Chris Bosh will miss the remainder of the 2016 NBA playoffs, as he and the Heat jointly announced. “The Heat, Chris, the doctors and medical team have been working together throughout this process and will continue to do so to return Chris to playing basketball as soon as possible,” the statement relayed. The veteran hasn’t played since February 9th because of concerns about reported blood clots in his left calf, and he had been lobbying for the team to activate him so he can contribute in the postseason. Bosh reportedly found a doctor who appeared willing to give clearance for him to play, but the team and its doctors disagreed with that assessment. The NBPA had reportedly requested a meeting with the team on Bosh’s behalf, though it is unclear if that meeting has occurred or ever will.
- Luol Deng‘s late-season surge since moving to power forward helps his market value and presents a conundrum for the Heat, particularly given the question marks surrounding Chris Bosh, observes Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. Deng is heading to free agency this summer, but the Heat only have his Early Bird rights, just as with Hassan Whiteside.
The NBPA has requested a meeting with the Heat on the behalf of Chris Bosh to attempt to resolve the medical clearance dispute between the two parties, Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com relays. “Our top priority is Chris’ health and well-being. We have spoken with Chris and his agent, and have reached out to the Miami Heat. We are hopeful that all parties involved can meet as soon as possible to resolve the situation,” the NBPA said in its official statement on the matter.
- Hassan Whiteside doesn’t harbor ill feelings toward the Raptors for declining to bring him to training camp after he played for Toronto’s summer league team in 2014, believing the July stint, which was his first brush with the NBA in two years, led to other opportunities that helped revive his career months later, writes Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. The Heat center is No. 10 in our latest 2016 Free Agent Power Rankings.
Chris Bosh and his family are trying to get the players union involved as he pushes the Heat to allow him back in the lineup, but the doctors the Heat have consulted fear he could die on the court if plays this season, as ESPN Radio’s Dan Le Batard said on his show today and as Jason Lieser of The Palm Beach Post transcribes (audio link). Bosh feels fine, unlike the way he felt when he suffered from a similar blood clot issue last year, according to Le Batard, and a doctor the big man independently commissioned reportedly said Bosh would be OK if he plays. The 32-year-old will still have three years and more than $75.868MM remaining on his contract at the conclusion of this season.
Goran Dragic‘s performance in today’s Game 7 win over the Hornets showed why Miami traded two first-round picks to get him last season, writes Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post. Dragic scored 25 points and handed out four assists as the Heat easily dispatched Charlotte. It was a welcome performance after an uneven season that had many observers questioning whether Dragic was a good fit alongside Dwyane Wade. Both guards need to control the ball to be effective, and although they were friendly off the court, their styles of play sometimes clashed. But today Dragic was at his best, connecting on 11 of 17 shots from the field while holding Hornets point guard Kemba Walker to just 3 of 16. “That’s the Goran Dragic we all love,” Wade said. “He puts so much pressure on the defense and allows the other guys to chill out, especially me. When he’s playing that way for us, we’re a tough, tough team to beat.”
There’s more on a victorious day in Miami:
- After being sidelined since late January, Tyler Johnson was happy to get back on the court today, relays Christy Cabrera Chirinos of The Sun-Sentinel. Johnson scored five points in his first action since having surgery on his left rotator cuff in February. “The last couple games, I’ve been available, but to finally get in there was a blessing,” Johnson said. “It was good to see the ball go in the basket for the first time in a while.”
- The Heat not only won their first playoff series since LeBron James left in 2014, they showed they could succeed without Chris Bosh, writes Dave Hyde of The Sun-Sentinel. Bosh has been out of action since the All-Star break when doctors reportedly discovered blood clots in his left calf.
- The fate of Jarnell Stokes will help shape the role of the D-League in the future, contends Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Stokes, who played for Miami’s affiliate in Sioux Falls, was the league’s MVP for both the regular season and the championship series, a feat he accomplished despite being part of three organizations during the year. However, Winderman says the D-League’s reputation will take a hit if Stokes can’t turn those awards into a steady NBA job.
The Heat will take on the Hornets in Game 7 of their opening-round series today. As Miami prepares for the matchup, let’s take a look at some notes from the team:
- Coach Erik Spoelstra confirmed that Josh Richardson will be active, tweets Jason Lieser of The Palm Beach Post. An MRI on Richardson’s injured left shoulder came back negative, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, but a friend of Richardson tells Jackson that the rookie is still experiencing discomfort.
- Spoelstra has faith in Udonis Haslem to contribute during crunch time, Jackson passes along in the same piece. “It became pretty clear [Friday] night, the game became medieval,” Spoelstra said. “Those are the moments I turn to UD.” Haslem, who has been with the Heat since signing with the team as an undrafted free agent in 2003, will become a free agent again at the end of the season.
- Haslem didn’t see many minutes for the Heat before Game 6, but he isn’t concerned about the lack of playing time. Instead, he’s focused on staying ready for when his number is called and remaining professional, writes Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. “I’ve been around a lot of great basketball players. They’ve taught me a lot about professionalism. I’ve had to rely on that probably more this year than any other year of my career,” Haslem said.
- Game 7 gives center Hassan Whiteside another chance to prove that he’s worth a max salary, Winderman writes in a separate piece. Whiteside blamed a thigh injury for his poor performance in Game 6, but Winderman says today gives him an opportunity to show the Heat that he can perform in pressure situations. The writer adds that Richardson’s availability may leave no minutes for 30-year-old swingman Gerald Green, who’s headed for free agency when the Heat’s playoff run ends.
Arthur Hill contributed to this post.
Evan Turner may have to be patient if he wants to re-sign with the Celtics in free agency, but he told Chris Forsberg of ESPN that coach Brad Stevens would like to keep him in Boston. “Coach definitely said [he wants me back],” said Turner. “He said he’ll be pushing for me and everything like that. And that’s pretty much it. But there’s a lot of stuff that’s going on right now. I understand it. And I understand what’s going to occur, with the draft picks and the young guys trying to develop and trying to get a superstar, stuff like that. I definitely comprehend it.” The Celtics may like Turner, and the swingman would like to get a deal done quickly, but the team figures to have other priorities this summer as it tries to improve a roster that went 48-34 and was bounced by the Hawks in the first round of the playoffs. Turner played a big part in Boston’s success, averaging 10.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 81 games. He said “money’s cool” in free agency, but he feels it’s more important to find playing time with a winning organization.
There’s more news out of Boston:
- The six-game loss to Atlanta showed that the Celtics need to raise their talent level, writes Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post. Bontemps says president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has to shake up a roster of “ill-fitting pieces” around All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas. The Celtics own the Nets’ first-round pick, which is almost certain to fall in the top five, and they may have more than $50MM to spend once free agency starts July 1st. Bontemps expects the Celtics to chase every elite free agent on the market, adding that they have enough young talent and future picks to become trading partners if the Bulls’ Jimmy Butler or the Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins becomes available.
- The Celtics will need some luck to have the offseason they are hoping for, contends Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald. Boston has eight picks in this year’s draft, but the position of Brooklyn’s choice will help shape the future of the franchise. The Celtics have a 15.6% chance of landing the top overall selection and a 46.9% shot at staying in the top three. Boston will target Kevin Durant in free agency, and Bontemps believes Ainge is eager to make a deal with his parcel of draft picks, citing his offer to Charlotte last year in hopes of drafting Justise Winslow. Boston reportedly made a similar offer to the Heat. The writer mentions Sixers rookie Jahlil Okafor as another trade possibility.
Hornets center Spencer Hawes underwent an MRI today that revealed a sprain of the MCL in his right knee, and he’ll miss the remainder of Charlotte’s first round series against the Heat as a result, the team announced via press release. The big man will be re-evaluated in a week’s time, according to the team. Hawes has appeared in five playoff games for the Hornets and has averaged 3.6 points and 3.2 rebounds in 10.6 minutes per contest. The 28-year-old still has two years remaining on his contract, though his pact does include a player option for 2017/18 worth $6,021,175, so he should have more than ample time to recover prior to hitting the open market.
- A person with direct knowledge of the situation insists Heat power forward Chris Bosh found a doctor who appeared willing to give clearance for him to play, but the team and its doctors disagreed with that assessment, relays Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Bosh, who hasn’t played since February 9th because of concerns about reported blood clots in his left calf, is lobbying for the team to activate him so he can contribute in the playoffs.
- Heat power forward Chris Bosh, who hasn’t played since February 9th because of concerns about reported blood clots in his left calf, is lobbying for the team to activate him so he can contribute in the playoffs, The Toronto Sun relays via the Sports Xchange. Bosh’s wife, Adrienne, even took to Twitter with the message #BringBoshBack, but the organization still maintains its stance that the veteran is out indefinitely, according to the post.