to-head playoff tiebreaker between the Heat and Pacers could be determined by conference won-loss record if the Heat wins tonight. The Pacers currently are 24-24 against Eastern Conference teams. The Heat is 22-24 against the East.

—A victory tonight would tie the the Heat with the Celtics for eighth in the East. The Heat holds the playoff tiebreaker against the Celtics, having defeated Boston three out of four this season.

—The Heat trails the Nets by one in the loss column for seventh in the East. The Heat holds the playoff tiebreaker against the Nets, having defeated Brooklyn this season in all four meetings between the two teams.

Projecting starting lineups
Heat: Luol Deng, Henry Walker, Udonis Haslem, Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic
Pacers: Solomon Hill, David West, Roy Hibbert, C.J. Miles, George Hill

STANDINGS

Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 11.18.01 AM

LINKS TO STUFF

First, last night's game story from Detroit, where the Heat lost 99-98. It was a potentially devastating loss for the Heat's playoff chances.

Also, in case you missed it, a story about how the Heat's instability is affecting team chemistry on the court during the playoff race.

And then, Heat forward Josh McRoberts spoke with reporters for the first time since his surgery on Saturday morning, and while he confirmed that he's not returning this season, he said his rehabilitation is going well.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Thick with playoff implications, an in-depth look at tonight's game between the #Heat and #Pistons

HEAT (34-41) AT PISTONS (29-47)

First, a story about how the Heat's instability is affecting team chemistry on the court during the playoff race.

Also, Heat forward Josh McRoberts spoke with reporters for the first time this morning and while he confirmed that he's not returning this season, he said his rehabilitation is going well.

When/Where: 7:30 p.m., Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Mich.

TV/Radio: Sun Sports/FM 104.3, AM 790 and WAQI 710AM (Spanish)

Series: Heat leads the all-time series 51-45. Heat is 1-1 against the Pistons this season, losing in Detroit 108-91 on Feb. 3.

Line: Opened at Pistons by 1. Heat now favored by 4.

INJURIES: Dwyane Wade (left knee contusion) and Udonis Haslem (illness) are questionable; Hassan Whiteside (right hand laceration) is probable; Chris Bosh (blood clot), Josh McRoberts (right knee meniscus) and Shabazz Napier (sports hernia) are out for the season. For the Pistons, Spender Dinwiddie (left ankle sprain) is questionable; Greg Monroe (right knee strain) and Brandon Jennings (ruptured left Achilles tendon) are out.


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/nba/miami-heat/article17357804.html#storylink=cpy

SCOUTING REPORT: Wade was considered doubtful after re-aggravating the bone bruise inside his left knee on Thursday, but is now expected to play against the Pistons. Wade participated in the Heat's shootaround on Saturday morning and said, "Today was a positive day for me." Wade scored 40 points against the Pistons last week after having fluid drained from his left knee. Hassan Whiteside didn't play against the Pistons a week ago but will be in the starting lineup tonight against Pistons center Andre Drummond.

The Heat has lost two consecutive games since defeating the Pistons 109-102 in Miami.

Starting lineups
Heat: Luol Deng, Udonis Haslem, Hassan Whiteside, Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic
Cavaliers: Caron Butler, Anthony Tolliver, Andre Drummond, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Reggie Jackson

STANDINGS

Screen Shot 2015-04-04 at 4.57.58 PM

WADE RELIEVED

Dwyane Wade feared the worst after bashing his left knee against the court on Thursday against the Cavaliers. The Heat's shooting guard was relieved to learn that he only aggravated a preexisting injury. The Heat's trainers were able to limit the amount of swelling in Wade's knee overnight, which should give him a chance to be effective in tonight's game against the Pistons.

"Our trainers did a great job and the biggest part when you have an injury like I had, and you have a bone bruise, obviously you have swelling, so it’s about how much swelling you have and we tried to do a good job on the plane of padding it up and making sure it didn’t swell as much," Wade said. "I have a little swelling in it, so that’s going to determine if I’m able to get it settled down. Then you worry about the other parts of your body that was affected that you don’t even know about. But today was a positive day for me.”

PLAYOFF IMPLICATIONS

A victory tonight for the Heat will move the team one game closer to securing a spot in the playoffs. A loss could be devastating. The Heat is eighth in the standings, and one game behind the Boston Celtics in the loss column. The Heat plays the Indiana Pacers on Sunday, and the game will be an emotional one for the Pacers. The team announced on Saturday that Paul George, who broke his leg over the summer playing for Team USA, will make his long-awaited return against the Heat.

“We’re fighting for the playoffs,” Wade said. “We’ve got less than two weeks until it’s determined, and you just want to give it your best shot. We got a great opportunity tonight to do that, and tomorrow it keeps coming.”

Full story on Josh McRoberts, who is looking forward to rejoining a #Heat team with Hassan Whiteside next season

Josh McRoberts said on Saturday that his rehabilitation process from surgery on the meniscus of his right knee has gone well and added that he is looking forward to playing with the new-look Heat next season.

McRoberts is traveling with the Heat during its final multi-game road trip of the regular season, and on Saturday morning he joked around and shot layups with teammates after the Heat's shootaround at Detroit Country Day Upper School. The Heat plays the Pistons at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Palace of Auburn Hills in a game that could help determine seeding for the upcoming playoffs.

McRoberts tore his meniscus on Dec.9 during a game against the Phoenix Suns after a lengthy rehabilitation for toe surgery. He also injured his back on the Heat's first day of training camp. It has been a frustrating year for the Heat's power forward, who signed a four-year deal with the Heat last summer.

“It has been a process," McRoberts said. "It’s tough not being able to be a part of it when you’re used to being a part of it.”

McRoberts put to rest speculation that he might return for the end of this season or the playoffs. There are only seven games remaining of the regular season, and the Heat is currently eighth in the Eastern Conference standings.

"I wouldn’t think so," McRoberts said. "I would still think I’d be out for the year at this point."

While McRoberts didn't want to go into detail about his surgery, he did clarify that his knee surgery "was totally different" than procedures this season to Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls and Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Hornets. Walker is back playing for the Hornets, who trail the Heat by two games in the loss column. Rose has left open the possibility for a return during the playoffs.

In general terms, there are two types of surgeries athletes have on their meniscus ligaments. One surgery reconstructs the ligament after a tear and the other shaves away part of the ligament. The reconstruction surgery comes with a longer time for recovery. Wade has his meniscus removed while at Marquette, and he blames that procedure for many of his current-day knee problems.

"It takes a while to recover from the surgery, so I think it’s going well," McRoberts said. "We have a great staff here that I’m working with to try and get me back."

McRoberts hasn't been cleared for basketball activity. His interaction with the team on Saturday was limited to bouncing a ball and the occasional lazy shot. He's running on a treadmill and working out in the Heat's rehabilitation pool.

"Nothing too crazy," McRoberts said. "The day I got the surgery I was hoping to come back right away, but I’m just taking it a day at a time and trying to recover. They announced I was out for the season earlier in the year, so we’re still standing by that in terms of it would be tough to make a comeback because of how long the recovery is from surgery."

When McRoberts returns next season, he'll be rejoining a team completely different than the one he left in December. Hassan Whiteside has emerged as one of the top young centers in the NBA and the Heat acquired point guard Goran Dragic in a trade.

"I think it’s exciting to think about, but obviously I’m still focused on the guys and the possibility of what we can do here heading into the playoffs," McRoberts said.

McRoberts was a projected starter last summer when he signed with the Heat as a free agent. With the emergence of Whiteside, McRoberts might now be coming off the bench next season. There's also a possibility McRoberts could start alongside both Whiteside and Chris Bosh. Whatever combination coach Erik Spoelstra considers, one thing is certain: the Heat, on paper, has the chance to be a contender in the East next season if everyone returns healthy for preseason training camp.

McRoberts said he's excited to play with Whiteside considering "what he’s able to do and how he’s able to affect the game."

"I want to play with every guy on the team," McRoberts said. "I just want to get back out there. I haven’t really thought too far ahead but obviously those guys are big additions."


Categories


Archives


Powered by TypePad