Pistons seek to move closer to Heat

The Miami Heat got run out of their own building on Thursday night, but now they will get another chance in a game that is crucial to the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

Drummond will match up with 7-foot, 265-pound Heat center Hassan Whiteside, who is averaging 14.0 points and 11.8 rebounds, including 3.2 on the offensive glass.

Backup Heat center Bam Adebayo, a 6-10, 245-pound rookie, is averaging 7.4 points and 5.5 rebounds in 20.5 minutes. Over 36 minutes, Adebayo’s averages would be 13.0 points and 9.6 rebounds.

All in all, Saturday’s game should be quite a battle in the paint.

On a night when Lonzo Ball made every one of his shots for the Lakers, Isaiah Thomas wanted to make sure his one playful shot at the rookie’s shooting form landed as well.

Thomas, a six-year veteran guard, was asked on Monday after Los Angeles’ victory in Atlanta about what he thinks of Ball’s shot and his infamous technique, now that they are teammates and the rookie guard is shooting well of late. Thomas gave a sly look over toward Ball’s locker to see if he was around and listening — not in a sinister way, but more like he wanted Ball to hear him give the point guard a hard time about his form.

“I mean, it’s ugly as hell,” Thomas said as he began defending Ball’s shooting style. “It’s an ugly shot, but he’s been successful with it his whole life. So you get to the highest level, there is no need to change it. You just got to figure out ways to continue to make it better.”

After Teague left the court, Jazz guard Jae Crowder and Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau were issued double technicals for arguing with each other. Crowder was later ejected for picking up his second technical foul with 45.3 seconds remaning.

Timberwolves forward Karl-Anthony Towns also was ejected just before halftime when he was called for his second technical foul for arguing a non-call.

Referee Kane Fitzgerald said after the game that Towns’ first technical Cheap NFL Jerseys USA foul was for dead-ball contact of an elbow to the Crowder’s face. The second technical was for “continuous complaint. Three or four plays in a row he was complaining and a technical foul was given.”

When asked whether he thought Towns’ fouls were justified, Thibodeau Basketball Cheap Jerseys only said: “Let’s just say I was very disappointed in the way the game was managed.”

Timberwolves forward Jimmy Butler, who is sidelined due to surgery on his right knee, approved of Teague’s fiery play.

there’s a fair debate as to whether the Titans even should’ve played him.

It’ll be fascinating to see how Hundley plays, both in terms of saving the Packers this season and how it might impact his future. As was the case for Jimmy Garoppolo last season, Hundley is entering a high-profile role during the third year of his rookie deal. If he plays well, the Packers would be forced into a compelling quandary. They obviously aren’t about to move on from Rodgers, who will turn 34 in December. The Patriots can see the end of the 40-year-old Tom Brady’s career coming; the Packers are still years away from replacing Rodgers and can’t justify keeping Hundley around as a backup.

Thanks to that play, the result was mostly academic. The Colts’ comeback attempt sputtered and Derrick Henry sealed the deal with a 72-yard touchdown run, moving the Titans to 3-3 and saving them from a deep hole in the AFC South race. Mariota finished with 306 yards on 23-of-32 passing, making the important plays even when the injury took away his bootleg/scrambling ability.

Now tied with the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars on top of the division, the Titans’ season is alive and well. They get the hapless Cleveland Browns next Sunday before a Week 8 bye, giving Mariota some much-needed time to rest that hamstring. If they fell to 2-4, the picture would be much grimmer, and that Week 4 boat-racing by the Texans would loom much larger. Getting back to .500 means everything in this critical juncture of the season.

Mariota clearly wasn’t 100 percent Monday, and there’s a fair debate as to whether the Titans even should’ve played him. But despite the flaws and concerning play early on, Mariota gutted it out and delivered the plays that Cassel would never make. As a result, the Titans avoided a bad home loss and get to recalibrate after their slow start, with all their hopes and goals still attainable. That’s the kind of luxury a team can afford when it has a true leader under center like Mariota.

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Kyle Seager was trolled by an infielder pitching in a blowout

Chris Gimenez isn’t a very good pitcher. That’s because he isn’t a pitcher, sure, but also because he isn’t very good. The utility infielder has appeared in six games as a mop-up reliever in blowouts, and he’s struck out exactly one of the 27 batters he’s faced, with a career 7.71 ERA. He pitches so that the real pitchers can rest.

That doesn’t mean he can’t troll a little bit when he gets someone out. Like his former teammate and friend, Kyle Seager, for example. Gimenez got the Mariners shortstop out on a deep fly ball on Tuesday night, and he had a helpful suggestion for him:

Gimenez retired the Mariners in order, and he did it on nine pitches, so perhaps he’s learning on the job. And while he’s bettering himself, he’s also dispensing life advice to his friends. Lift weights. Be stronger. Push yourself. Seek your limits and blow past them.

The last time the Padres had the third-overall pick, they drafted Donovan Tate, so you would understand if they were skeptical of another high school player. On the other hand, Mike Trout went 22 picks after Tate, so who knows anything? This was the pick of a franchise that’s unshackled from what they’ve done in the past.

This won’t end the high school/college debate, but it will be ammunition for years. What the Padres got, though, was exactly what they needed: upside. The minor-league system is already rolling, and they got another top prospect to throw onto the pile.

But for this team I have a powerful switch-hitting catcher. I’ll assume he would have been fine defensively because he would have been in catcher boot camp since he was a teenager, and he was a pretty good athlete. He just wouldn’t have been a Hall of Famer.

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