Archive for April 20th, 2018

Miami Heat forward Justise Winslow has been fined $15,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct for intentionally stepping on and attempting to damage the facemask of Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, which took place after Embiid’s facemask had fallen onto the playing court, occurred with 7:51 remaining in the second quarter of the 76ers’ 128-108 win over the Heat on Thursday, April 19 at AmericanAirlines Arena.

The Warriors are handling their first round opponent, the Spurs, quite handily so far, taking a 3-0 series lead while playing without guard Stephen Curry. Here’s the SF Chronicle with the latest on Steph:

Warriors guard Stephen Curry has officially been ruled out another week, the team announced Friday afternoon.

Curry, who had his Grade 2 left MCL sprain re-evaluated Friday, is set to be re-evaluated again on April 27. That would conceivably put his earliest possible return at a potential Game 7 of the first round.

Such an extended series appears unlikely, given that Golden State enters Game 4 against the Spurs on Sunday with a 3-0 lead.

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Here’s the Miami Herald reporting on Heat center Hassan Whiteside, who through three playoff games is receiving just 13.7 minutes per outing of playing time, averaging a mere 3.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks.

From a national perspective, Thursday night began and ended the same way for the Heat, with TNT’s Charles Barkley bashing Hassan Whiteside before and after the 76ers’ Game 3 win against the Heat that gave Philadelphia a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series.

What happened in between Barkley’s remarks Thursday was even more discouraging for Whiteside, who has managed just 11 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks in 41 combined minutes during three games in this playoff series while committing seven turnovers and nine fouls.

And with Saturday’s Game 4 looming, Whiteside, who’s active on social media, made clear he’s tuning out the torrent of criticism: “I don’t get caught up in the guys that can’t do my job but talk about my job.”

A night after Whiteside curiously attributed his struggles to lack of involvement on offense, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Friday “we’re not going to change the playbook, but certainly we’ll work to get Hassan active on both ends and where you feel him in the game. Part of that is my job. We had a film session today, and we were working on that. He’s going to do his part.”

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Tyler Johnson health update

The Heat are down 2-1 in their first round playoff series against the Sixers. Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Heat shooting guard Tyler Johnson:

Guard Tyler Johnson began clutching his left hand early in Thursday’s game after jamming his left thumb while colliding with Sixers center Joel Embiid on the second possession.

Johnson was evaluated after the game but no serious damage was found after X-rays. He wore a protective wrap during Friday’s practice.

“I was trying to catch myself,stumbled, put my hand down,” Johnson said. “I lost my balance when I ran into him. I tried to brace myself on the floor and jammed my thumb … Initially it was a little bit sore. We got a little tape job on it.That’s more to make it a little bit more comfortable. It’s a little sore, nothing that’s not manageable.”

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The general rule is, any coach who works as an assistant to Gregg Popovich is probably a good coach. And usually winds up getting offers from other teams fairly quickly. Well, the Hornets have a new GM, and need a new head coach. Here’s the Charlotte Observer with the latest:

The Charlotte Hornets will act quickly to interview San Antonio Spurs assistant Ettore Messina for their head-coaching opening, as soon as the Spurs season is complete.

A source familiar the situation said Messina will interview as early as the middle of next week, if the Spurs are eliminated by the Golden State Warriors by then. Ettore coached the Spurs in Thursday’s loss to the Warriors, as head coach Gregg Popovich mourned the death of his wife, Erin.

The Spurs trail the best-of-7 series 3-0. Game 4 is Sunday in San Antonio. A possible Game 5 is Tuesday in Oakland, Calif. It’s yet to be determined when Popovich would rejoin the team.

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Kevin Love dealing with thumb sprain

The Cavs played winning basketball for a huge stretch as the regular season came to a close, but in two playoff games against the Pacers they have one win and one loss but easily could have been down 0-2. Complicating matters is the health of Kevin Love, who will be in action tonight but is playing through a minor yet still presumably annoying injury to his non-shooting hand. Just how good are these Cavs? The jury is still out. Here’s the Akron Beacon Journal reporting:

Kevin Love wore a support wrap on his sprained left thumb during shootaround and Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said the five-time All-Star center would play in Friday night’s Game 3 of the Eastern Conference playoffs against the Indiana Pacers.

While warming up at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Love didn’t look impeded by the bandage, which covered his thumb and went across his knuckles.

Lue wasn’t sure if it would affect Love’s shot, but Lue was glad the injury was to Love’s non-shooting hand.

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