UPDATE 6:55 p.m. ET: Wade told reporters before the game that he will play in Game 5. It’s worth monitoring his minutes and his usage to see just how much he’s able to give while playing with the lingering injury.
12:30 p.m. ET:Dwyane Wade participated in shootaround for the Heat Wednesday morning, but is listed as a game-time decision for Game 5 against the Bulls.
Wade is suffering through a knee injury, which was reaggravated during Miami’s Game 4 win in Chicago on Monday.
“He had a very good day [Tuesday] and a good shootaround,” Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said, via ESPN.com. “We’ll evaluate him before the game and go from there.”
If Wade is medically cleared to play, Spoelstra will let him do so without restrictions.
“If he’s able to go, there’s no excuses and he’ll give us everything he’s got,” Spoelstra said. “He’ll help us on both sides of the court. He’s one of the best two-way players in this game. He’s been making an impact regardless of what people think about that last column in the box score.”
That last part is Spoelstra continuing to defend Wade in the face of criticism that he simply isn’t performing at the level we’ve come to expect, and that his sub-par level of activity might not be enough for the Heat to reach their ultimate goal of repeating as champions.
The answer might be to sit Wade in Game 5 to give his knee some extra time to rest, just as Miami did in the series-clinching game of its first round series against the Bucks. But it’s a little trickier with this Bulls team considering the fight they’ve shown at times in this series, and the Heat will likely have anywhere from four to six days to prepare for the Eastern Conference finals if they can close out Chicago on Wednesday.
Andre Drummond is a terrible free-throw shooter…except, apparently, when he’s shooting from the other free-throw line. Monday night against the Raptors, Drummond cut Detroit’s deficit to five at the end of the third quarter with this three-quarter-court heave at the buzzer:
Now, if only he could work on his accuracy from his own free-throw line.
Not a lot has gone right for the Nets this season, but an impressive clutch shot by seven-time All-Star Joe Johnson gave them their 14th win of the season on Monday. With time expiring, Johnson banked in a long three-pointer to put Brooklyn up 105-104 over Denver and secure the victory:
Johnson had 12 points on the night.
For about a week, word has circulated throughout the NBA that George Karl’s days in Sacramento were numbered. They’ve lost eight of their last 10 games, and players have more or less checked out on him. Remember, it’s only been a year since the Kings unceremoniously ousted interim head coach Ty Corbin to bring Karl in, which came on the heels of their puzzling dismissal of Mike Malone in December 2014.
Now, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports that the Kings have made the decision to let Karl go:
The decision itself isn’t surprising—it always seemed to be a matter of “when,” not “if” Karl would be fired. But the optics here are not good. If everybody knows it’s coming, it makes no sense to leak that the change is going to happen hours or even days before it’s made official.
The report of the Kings’ decision on Karl comes on the heels of a concerning bombshell Rajon Rondo dropped following Sacramento’s 120-100 loss to the Cavaliers on Monday night.
Via the Sacramento Bee‘s Jason Jones:
Sports Illustrated‘s Jake Fischer further reported that only three players indeed showed up on Monday morning:
That’s a bad look for everybody involved. An optional shootaround is more or less unheard of in the NBA, and if only three players bothered to come, that’s an unignorable sign that the team has quit on Karl.
Since he came into the league, Karl-Anthony Towns‘ offensive footwork has been unusually advanced for a rookie. He showed off his impressive moves again on Monday night, getting to the basket around Luke Babbitt with this spin: