For the most part, the Heat brushed off the fact they won’t be represented in this year’s All-Star Game. But when rookie Bam Adebayo’s name was not on the list of players voted into the Rising Stars Challenge, the Heat were surprised. “That’s crazy. I really didn’t see that coming,” Udonis Haslem said in advance of Thursday’s game against the Kings. “There was no doubt in my mind Bam was definitely going to have a chance to represent the Heat in the rookie game. That’s very unfortunate.
March 20, 2023 | 8:58 pm EDT Update
But Green so regularly attacked the teeth of the New Orleans defense, he took 14 free throws, hitting all 14. “Just really figuring out how to draw that foul,” Green said. “Just watching guys that get to the free throw line already, like Shai (Gilgeous-Alexander) really helps out, studying their game and doing it on the court.”
Jabari Smith Jr., 19, and Alperen Sengun, 20, the Rockets’ youngest players, speak often about the weight room work they plan for the offseason. The Pelicans’ Jonas Valanciunas spent the two games in Houston showing why. “Jabari, especially, when he gets stronger, he’s going to be a problem, because he’s going to take all that contact and finish at the rim, or not get pushed off his spot,” Silas said. “The same thing for Alpi. He is lower body strong, but he can get stronger and better fit, and when he does that, he’s going to be a problem, as well. They’re going to get some grown man strength as we go here.
Clutch Points: “Keep playing that dumbass defense” – Kyrie Irving to Dillon Brooks 🍿👀 (via @DrewHill_DM) pic.twitter.com/OJGEjJplIL
March 20, 2023 | 7:56 pm EDT Update
LaMelo Ball not sure if he will wear ankle braces to prevent injuries in future
Ball said it’s too early to tell if he will change up anything in an attempt to curtail the lower extremity injuries. He’s unsure if ankle braces are in his future, or if he may need more support in his sneakers. “I have to see how I feel when I come back first,” he said, “and make a decision.”
Drew Hill: More Taylor Jenkins on Ja: “He’s excited to be a part of the group and get back and help his team. I think it is going to be a seamless integration. We know how important he is to us, and he knows how important his teammates are to him.”
Dalton Johnson: Jalen Green is available for the Rockets. He previously was questionable with a left thigh contusion