Author: Kurt Helin

Minnesota Timberwolves v Miami Heat

Dwyane Wade will return to Heat Sunday vs. Knicks


Miami’s offense missed Dwyane Wade — he averaging 19.8 points a game, shot 45.5 percent from three (although mostly he is getting the looks he wants inside the arc), they move the ball better, and the Heat’s offense is 8.8 points better per 100 possession when he was on the court.

Make that is on the court. After missing seven games due to a hamstring injury Wade will be back on the court for Miami Sunday against New York, he announced after shootaround.

Mario Chalmers played well at the two spot with Wade out and he should get some time at that spot off the bench, but he is no Wade. Chris Bosh and other Heat offensive players will find a little more room to operate.

The Knicks have not been lucky this week. Carmelo Anthony remains out plus first Russell Westbrook now Wade will make their returns against the struggling New York team.

LeBron James with wicked no-look pass to Kyrie Irving (VIDEO)

LeBron James.Chris Copeland
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When the Cavaliers’ offense gets clicking, it is a highlight reel in and of itself.

Take this play from Saturday’s Cleveland win over Indiana. LeBron James makes a long outlet pass to Kyrie Irving and he attacks the rim in transition but the Pacers get back and cut off the easy bucket, so Irving kicks it to Shawn Marion in the opposite corner. That pass is a little off target and by the time Marion controls it he’s covered and has no shot so he passes back out to the trailer LeBron.

At that point LeBron waves at Marion like he wants him to cut to the rim, but it’s all a distraction and LeBron hits an open Irving for the easy bucket.

Irving was making plays, too. Check out this rebound and mid-air outlet pass to Marion from the same game.

Banged up Timberwolves add forward Jeff Adrien for depth

Houston Rockets v Orlando Magic

It’s been another injury-plagued year in Minnesota. The team’s starting offensive backcourt of Ricky Rubio and Kevin Martin are out for an extended period. Up front they are without center Nikola Pekovic for at least a couple more weeks and his backup Ronny Turiaf will be out longer.

In the wake of that the league granted the Timberwolves a player exception to add a 16th man and they have used it to sign Jeff Adrien, the team announced Saturday.

Adrien did not make a roster this season and split last season between Charlotte and Milwaukee. With the Bucks he started 12 games and averaged 10.9 points and 7.8 rebounds a game.

Adrien has the build and athleticism of an NBA player — he passes the eye test — and he works hard on the glass. However he has no offensive range and doesn’t take many shots. Last season with Charlotte, for example, when he got in a game he averaged just 1.6 shots a contest but 82 percent of them were within the restricted area (dunks and layups). He’s a guy other teams are not afraid to help off.

That said, the Timberwolves need bodies up front and they could do worse than Adrien.

K.J. McDaniels only reason to watch Sixers, throws down on Brandan Wright (VIDEO)

Dallas Mavericks v Philadelphia 76ers

It’s not easy to watch the now 0-16 Sixers, but there is becoming one good reason:

K.J. McDaniels.

He is the kind of explosive, exciting rookie every team is looking for and while everyone was talking about the big first-round picks of Joel Embid and Dario Saric (neither of whom are playing with the Sixers this year) McDaniels has been the highlight reel. Doing things like throwing down the big putback dunk on Dallas’ Brandan Wright.

Michael Carter-Williams had a triple-double and the Sixers picked up a moral victory by hanging with the Mavericks most of the game, but moral victories are not exactly what the Sixers need right now. Dallas got the road win they expected despite the team having an off shooting night from three (26 percent).

James Harden passes between DeAndre Jordan’s legs, crosses Matt Barnes (VIDEO)

Philadelphia 76ers v Houston Rockets

From the start of the second quarter on, when the Clippers went on an 11-0 run, they pretty much owned this game against the Rockets. Blake Griffin had 30 and the Clippers were in control most of the way to cruise in for a win.

Still, James Harden put on a show for Houston.

Above he gets the assist with a nifty pass through De Andre Jordan’s legs. Below. Matt Barnes go torched with the crossover. It was fun, but the Rockets are not the same team without Dwight Howard and were no match for LA.