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Report: Heat’s Mike Miller has serious thumb injury

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UPDATE 6:52 pm: No official word from the Heat yet, but the discussion is if he will need surgery or not, and it looks like an end of November to mid December return.

That would be a blow to the Heat, a team built around three stars with a pretty limited bench. Miller was at the front of that bench, the best pure shooter on the team. Losing him would be another blow to the process of the jelling into a cohesive unit, which was already delayed with Dwyane Wade’s hamstring injury.

11:53 am: Mike Miller, the designated knock down shooter in the Miami Heat’s starting lineup, has suffered a serious thumb injury, according to our own Ira Winderman writing for the Sun Sentinel.

Miller injured the thumb on his right hand — his shooting hand — during practice Wednesday and is not with the team in Atlanta for a Thursday preseason game. He will see a hand specialist on Thursday in Florida, Winderman reports.

No word yet on how long Miller could be out. But if it is broken, that could be six weeks or more he sits out.

Miller is cast in the role of the gunner off the bench for the Heat, although during the preseason he has started with Dwyane Wade sitting out with a strained hamstring. He is the most consistent three-point shooter on the team and has hit 38.5 percent of his long balls this preseason, after hitting 48 percent last season. Miller was one of the first free agents the Heat went after once the Big Three were in place because they realized they needed a pure shooter to stretch the floor. They signed him to a five-year, $25 million deal.

Eddie House, himself just back with the team after recovering from off-season shoulder surgery, would likely step into that sixth man role.

The Heat open the season against the Boston Celtics next Tuesday. They have one more preseason game Friday night against the Magic in Tampa.

DeMarcus Cousins says Mavericks’ rumored interest flatters him, but he loves Kings

Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) receives a blow to the head from Dallas Mavericks' Dwight Powell as Cousins works to get to the basket in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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The Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in DeMarcus Cousins took its most direct public turn before the season, when Dallas signed Cousins’ brother, Jaleel Cousins. Jaleel is now on the Mavericks’ D-League affiliate, and I bet he will remain there as DeMarcus approaches 2018 free agency.

Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News:

So, DeMarcus Cousins, what do you think about the Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in acquiring you?

“It’s flattering,” Cousins told me, with a laugh, after the Kings’ Wednesday shootaround at AAC. Then, turning serious, he added of the Mavericks, “I respect them.”

“But,” I said, “I’ve also heard that you like it in Sacramento.”

“No,” Cousins corrected, “I love Sacramento.”

Cousins is getting good at this, toeing the line between appreciating another team’s interest and expressing his satisfaction with the Kings.

And give Cousins credit. He keeps producing at a star level for a team that hasn’t provided him with the proper support. Sacramento again appears headed toward the lottery, even as Cousins averages 29-10.

Questions remain, though: How much of Cousins’ attitude is him trying to make the best of an inescapable situation, and will expanded options in the summer of 2018 test his loyalty?

LeBron James dunks, struts past camerapeople and toward crowd, spooks fan (video)

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LeBron James is dominating, and the Cavaliers are rolling over the Knicks.

It’s almost as if something has LeBron particularly riled up. But maybe ease up a little? That cowering fan isn’t Phil Jackson.

Kevin Love drips snot all over his face, maybe into his mouth (video)

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Cameras zoomed in on Kevin Love at the wrong moment:

Need a sensory cleanser? Enjoy this fantastic outlet pass from Kevin Love to LeBron James:

Derrick Rose out for Knicks-Cavaliers with back injury, getting MRI

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 22:  Derrick Rose #25 of the New York Knicks dribbles against the Portland Trail Blazers during their game at Madison Square Garden on November 22, 2016 in New York City.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK (AP) — Derrick Rose is missing the New York Knicks’ game against Cleveland because of lower back pain.

Rose left the Knicks’ victory over Miami on Tuesday in the third quarter with back spasms. Coach Jeff Hornacek says Rose still felt sore on Wednesday when he came in and met with team doctors, so they sent him for an MRI exam to make sure there was no structural damage.

Rose is averaging 16.7 points and this is the first game he’s missed this season.

Brandon Jennings will start in Rose’s place.