The Miami Heat grabbed a close win on Tuesday night, with news and rumors ramping up.
Check out the latest buzz below.
Wade Injures Hamstring
Dwyane Wade strained his left hamstring on Tuesday against the Lakers, and will likely miss Wednesday’s game against Golden State.
“I knew instantly,” Wade told ESPN of the injury after the game.
“If you could see my expression, I was pissed. I could have played the [rest of the] game. But I decided to be smart about it, catch it early and not make it any worse. As my doctors told me afterwards, since we caught it early, we’ll take it day by day.”
Wade left the game after playing 15 minutes. He’s leading the Heat in scoring this season.
The Heat, 17-21 overall, are 4-4 this season without Wade.
Chris Bosh said the team will try to get through however long they have to without Wade.
“You can never get used to it,” Bosh said of the prospects of playing without Wade. “Of course the game plan is going to change significantly. But we’re going to ask guys to step up. We’re just going to have to worry about that [Wednesday]. I’m not predicting anything. I don’t want to sit here and say we’re mentally tough, and then we get smacked tomorrow. I just want to go in there and win the game.”
Whiteside’s Former Coach Surprised at His Improvement
Hassan Whiteside has surprised many people with his strong play, including a former coach.
Keith Smart, a current assistant coach with the Heat, formerly coached the Sacramento Kings. He was the Kings coach for 18 of the 19 NBA games that Whiteside had played prior to this season.
“No one envisioned this. But he was playing well overseas, he was playing well when he went to the D-League. He was putting up massive numbers. So you knew something had changed,” he told the Sun Sentinel.
“So now it was just a matter of getting to the right team, the right opportunity, the right situation, and obviously here was the place for him.”
Smart said he told Kings management that Whiteside was “raw” and “not totally developed yet.”
Whiteside has been working with assistant coaches Juwan Howard and Octavio De La Grana to develop even more.
“This organization really believes in me and it’s a family,” said Whiteside, who was taken at No. 33 in the second round of the 2010 NBA Draft. “I really feel accepted. I really didn’t get a chance to play for Coach Smart, but it’s always comforting to arrive to someone familiar.”
Deng to be Dealt?
A number of teams have noticed Luol Deng’s new scoring efficiency,which had previously been the “lone area of real weakness across his career,” noted Bleacher Report.
The question is whether the Heat will decide to trade Deng.
Bleacher’s Ric Bucher reported recently that his sources indicate Pat Riley wants to build a new big three in the coming years, with Chris Bosh–not Dwyane Wade, likely due to his foreseen declining role due to age and injuries–being one of the three.
The Atlanta Hawks prepared a deal for Deng this summer, and could still be seeking him.
The Los Angeles Lakers are also reportedly a contender for Deng, and could offer Jordan Hill in return (along with likely another asset).
The Memphis Grizzlies were trying to get Deng, but moved on to Jeff Green after the Heat rebuffed their offer.
“The Heat are not—repeat, are not—a team that tanks. But with South Beach barely in the Eastern Conference playoff race, it might make more sense to take a step back and accept a trip to the lottery—and the star that could come with it—than suffer a postseason one-and-done,” Bleacher noted. “The Heat are in the business of winning championships, and for a program with that ambition, missing out on the 2015 playoffs might be the better-value play.”
If the Heat did deal Deng, they could pursue one of the big free agents this summer to be part of the new big three, including Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard, although both will be restricted free agents.
On the other hand, Deng has started a team-leading 36 games so far, and is integrating with the other players better and better. If the Heat want to guarantee a playoff spot this season, keeping Deng would be a good idea.