Chris Andersen had played productive, meaningful minutes for the Heat in two of their three wins against the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Miami won Game 4 without him thanks to a big game from Chris Bosh, but dropped Game 5, when Indiana killed the Heat in the paint and on the boards, while Paul George got loose for 37 points in an effort that extended the Pacers’ season.
Andrsen missed shootaround on Friday, and is considred a game-time decision for Game 6.
From Joe Goodman of the Miami Herald:
Andersen was held out of the Heat’s shootaround this morning and will be a game-time decision for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals. Tipoff is at 8:30 p.m. (ESPN). On Wednesday, Birdman said he was improving and no longer walked with a limp.
“It’s mobility,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said on Wednesday. “He doesn’t have much of it right now. It is getting a little bit better, but he doesn’t have a whole lot of mobility.”
A painful contusion has limited Andersen’s mobility since Game 3. He finished Game 3, a victory for the Heat, but hasn’t played since.
Andersen is shooting a high percentage from the field in the playoffs, but more importantly, his presence in the paint helps a ton against the likes of Roy Hibbert and David West.
The Heat have already won once without Andersen in this series, and are likely to do so in Game 6 whether he plays or not. As long as LeBron James returns to his normal self and isn’t limited to just seven points in 24 minutes of action due to excessive foul trouble the way he was on Wednesday, Miami is going to like its chances.
Is the Derrick Rose/Jimmy Butler relationship nothing but puppy dogs and rainbows? No. There will be sparks between two intense competitors.
Have those sparks started a fire Bulls fans should be concerned about? A report on Wednesday said the core problem was Butler doesn’t respect Rose’s work ethic, which provided some kindling for that spark to catch.
However, as you would expect, Butler said this was all much ado about nothing, that he and Rose are all good. Via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:
Spin this however you wish: Their relationship is fine and someone in the media is making this up; or their relationship has been rough, and this is all just leaking out now.
This is a Bulls team in a bit of a transition as Rose declines some and Butler has grown into a top-flight player. Clearly that dynamic has some people around the team — likely the people in one of one of the players’ camps doesn’t like the power struggle or where it leaves his buddy — talking out of school to the press.
But as Butler noted, winning cures all ills. If Chicago can get off to a fast start, nobody will be asking chemistry questions.
For now, however, tounges are wagging.
The NBA is still investigating and can take its own action. In theory people involved in the incident could decide to file a civil lawsuit (although Fisher said he would not).
However, Memphis’ Matt Barnes is not going to face any criminal charges for an altercation he instigated with Knicks’ head coach Derek Fisher at the home of Barnes’ estranged wife in Los Angeles, according to police, who talked to TMZ.
Matt Barnes will NOT be charged with a crime for allegedly attacking Derek Fisher over the weekend … the Redondo Beach Police Department tells TMZ Sports.
Cops tell us they did respond to an incident and a police report was filed regarding the altercation — but officers say the case “was reviewed and there is no basis for criminal charges.” As we previously reported, a witness at the home says Barnes struck Fisher in the face and a fight ensued. However, the NY Post is reporting that Fisher did not want to pursue charges against Barnes.
Fisher has been seeing Gloria Govan — Barnes’ estranged wife and star of the “Basketball Wives” reality series — for several months, and was over at her house in the South Bay of Los Angeles Saturday night, along with other friends. Barnes said he got a call from one of his two sons, who “looked distressed” that Fisher was over, and that caused Barnes to drive over to the house. Once he arrived an altercation broke out between the two men, with Barnes allegedly texting a friend that he beat up Fisher and spat in his wife’s face. That’s not going to scar the young boy any further, well done.
If Barnes did this as described (and we don’t know the details), the NBA has to look hard at this. Barnes does not get to decide for a woman he is no longer seeing who she can and cannot see, and who she has over to her home. She is not property. That is the level of control seen in domestic abuse situations, and the league can’t sit back and tolerate it.