UPDATE 8:05 p.m. ET: LeBron James will be in the starting lineup tonight in Phoenix, though Erik Spoelstra did say before the game that they’ll be monitoring his vitals very closely.
The schedule-makers didn’t do the Suns any favors, but some injury concerns from their next opponent may give them a bit of a break after all.
Phoenix played well in spurts in Los Angeles Friday night, and the team was closer than expected until an 18-point fourth quarter ultimately sealed its fate. The Suns host the defending champion Miami Heat on Saturday to complete the back-to-back set, but won’t have to face them at full strength.
Dwyane Wade has already been ruled out, as he’s still dealing with the sore foot that kept him from participating in the Heat’s win over the Nuggets on Thursday.
With Miami not scheduled to play again until four days from now, it makes sense to sit him if there’s even a hint of a lingering effect of the injury, so the team is taking the smart approach.
LeBron James skipped the team’s shootaround, and will be a game time decision due to illness.
The Heat come into Phoenix with a record of 7-3 overall, but are just 3-3 on the road to begin the season.
An embarrassing lack of focus by the Rockets? I can hardly believe it.
Late in a game against a team Houston is battling for playoff position, Dwight Howard was just careless, stepping on the baseline as he inbounded the ball. It’s a needless goof, and he’ll get plenty of deserved criticism for it.
But don’t overlook Patrick Beverley‘s frustration foul on Damian Lillard before the ensuing inbound. That was nearly as foolish and even more costly.
The sequence sparked a 7-0 run for the Trail Blazers, who seized control of the game en route to a 116-103 win.
Marcus Smart went to tag DeAndre Jordan on the pick-and-roll, and Jordan took off from so far from the basket, he was dunking on Smart before the Celtics guard could do a thing.
The slow-motion replays are absolutely brutal.
I originally favored allowing Hack-a-Shaq as the NBA currently does. I found the strategy fascinated – why and when teams would use it and how their opponents would counter.
But it just became too common. Far too many games featured a parade of trips to the line, a boring stretch that made games too long. I thought the intrigue had run its course.
Then, Chris Paul pulled this move last night.
The Clippers guard saw Jonas Jerebko charging toward DeAndre Jordan to commit an intentional foul, so Paul stepped in front of an unsuspecting Jerebko and took the foul himself. That’s sent a good free-throw shooter to the line instead of the dismal Jordan.
Just an awesome heady play by Paul.