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.
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.