No more Shane Battier jumping center for the Miami Heat.
After not traveling with the Heat to Toronto so he could be there for the birth of his daughter — which is the only right decision to make — Chris Bosh is back with the Heat to take on the Clippers Thursday night.
That’s 19.8 points on 59.1 percent shooting plus a team high 6.8 rebounds per game coming back to the lineup. As coach Erik Spoelstra says, Bosh is not their best player but is often the most important in terms of what they want to do.
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The Clippers come into AmericanAirlines Arena on the second night of a back-to-back, but one where they clearly looked right past Orlando to this matchup — and it burned them, Nikola Vucevic dropped 30 points and 21 boards on the awful Clippers defense and led the Magic to a 98-90 win.
Bosh told ESPN he’s not reading much into that outing.
“I’m glad I didn’t look at the game last night,” Bosh said of the Clippers’ stunning loss to the Magic. “You could see they were a little sluggish yesterday, and Orlando caught them off guard. But we know we’re going to get their ‘A’ game, because we get everybody’s ‘A’ game.”
The problem for the Clippers has been their “A” game involves no “D” — they are giving up 108.2 points per 100 possessions through five games, the worst number in the league. Pair that with the Heat scoring 109.1 points per 100 (third best in the league) and it spells potential trouble for the Clippers.
Part of the challenge will be how DeAndre Jordan will do covering Chris Bosh as he roams all the way out to the three point line (the Clippers can go with Blake Griffin on Bosh and Jordan on Udonis Haslem to start, a better lineup to allow Jordan to help). However they handle it, having Bosh back makes life more difficult for a Clippers defense that is already struggling.
After missing two entire seasons, all signs are pointing to 2014 No. 3 overall pick Joel Embiid finally taking the court this season. Last week, Sixers coach Brett Brown said that Embiid has looked great in his workouts and is on track to play in the preseason, and Embiid himself echoed that sentiment over the weekend. He told the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Marc Narducci that he feels “100 percent.”
There’s always a possibility and fear that Embiid’s recurring foot problems will come back, but for now, all indications are that he’s feeling good and will be able to contribute this season, which should make Sixers fans excited.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.