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Miami’s Dion Waiters will consider offseason ankle surgery

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MIAMI (AP) — Dion Waiters will consider having surgery this offseason to repair his problematic left ankle, conceding Tuesday that it probably won’t be fully healed until such a procedure takes place.

The Miami Heat guard missed his second straight game Tuesday because of a recurrence of the sprain that kept him off the floor for the final 13 games of last season. There’s no timetable for his return, though Waiters he does not expect this absence to be like the month he missed when he first sprained the ankle last March.

The ankle never fully healed, and Waiters has been dealing with it all season.

“I’ve played through it, though,” Waiters said. “I’ve got to. I’m not making any excuses. It is what it is. It’s something I don’t like to talk about because there’s nothing we really can do right now but try to take care of it, get it stronger, things like that. I don’t want to be in this predicament where it’s a little tweak you’ve got to miss a decent amount just off a little tweak. That sucks.”

He was adamant that surgery will not take place before the Heat season ends.

“No,” Waiters said. “Hell no.”

Waiters is averaging 14.3 points this season for the Heat, and most of his stats are fairly comparable to a year ago – except 3-point shooting, where he was at nearly 40 percent last season and is barely at 30 percent this season.

The Heat share Waiters’ optimism of a quick return to the lineup. He got hurt early in Miami’s game against Dallas on Friday on a drive in the lane where the ankle just appeared to give way, then sat out against New Orleans on Saturday and was inactive for Tuesday’s game with Orlando.

“He will continue to do rehab, treatment and conditioning and see when we can get him back on the court,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I don’t think it is as bad – but I’m also not a trainer or a doctor.”

Waiters considered surgery last summer, deciding against it because he would not have been ready for the start of this season. He said when the time comes he’ll discuss with his family and advisers how best to proceed.

“Until I take care of it and do what I was supposed to do with it, even if I have a little sprain it’s going to be severe,” Waiters said. “I didn’t even do anything when I twisted it. I just twisted it.”

The Heat have been dealing with plenty of injury woes all season. Hassan Whiteside returned to the lineup Tuesday after missing 11 games with a bone bruise in his knee, Justise Winslow remains out with a knee strain, Goran Dragic is playing through elbow pain and James Johnson missed a week with right ankle bursitis – and is now out again with a flare-up of the same problem.

Plus, Rodney McGruder has yet to play this season with a stress fracture in his leg.

“We believe in each other, man,” Johnson said Tuesday after some light court work, a part of his rehab. “We believe not one man makes up this team, not two of us, not three of us. And we always have enough every night. So whoever suits up, that’s enough to get the job done that night. And I firmly believe it and I know everybody who’s playing tonight and strapping up, they believe that.”

Report: Suns could have traded for Kristaps Porzingis last season

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I’m going to need New York next fans to read this one with their eyes closed. Right? Your we go.

The Phoenix Suns won the right to be first pick in the 2018 NBA Draft During the recent draft lottery. That means they will be adding somebody like Luka Doncic, Deandre Ayton, or Marvin Bagley to their young roster. Phoenix had the number for overall tech last year, which they used to draft Joss Jackson.

Buddy new report says that if Phoenix would have decided to instead trait that pick they could have exchanged hat selection for New York big man Kristaps Porzingis.

Seriously.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Phoenix had an opportunity to put together a package that would have sent Porzingis to Arizona. That anything the Suns had, plus the No. 4 pick, would have made that happen is just another testament to why Phil Jackson had to go in New York.

Via the Ryen Russillo show:

The Knicks actually hit on Porzingis, and although he may be out for the entire year next season, he’s a keeper to build around, not to trade. On the other side of things, why the Suns didn’t include that pick and pull the trigger is a head scratcher, although we don’t know the full details of the proposed package.

No doubt New York fans are glad the Suns didn’t decide to accept the offer without that pick.

Watch James Harden dunk all over Draymond Green (VIDEO)

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Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals started off hot for the Golden State Warriors. The defending champs scored the first 12 points of the game, but the Houston Rockets rallied before the half was over to take the lead, 53-46, at the break.

One of the biggest highlight plays from Houston came courtesy of James Harden late in the second quarter.

The play came with 6:06 left to play in the half and with the Rockets pushing on the Warriors in transition. Harden found himself with the ball at the top of the key and with an open lane. That forced Draymond Green to slide over as a help defender, and the result was a thunderous dunk for Harden over the Golden State defensive stalwart.

We’ll forget that Chris Paul probably either travelled or double-dribbled before Harden got the ball on the play.

Golden State leads the series, 2-1.

Report: Mike Woodson close to joining Suns coaching staff

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The Phoenix Suns are bolstering their coaching staff. After spending most the 2017-18 season under interim head coach Jay Triano, Phoenix finally settled on Igor Kokoskov as their top man.

Now, it appears they’re adding some veteran talent to the front row.

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Suns are in talks to bring former New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson in as Kokoskov’s right hand man. Meanwhile, ArizonaSports.com is reporting that the decision has already been made to hire Woodson.

Via Twitter:

Woodson, 60, was last on the bench with the Los Angeles Clippers from 2014-2018. He was head coach of the Knicks from 2012-2014, and helmed the Atlanta Hawks from 2004-2010.

This is a smart hire for the Suns, who have needed some legitimacy after firing Earl Watson just three games into the season this year. Phoenix has been in a bit of a freefall since letting Jeff Hornacek go in 2015. Indeed, despite for one outlying 48-win season in 2013-14, Phoenix hasn’t been a very good team in this decade.

With a solidified coaching staff and the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, there’s hope yet for the Suns. Now, the question is who they take with that pick. Luka Doncic? Deandre Ayton? The draft continues to intrigue.

Andre Iguodala out for Game 4 Tuesday vs. Rockets

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“When we’re right, when we’re playing how we are supposed to play, Andre’s right in the middle of it. His defense and being smart, making good decisions. Andre is one of the guys who seems to set the tone for that for us.”

That’s Warriors coach Steve Kerr on Andre Iguodala

The Warriors are going to have to be without that tone Tuesday night, Iguodala will miss the game with a knee contusion.

This is a blow to the Warriors, who have started small with Iguodala through the first three games of this series. The Warriors have been 4.3 points per 100 possessions better with Iguodala on the court through the first three games of this series.

Expect Kevon Looney or Nick Young to start, with the rest of the minutes divided up between Shaun Livingston, Jordan Bell, and David West.

Whatever Kerr and the Warriors go with, expect James Harden and the Rockets to attack it.