Michael Beasley; Jonas Valanciunas

Michael Beasley hits back-to-back threes in season debut for Heat (VIDEO)


The Heat are bringing Michael Beasley along extremely slowly in hopes that their veteran leadership and championship environment can break him of his apathetic basketball habits on the court, and his historically poor decisions off of it.

Beasley saw his first minutes of action this season in the Heat’s fourth game, a win over the Toronto Raptors. He did what he does best, and that’s shoot the basketball.

In a spurt that lasted less than four minutes, Beasley got four shots up, and made two of them on consecutive possessions from three-point distance. He also managed to record a blocked shot and a turnover during that same span, which was his only stint of the night.

From Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

“Michael played, from the outside, a small amount of minutes,” Spoelstra said, “but they were important minutes.”

Beasley, signed in the offseason to a one-year, veteran-minimum free-agent contract, converted his first two shots, a pair of 3-pointers, playing 3:59 in the first half, his lone stint of the night.

“It felt good to give a spark,” Beasley said. “I had the mindset to stay ready.”

Beasley is essentially a lottery ticket for the back-to-back defending champs. If it doesn’t pan out, it’s a small financial risk. But if Beasley can fall in line, he’s shown an ability throughout his career to be a talented offensive player when tuned to the right frequency.

Report: Cavs sign Dionte Christmas

Dionte Christmas
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The Cavs are shorthanded in the backcourt right now, with Kyrie Irving still out and Iman Shumpert sidelined for up to three months. Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that they’re bringing in former Temple guard Dionte Christmas, who played for the Suns in 2013-14:

In 31 games for the Suns two seasons ago, Christmas averaged 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 6.4 minutes per game. He probably won’t get very many minutes if he makes the Cavs’ final roster, but there’s a chance they’ll keep him around on a non-guaranteed deal until Irving and Shumpert are healthy, just to have another body in the backcourt.

Sixers’ Wilbekin hits game-winning three vs. Cavs (VIDEO)

Scottie Wilbekin
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LeBron James sat out the Cavs’ preseason game against the Sixers on Thursday night, but Cleveland still held the lead for all but the final 5.4 seconds. Then, Sixers rookie Scottie Wilbekin did this:

Wilbekin, who played college ball at Florida, has a chance to earn legitimate minutes for the Sixers this season as they try to find young talent on the cheap. This is a good start.