Welcome to NBA basketball the final week of the regular season.
The Miami Heat are going to throw their big three out on the court Friday night for the first time in a couple weeks — LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will all play against the Celtics, coach Eric Spoelstra told the media, including Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.
That would be the Celtics who will not be playing Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce.
And Miami will be resting Shane Battier and Udonis Haslem, too.
All of which means… nothing really. At this point teams know who they are. They’ve developed their habits on the court. They have their systems down. Unless you are the Lakers or Jazz, there is no reason guys shouldn’t get a little rest. Although nobody will call it rest because David Stern fined the Spurs for resting guys this season, so the Celtics two stars are out injured with left ankle issues. Ones that would be miraculously fine if this were the playoffs.
Winderman adds this note about the Heat the rest of the way.
If that. The Heat have the advantage of the Bucks in the first round of the playoffs, so that’s like four more tune-up games.
Markieff Morris‘ frustrations last night didn’t end with his scuffle with teammate Archie Goodwin. They didn’t end with the Suns’ loss to the Warriors, either.
As Morris was leaving the court, a fan heckled him: “Markieff, you f—ing suck. I can’t wait until you’re traded.” Though Morris probably agrees with the second sentence, he flipped off the fan:
Though it’s difficult to confirm that video was from last night, it jibes with a previous report of the incident.
John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7
Morris will likely at least be fined. Considering his previous behavioral problems this season – he threw a towel at Jeff Hornacek – I wouldn’t completely rule out a suspension. But a fine seems most likely.
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.