Erik Spoelstra has stopped playing games and is now going the only direction he really can — Chris Bosh will be back in the starting lineup for the Miami Heat, he announced before Game 2 in Oklahoma City Thursday night.
But unlike during much of the season when both Bosh and Udonis Haslem would start, Haslem will come off the bench in Game 2 and Shane Battier will start. This shouldn’t be a huge strain on Bosh, who played 34 minutes off the bench in Game 1 but was not a huge factor in the game. They need him to be in Game 2, starting may help that.
The Heat also need to establish Bosh in the paint early — 10 of his 11 shot attempts in Game 1 were from outside 10 feet. They need to get him going in closer to the basket, then work out from there.
Miami will need some better play out of its bench in Game 2. One plus there will be the return of three-point specialist James Jones will be available, he was out for Game 1 with a migraine headache.
There was not a lot of other pregame news from before Game 2. Thunder coach Scott Brooks scoffed at the idea of going even smaller and playing Kevin Durant at the five. Just because LeBron has done it doesn’t mean the Thunder should try it.
Also, the Thunder crowd will be in the alternating blue and white t-shirt sections we saw earlier in the playoffs, not the all blue from Game 1.
Following the great tradition of Shane Battier and Andrew Bogut, Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard – who got his Raptors championship ring last night – had a special finger picked for it.
I have a logo in there, and it’s on my middle finger. So, it reminds me to put it on my middle finger. So, I have like an F U symbol on there.
Leonard’s hand is filling up. He already earned a championship ring with the Spurs in 2014.
I suspect this ring is also for San Antonio.
Timberwolves rookie Jarrett Culver, the No. 6 pick in this year’s draft, was the biggest basketball star of his family.
Emphasis on “was.”
Culver’s younger brother, J.J. Culver, scored 100 points in a game for Wayland Baptist University (Plainview, Texas) on Tuesday.
Jarrett, via Kent Youngblood of the Minneapolis StarTribune:
“I left the gym and my phone just blew up,” Jarrett said. “Everyone is texting me, ‘Your brother, your brother.’ So I FaceTimed him. I was like, ‘No way!’ I didn’t know what to say. I was in shock. It felt like I was dreaming.”
“I feel like I dropped 100 the way I was celebrating with him. I was super-excited for him. He deserves it.”
- 22-of-29 on 2-pointers
- 12-of-33 on 3-pointers
- 20-of-27 on free throws
Obviously, it’s unconventional for a single player to take 62 of his team’s 77 shots. But it doesn’t seem this was designed in advance. Nor does it seem Wayland Baptist runs a wild scheme. J.J. just got hot early, and his teammates then decided to keep feeding him. Obviously, by the end, he was gunning for records.
How will Jarrett one-up his brother now?
The Lakers aren’t Showtime 2.
Are the Celtics?
Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown ran one flashy fastbreak last night.
NBC Sports Boston:
Though Walker scored 44 points, Boston fell to the Pacers, 122-117.
Another game, another Kings game-winning 3-pointer.
After Nemanja Bjelica hit a buzzer-beater against the Rockets on Monday, Bogdan Bogdanovic sunk the go-ahead 3-pointer against the Thunder last night. That stood as the game-winner once Richaun Holmes successfully defended Chris Paul on the other end, clinching Sacramento’s 94-93 victory.
The Kings have won three straight – over the Mavericks, Rockets and Thunder. The schedule softens over the next week and a half, giving Sacramento a real chance to rise in the Western Conference standings.
And if he keeps playing like this, Bogdanovic might find his way into a starting lineup.