Dwyane Wade will likely be unavailable Wednesday night when the Miami Heat take on the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Without Wade, Miami managed to defeat the Boston Celtics over the weekend, but fell to the Detroit Pistons last night, 108-91. They enter Wednesday with a 13-12 record on the road.
Miami is 6-5 away from home against teams from the Western Conference.
The Wolves will look to bring their record against Eastern Conference teams, in games played at home, to 4-5. With Wade out, it looks like they'll have a pretty good opportunity to do that. They'll hopefully avoid falling to Miami for the 9th time over the previous 10 matchups as they meet for the second and final time of the 2014-15 season.
When these teams met earlier this season the Wolves were a day removed from losing Ricky Rubio for an indefinite period of time. Valiantly, Nikola Pekovic tallied 19 points and 11 rebounds, Thaddeus Young added 16 points and Shabazz Muhammad scored 13 and the Wolves were within striking distance entering the final frame. But Chris Bosh went on to score 24 fourth quarter points to go with Wade's 25 points and eight assists en route to Miami's 102-92 victory over the Wolves back in November.
Injury report-type thing:
Rubio is listed as probable for tonight's contest, but he'll almost certainly be on the floor at tip-off. Mo Williams is also listed as probable. Zach LaVine has missed the past two games due to a sprained left ankle suffered last week against the Philadelphia 76ers, and is listed as questionable. Robbie Hummel will miss his sixth consecutive game due to a fractured right hand and remains sidelined indefinitely. Shabazz Muhammad will miss his 14 consecutive game with a strained outer oblique. He is also sidelined indefinitely.
The story for Miami, recently, has been the performance of Hassan Whiteside. He leads the team in field goal percentage (64.3%) and blocked shots (50) this season in just 382 minutes. By comparison, Wolves center Gorgui Dieng recorded 50 blocks playing in 818 minutes throughout the entire 13-14 season. Dieng has blocked 84 shots in 1422 minutes of playing time this season.
This article at ESPN is reporting that Diana Taurasi has decided to sit out the 2015 WNBA season, opting to rest for the summer at the request of her Russian club team.
The Phoenix Mercury star accepted an offer from UMMC Ekaterinburg, which will pay her more than her 2014 WNBA salary not to play, sources told espnW. Taurasi made just under the WNBA league maximum of $107,000 last year.
Eric took to Twitter after the report released last night, provoking reaction from Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve.
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The aforementioned column at ESPN states Taurasi's contract with UMMC pays her nearly $1.5 million this winter. The team wants her rested and healthy for next season.
"Since 2004, when I started professional basketball, it has been a cycle, a cycle that I have enjoyed so much," Taurasi told espnW. "With my team in Russia, a conversation began about making sure I'm at an elite level for a long time with them. I put everything on the table and weighed all my options and made the best decision.
"I'm really lucky to even have these options," she said. "It speaks volumes on how UMMC values our relationship and vice versa. For 10 years, I have never had any significant time off."
She was a key cog in helping Phoenix defeat the Minnesota Lynx in the Western Conference Finals last year and, at 33-year-old, Taurasi intends to return for the 2016 WNBA season, and will aim to play for Team USA in the 2016 Olympics.
In her absence, the Lynx should -- theoretically -- emerge out of the West and into the WNBA Finals with relative ease, although it is unfortunate that the league is unable to retain one of its greatest players of all-time for this upcoming season.
Does anyone else wake up in the midst of slumber, roll over and look at Twitter? (Rhetorical.)
Well, I sure do.
Last night, I noticed that the TimberTrolls got back to what they do best. Trolling. Here's the latest.
Look at this! https://t.co/lv6Z2whKQ2— TimberTrolls (@TimberTrolls) February 4, 2015
And here's the music...