The Miami Heat started a player they once pledged not to re-sign, their second-best Dragic, someone better known by his previous name, a former second-rounder who played in Australia last season and an undrafted rookie
The Heat hold the No. 10 seed in the lottery and have just a 9.1 percent chance of falling and sending it to the Philadelphia (which got it in the Kevin Love-Andrew Wiggins trade from Cleveland, which got it from Miami in the 2010 LeBron James sign-and-trade). If Brooklyn lost, Miami would have had a 53.1 percent chance of losing the pick.
Still, the 76ers did all they could to tilt the odds in their favor by losing to the Heat tonight.
Actually with just 13 combined players – many of them scrubs, at that – playing, it might be inappropriate to say the Heat beat the 76ers.
Michael Beasley, Zoran Dragic, Henry Walker, James Ennis, Tyler Johnson and Udonis Haslem beat Jerami Grant, Henry Sims, JaKarr Sampson, Robert Covington, Glenn Robinson III, Hollis Thompson and Thomas Robinson.
Four of the Heat’s starters played all 48 minutes with Dragic (41 minutes) and Udonis Haslem (seven minutes) splitting the rest. This was a farce.
The 76ers’ two years of tanking experience paid off. They knew how to get the job done.
It just probably won’t be enough to get Miami’s pick.
That’s the loss that hurts.
Dwyane Wade throws halfcourt pass off backboard, perfectly sets up Udonis Haslem dunk (video)
Dwyane Wade’s alley-oop pass to James Ennis was a bit off.
But it was spot-on to set up Udonis Haslem for a dunk.
Enough clicked last night for the Heat, who beat the short-handed Hornets and moved within a half game of the Celtics for eighth place in the Eastern Conference. Miami holds the head-to-head tiebreak over Boston.
Pat Riley found it ‘almost shocking’ Heat players let LeBron get to point he wanted to leave Miami
“That’s the most surprising thing for me, is how those…” Riley said, voice rising. “Generational teams stay together. The players stay together. They know what they have. They see what they’ve won. They see that there’s going to be a little bit of an adjustment here, and they don’t want to leave that. You may never get it again.
“That was almost shocking to me that the players would allow that to happen. And I’m not just saying LeBron. I mean, the players, themselves, would allow them to get to a state where a guy would want to go home or whatever it is.
“So maybe I’m dealing with a contemporary attitude today of, ‘Well, I got four years here, and I think I’ll go up there for whatever reason I went.’ You know, the whole ‘home’ thing, I understand that. But what he had here, and what he had developed here, and what he could have developed over the next five or six years here, with the same team, could have been historic. And usually teams from inside…”
“It would be like Magic and Kareem and [James] Worthy, they weren’t going to go anywhere,” Riley said. “They had come at a time when there were free agents. They weren’t going to go. You think Magic was going to leave Kareem? You think Kareem was going to leave Magic? You think Worthy was going to leave either one of those guys, or [Byron] Scott or [Michael] Cooper? No, they knew they had a chance to win every year. And this team had a chance every year. So that was shocking to me that it happened. Now, could we have done more? Could they have done more?”
To a degree, I think this shift is due to an increased friendliness between teams. LeBron can join the Cavaliers – his hometown team, a team closer to a championship – and remain friends with his former Miami teammates. Some of LeBron’s relationships with those Heat players predate their NBA days, something less likely to happen years ago. These are friendships enhanced by sharing an NBA team, but not formed wholly from that.
So, yes, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, Byron Scott and Michael Cooper stayed together. LeBron left the Heat.
But that doesn’t make one way right and the other wrong. It’s just different.
Dwyane Wade ‘very’ disappointed in Hassan Whiteside after ejection vs. Celtics
Shortly after Whiteside’s ejection, Udonis Haslem (he was out with multiple injuries) stormed from the bench to the locker room. It is unknown why he went back there, but there is one obvious possibility.
Miami coach Erik Spoelstra, who appears to have been very patient with Whiteside since the team signed him early in the season, was clearly angrier about what happened Monday than Whiteside’s previous ejection.
Dwyane Wade went so far as to say there is nothing left for the veterans to tell Whiteside at this point. He has to figure this out himself.
Is Wade disappointed?
“Very,” he said. “We all are. As a Heat fan you are. In this locker room we are. Everybody. He’s gonna have to learn and he’s gonna learn the hard way. He’s doing it his own way. Hopefully he changes his mentality pretty quick.”
“He’s had enough veteran advice. There comes a time where you have to do it yourself. There’s only so many words people can continue to say to you. You gotta do it. Not for you, you got to do it for the other guys you see in here sacrificing — that you see out there playing hurt and all the things you see going on. You’re part of a team. You’re part of an organization.
“We all have our moments, selfish moments, but you can’t continue to keep having them because you got to be reliable, and you got to be able to be counted on. And right now, if he continues to act that way, then he’s not reliable.”
The Heat see themselves as a family organization, and are willing to tolerate a lot from their players; Michael Beasley is a great example of that. We’ll see if that approach is able to reach Whiteside, who, with averages of 11 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocked shots per game, has been an important part of the team this season.
Undrafted Langston Galloway making mark with Knicks, has sights set even higher
BOSTON – Langston Galloway considered returning home to his native Louisiana during the All-Star break, but he figured he wouldn’t have enough time to properly visit with everyone in his large and supportive family.
Besides, he had an opportunity of a lifetime in New York.
The Knicks rookie leaned on teammates to secure tickets to All-Star festivities in Madison Square Garden and Barclays Centers. In a highlight of his young NBA career, Galloway watched three days of events, particularly enjoying the actual game Sunday.
“Just looking at it as, hey, maybe one day I can get there,” Galloway said.
Galloway was on hand for the Rising Stars Challenge, too. Asked about the possibility of making that game next season, he lights up.
“Definitely, yeah,” Galloway said. “Shooting for anything and everything possible.”
At this point, anything and everything seems possible for the 23-year-old.
Despite going undrafted, Galloway ranks third among rookies in points per game (11.0) behind only No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins (15.9) and No. 2 pick Jabari Parker (12.3).
Galloway didn’t get called up from the D-League until January, but he has quickly shown:
A clutch streak, making 6-of-9 3-pointers in the final five minutes of a five-point game, including these:
An opportunistic sense for making thrilling plays:
“He just showed a level of composure and poise for a first-year player that was pretty special,” Knicks coach Derek Fisher said. “Didn’t seem to get sped up by competition. Even sometimes the guy’s better than him, he still seems to play at a pace that’s comfortable for him. He’s not afraid to take and make shots when he’s open. Doesn’t pass up on opportunities. And he’s not afraid to guard any guy out there.”
Galloway, who has started 20 of his 24 games with the Knicks, has a real shot at making an All-Rookie team. If he does, he’d become just the 11th undrafted player to do so* and just fourth to do it in the season immediately after going undrafted.**
*Gary Neal, Jamario Moon, Walter Herrmann, Jorge Garbajosa, Marquis Daniels, Udonis Haslem, J.R. Bremer, Chucky Atkins, Matt Maloney, Larry Stewart
**Daniels, Bremer, Stewart
Galloway’s chances are certainly helped by playing in New York. His success in league’s largest market has already boosted his profile.
And the Knicks have been starved for a young player of his caliber. Sure, his 11 points per game are nice, but they’re hardly historic – at least for teams outside New York.
Channing Frye, the No. 8 pick in 2005, is the only Knicks rookie to average so many points per game in the previous 25 years. Just the Jazz (Trey Burke) and Pacers (nobody) have had so few rookies hit that mark in that span.
Galloway gets his points in a variety of ways, which is a bit surprising. He shot 39.2, 46.6, 39.4 and 44.7 percent on 3-pointers in four seasons at Saint Joseph’s. Outside shooting appeared to be his only NBA-caliber skill, but Galloway also gets into the lane consistently, and he rebounds well for a guard. It’s hardly a strength yet, but the 6-foot-2 Galloway has also improved as a point guard after primarily playing off guard in college.
If you want to extend it further, he plays with an infectious joy on a team headed for its worst record in franchise history.
“Just going out there each day and having fun, that’s the main thing,” Galloway said. “It’s not a job to me. It’s just like out there having fun like I’ve been playing since I’ve been four years old.”
Not every day of this journey has been fun, though.
Galloway recalls the disappointment of draft night, hearing 60 names – though not his own – called. He took the following day off, his first relaxing day in months. Since Saint Joseph’s lost to Connecticut in the NCAA Tournament, Galloway had been working out daily to prepare for the draft.
On June 27, he just laid in bed and played video games.
“You’d rather be going to another city or wherever you’re playing at,” Galloway said. “But at the same time, just to spend time with my family, they definitely helped me get through that whole day off and then moved onto the next day to start getting back in the gym.”
The Knicks signed him for training camp, waived him and assigned him to their D-League affiliate in Westchester. When New York signed him to an NBA contract, Galloway was ready thanks to his parents.
“They’ve always told me never be scared of anything,” Galloway said. “And just my confidence in myself, knowing I can go out there and compete against anybody in this world.”
It’s a message his extended family, including his uncles, has reinforced.
Appreciative, Galloway is looking forwarding to doing this summer what he didn’t have time to do during the All-Star break – going home and celebrating his success with everyone.
“Eat some crawfish and some bad food that people wouldn’t understand around here,” Galloway said. “But just catch up and eat some Cajun food.”