And the Big 3 are down to one tonight.
Dwyane Wade and LeBron James are both going to sit out Thursday night’s Heat game against the Hawks, reports Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.
We’re weighing everything, the schedule ahead, rest, how much treatment we can do and what the recovery time will be,” coach Erik Spoelstra said of Thursday’s decision. “Thankfully these aren’t debilitating injuries and they should be something we can take care of relatively sooner rather than later.”
Shane Battier and James Jones will get the start.
Wade missed the Heat’s game Wednesday against the Pacers due to a bruised left foot suffered against the Bobcats last week. The Heat decided to rest it rather than have it become a lingering issue.
In the third quarter of Wednesday’s Pacers game LeBron James rolled his ankle when on a fast break he inadvertently stepped on the foot of Paul George. He played another seven minutes in that game but said later it depended on how it felt the next day.
An hour before the game LeBron went out for shoot around and tried some shots and cuts, but seemed to move a little gingerly, according to reports.
The Hawks beat a fully-loaded Heat team earlier in the week.
Tony Parker revealed a plan nearly two years ago to play until he’s 38.
Coming off his worst season since his rookie year, the Spurs point guard is sticking to that goal.
Parker, via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:
“The Spurs know I want to play until I’m 38,” Parker told Yahoo Sports in a recent phone interview. “That will be 20 seasons for me. That’s my goal. This year is No. 15. And if I’m lucky enough and I’m healthy, hopefully I can play 20 seasons and then I’ll be ready to retire.”
That seems pretty ambitious, no matter how you handle the conflicting math. (Parker is 33. If he plays 20 seasons, he’ll spend most of his final season at age 39 and turn 40 during the playoffs.)
Parker is already showing signs of slippage. Many of his key numbers were down last season, including ESPN’s real-plus minus, where he quietly slipped from 12th to 67th among point guards.
But Gregg Popovich is very liberal with resting his players, and Parker won’t have to carry too much of the load. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili will probably retire before Parker, but the Spurs will still have Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge.
I wouldn’t count on it, but it’s possible Parker lasts that long.
The Pelicans starting center, Omer Asik, is injured.
Their backup center, Alexis Ajinca, is injured.
Enter Greg Smith.
Scott Kushner of The Advocate:
Smith was part of the Rockets’ 2012-13 rotation, but otherwise, he has seen limited minutes in his four-year career with Houston and Dallas. In that small sample, he has looked alright. The 6-foot-10 24-year-old uses his big frame and massive hands to catch passes and finish efficiently near the rim. He has also become more disciplined defensively.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes the regular-season roster behind the 13 Pelicans with guaranteed salaries.
But it’s also possible New Orleans signed him just an extra preseason body. That’d beat relying too heavily on the aging Kendrick Perkins and undersized Jeff Adrien at center. Anthony Davis is the Pelicans’ best option at center with Asik and Ajinca sidelined (and maybe even with them healthy), but the biggest drawback to playing him there is the injury risk. If Davis is going to deal with the banging at center, might as well save it for games that count.
Still, even New Orleans plans to keep Smith only through the preseason, this at least gives him a chance to impress.