If you believe in omens, and you’re rooting against the Heat tonight, then keep on reading.
The Heat literally had a rough landing in Cleveland last night coming in after beating Detroit, according to the Associated Press.
Jackie Mayo, a spokeswoman for Cleveland Hopkins airport, says the crew of the Heat’s plane reported a wing “flap issue” early Thursday as the aircraft was on its approach. An alert was issued at the airport and two fire trucks were sent out to the runway, which is standard procedure.
The plane landed safely about 2:30 a.m. By the way, that’s pretty much when teams arrive on road back-to-backs, they get to sleep about an hour later. Charter flights and posh hotels are part of the gig, but nobody is their best without proper sleep, and it’s why back-to-backs are hard.
Intellectually, we all know the rough landing is nothing. Anyone who flies a lot has these kinds of stories and worse. Every NBA player does. But still, something about a rough landing for this team in this place at this time just seems more like something out of a rather obvious horror novel than it does reality.
The Spurs beat the Mavericks by 26 points on Friday night, a game all of the Dallas players would love to forget. But there was a funny moment for rookie big man Salah Mejri: after a dunk, he appeared to yell something at the San Antonio bench. Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan were completely nonplussed.
For what it’s worth, Mejri later tweeted that he wasn’t intending to be disrespectful.
Hassan Whiteside recorded a triple-double last night against the Hornets, and his tenth block was particularly impressive. He didn’t so much block Marvin Williams‘ layup attempt as pluck it out of the air with one hand. It almost looks like it should count as a block, rebound and steal at the same time.
The NBA world has taken notice of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. In Thursday night’s home game against the Knicks on TNT, Pistons players wore warmup shirts that read “FLINT NOW,” and the organization announced a $500,000 donation towards providing clean water for residents of the town.
Former Pistons great and general basketball legend Rasheed Wallace went even further, according to a tweet from his alma mater, the University of North Carolina:
Sheed obviously has a connection to Michigan, having played in Detroit for six years (including on the 2004 title team) and serving as an assistant coach for the Pistons during the 2013-14 season. This was an incredible gesture by him for the residents of a town that has been without drinkable water for a long time.
The Kings are a complete mess right now. After a loss to the Nets on Friday night, the team is reportedly considering firing head coach George Karl, who has been with the team for just about one year, and DeMarcus Cousins says they have “a bigger issue than the players.”
But, on the bright side, Cousins is still a monster on the court. During the Nets loss, he posted a triple-double with 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, showing why he’s the one thing about this franchise that is going to be worth talking about long-term.