Miami is taking the longview with regard to this season.
After reaching the Finals each of the past three seasons and with a fourth trip well within reach, the Heat aren’t going to put their veterans at risk throughout the long grind of the 82-game regular season.
Dwyane Wade, who has been rested multiple times already to keep his knees fresh, and Ray Allen were both held out of Miami’s game in Sacramento on Friday — likely because the Heat can beat the lowly Kings without them if they so choose, but also because a more real test awaits them Saturday night in Portland against the red-hot Blazers.
“We met about it and decided that it was best for the three of them to continue to get rest,” coach Erik Spoelstra said shortly before Friday’s game, via the Associated Press. “We feel fortunate for the depth we have. We feel like that is one of the biggest strengths of our team.”
Portland is tied with Oklahoma City for the best record in the Western Conference at 24-5, and you can bet that the Heat will want to see what the hype is about in person.
Wade and Allen will more than likely be available against the Blazers. Chris Andersen — who went down against the Lakers on Christmas Day with a sore back — well, his injury may require a little more time to rest.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.