Miami Heat's LeBron James is sandwiched between Golden State Warriors Jarrett Jack and David Lee who was charged with a flagrant foul on the play against in the first half of their NBA basketball game in Miami, Florida

LeBron skips practice with sore shoulder, will play Saturday


LeBron James took a nasty fall Wednesday night, one of those where the players legs are cut out while he is in the air and so he falls with a thud on the floor. LeBron got up from that grabbing his shoulder but played on in the Heat loss to the Warriors.

LeBron did not practice with the team on Friday but will play when the Heat host the Wizards on Saturday, tweets Ethan J. Skolnick of the Palm Beach Post. Lucky you, Wizards.

This is a rematch of the ugliest Heat loss of the season, a loss that highlighted the Heat’s defensive woes as well as their lack of consistency game-to-game. The Heat look like a team coasting, waiting for things to get interesting again.

Erik Spoelstra is switching up lineups and trying to jolt his team out of it. He did against Atlanta when the Heat won playing their best game of the season so far, but the malaise returned in the loss to an underrated Warriors team. That is what we have gotten from the Heat all season long. They are still 14-6 but have yet to look engaged in what is going on.

But LeBron will play Saturday and after the loss to the Wizards before expect Miami to be a little more engaged this time around.

Chris Paul, after breaking finger, intends to play in Clippers preseason game tomorrow

Chris Paul
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Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.

The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.

Here’s confirmation.

Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:

Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.

Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.

Report: David Lee, Tyler Zeller in line to start for Celtics; Jared Sullinger, Jonas Jerebko out of rotation

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 08: David Lee of Boston Celtics attacks during the friendlies of the NBA Global Games 2015 basketball match between Real Madrid and Boston Celtics at Barclaycard Center on October 8, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.

It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.

A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:

it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.

That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.

Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.

Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.

I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.

This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.