Chris Bosh may start, will see more minutes in Game 6

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We don’t know how Chris Bosh was really feeling in the fourth quarter of Game 5, we don’t really know what the doctor’s orders were on him. We just know that the Heat were getting outplayed and coach Erik Spoelstra decided not to go there — he kept his third best player on the bench in crunch time in Game 5. We also know the Heat lost and now their backs are up against the elimination wall.

So expect to see a lot more Bosh — he could even start, Spoelstra told the media Wednesday. Here’s his money quote via ESPN:

“I’m still going through that thought process,” Spoelstra said after the Heat wrapped up practice in Miami before traveling to Boston. “But I think he’ll be able to handle a bigger load of minutes, and it’ll be based more on how he’ll feel during the game.”

That quote makes me think this may have been more about the doctor’s orders than anything else. Bosh himself said after the game he could have played more.

Bosh had some good runs in the first half — he scored five points near the end of the first, had five offensive rebounds in a stint in the second. But his play at the end of the third quarter was not good — he was 0-1 and -11 in just 3:46 to close out the quarter. He never saw the court again.

That despite the fact in the first half he clearly helped the Heat offense and when Boston was going on an 18-8 run late Miami needed to do something to change the tide. They didn’t and lost.

Now, facing elimination, Spoelstra will hold nothing back. Not even Bosh.

Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance

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NEW YORK (AP)—  The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.

Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.

NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.

Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling

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DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.

Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.

The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?