The end goal, obviously, is basketball — to have Greg Oden on the court come the playoffs to put a body on Roy Hibbert and Joakim Noah.
But to reach that goal, the Heat are thinking smaller steps that have nothing to do with being on the court.
Oden has officially signed his two-year deal with the Miami Heat, but here is what Miami president and power broker Pat Riley said as part of that announcement.
“After many months of discussion, evaluations and speaking with Greg, we felt it was a perfect time for him to make his comeback and re-enter the NBA with the Miami HEAT,” Riley said in a released statement. “It’s a great challenge for him. We know all about his past injuries, but we feel that there is a huge upside and the possibility of him helping us, that’s why we took the risk. We will continue his program and then we will tackle basketball issues after that.”
Everyone who has seen Greg Oden workout has pretty much said the same thing — he looks good. He’s in shape, he’s clearly put in the time to get here and he’s moving well.
But this is the same guy who has had three microfracture surgeries and has not stepped on a court since 2009. There are ample reasons to bring him along very slowly.
Miami was attractive to Oden for that reason (and probably a couple others I can think of). The Heat don’t need him right away, they need him later in the season and in the playoffs. There was going to be less pressure to perform right away, the Heat are going to win plenty of regular season games without him.
We’ll have to see what happens when the Heat and Oden do decide to “tackle basketball issues.”
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Paul George hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 25 seconds left, lifting the Los Angeles Clippers over the Oklahoma City Thunder 90-88 on Monday night to improve to 8-1 at home.
The Thunder had just tied the game at 86-all on a 3-pointer by former Clipper Danilo Gallinari before Chris Paul made two free throws after being fouled by George for an 88-86 lead.
George’s 3 put the Clippers ahead 89-88.
The Clippers were then called for a foul that was overturned on a challenge by coach Doc Rivers. The Thunder retained possession and Terrance Ferguson inbounded to Gallinari, whose 3-pointer missed.
George made a free throw with 0.3 seconds left to close out the game against the team that traded him to Los Angeles last summer.
The Thunder fell to 0-5 on the road.
Montrezl Harrell had 28 points and 12 rebounds off the bench to lead the Clippers. George finished with 18 points after scoring 30-plus points in his first two games of the season.
Paul scored 22 points, making 10 of 11 free throws, against his former team. Gallinari added 14 points and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, another former Clipper, had 11 points despite five fouls.
The Clippers were without Kawhi Leonard for the third straight game because of a bruised left knee.
Luka Doncic is having a “we’ve got to talk about this guy as a possible MVP” kind of season so far.
The latest addition to the resume: A 42 point, 11 rebounds, 12 assist triple-double to lead the Mavericks past the Spurs. That includes sticking the dagger in the Spurs late.
Dallas won 117-110 and improves to 8-5 on the season.
The 42 points is a career-high for Doncic, and he is the first player in Dallas history to record a 40-point triple-double. This is Doncic’s sixth triple-double of the season.
And he’s still just 20 years old.
Here’s the full list of NBA players who have had 40-point triple-doubles at the age of 20 or younger:
That’s it — and that’s some impressive company for Doncic.
This was a $25,000 celebration by Buddy Hield.
Sacramento led by one in the final seconds against Boston Sunday, but the Celtics had a final shot and Marcus Smart‘s attempt at a game-winning floater hung on the rim seemingly forever… then fell off. The ball was tipped out to mid-court and — as you can see in this video — Heild kicks the ball into the stands as part of the celebration.
Kicking or throwing the ball into the stands is a standing $25,000 fine, and the league came down with that on Hield on Monday. It was not a surprise.
Hield was the reason Sacramento won the game, scoring 35 points to lead the Kings, including going 7-of-12 from three. He’d likely make that trade for the win again.
This isn’t load management. This is a bruised knee.
The first Clipper game with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George sharing the court will have to wait as Leonard is going to miss his third straight game with a knee contusion Monday night against the Thunder. Ramona Shelburne of ESPN broke the news.
The Clippers are going to be cautious with bringing Leonard back from this, thinking long term with his health, as they should. Los Angeles is playing for games in May and June, not games in November.
This means tonight the Clippers will be the Paul George show again — in two games he has scored 70 points in 44 minutes. This will be George’s first game against the Thunder since he demanded a trade out of the city last summer, landing him on the Clippers with Leonard.