Jul 02, 2022
Heat blown out 100-66 by Lakers in summer-league opener, with Nikola Jovic uneven in debut
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Pedigree was on the Los Angeles Lakers’ side in Saturday’s summer-league opener in San Francisco. Shooting clearly was not on the Miami Heat’s side, in what turned into a 100-66 loss at Chase Center, home of the Golden State Warriors.
Against a summer roster that featured Scotty Pippen Jr., son of the Hall of Fame forward, and Shareef O’Neal, son of former Heat center Shaquille O’Neal, the Heat shot 5 of 18 from the field in the first quarter, 9 of 44 in the first half, closing at .280 from the field.
The Heat are playing the three games at the California Classic with somewhat of a B Team, with Omer Yurtseven and Marcus Garrett to join the roster in a week for the upcoming Las Vegas Summer League.
In his NBA debut, Heat first-round pick Nikola Jovic started at forward, closing with three points on 1-of-6 shooting and three rebounds in 20:39. Jovic missed his first four shots before converting a third-quarter 3-pointer.
Jovic signed his four-year rookie-scale contract prior to the game.
Other Heat starters included 2021-22 roster players Haywood Highsmith, Javonte Smart and Mychal Mulder, with undrafted center Orlando Robinson rounding out the first five.
Highsmith added 11 points for the Heat, converting three 3-pointers, also grabbing eight rebounds. Smart scored 13, but was 1 of 8 on 3-pointers.
Pippen scored 12 for the Lakers, with O’Neal adding six points and six rebounds.
Among those on hand to support the Heat’s summer squad was Heat guard Gabe Vincent, who earlier in the week had his $1.8 million salary guaranteed for next season.
The game featured the NBA’s first assessment of a “take foul,” when the Heat were called for intentionally fouling to stop play amid a Lakers transition possession in the first half. That led to one Lakers free throw, with Los Angeles retaining possession.
The NBA is experimenting with the rule during summer league, with possible adoption next season.
The Heat’s summer roster next plays at 5 p.m. Eastern Sunday (NBA TV) against a similar roster of rookies, draft picks, young players, prospects and free agents from the Sacramento Kings.
News Source: mercurynews.com
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Steelers Insiders ‘Worried’ About QB Kenny Pickett: ‘He Looks Way Behind’
Justin Casterline/Getty Images Quarterback Kenny Pickett during the NFL Combine on March 3, 2022.
On Saturday August 13 the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Seattle Seahawks at Acrisure Stadium in the preseason opener for both teams. But if you believe at least one particular member of the Pittsburgh sports media, 2022 first-round pick Kenny Pickett may be held out of the game entirely.
The latest Steelers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Steelers newsletter here!Kenny Pickett ‘May Not Be Ready’ for Preseason Action
“Pickett isn’t close to being ready. In fact, I’m told he may not be ready to play exhibitions yet. That’s how shaky they feel he has looked in camp,” Mark Madden told Tim Benz during TribLive’s ‘Madden Monday’ podcast on August 8.
Meanwhile, projected starter Mitch Trubisky hasn’t looked particularly good in camp, either.
“Trubisky needs reps,” added Madden. “If you made me predict right now what the division of duty will be in the exhibition game on Saturday — the first preseason game — I’d say Trubisky and Rudolph each play half, and Pickett maybe gets a series.”
Madden believes the most sensible approach would be to start Mason Rudolph during the early part of the regular-season. “
You know he can play a little,” he said, making reference to Rudolph’s 5-4-1 career record as a starter. Madden is also well-aware that the fan base will be unhappy if that’s the direction the Steelers choose to go.
“The great unwashed here in Pittsburgh have long since decided that they don’t like Mason Rudolph, but he’s having the best camp and has the most experience in the offense,” noted Madden, before adding: “What would be wrong with Rudolph starting the first game, maybe starting the first couple, while Trubisky catches up on the learning curve?”Mark Madden and Tim Benz ‘Worried’ About Kenny Pickett
“I’m worried about Pickett, though,” added Madden. “Tim, you’ve been there, you tell me. The people I talk to tell me he looks way behind. Way behind. Not that he is going to be terrible forever, not that he can’t be their quarterback for the long-term when the long-term gets here. But like, way behind as in no chance of playing this year.”
Tim Benz agreed with Madden’s assessment.
“From what I saw, up until this week it wasn’t even functional. Like you couldn’t even tell what the offense was supposed to be doing, and I don’t know if that was mainly him, all because of him, circumstances beyond him. I think this past week — later in the week, after he got some reps with the 2s and it looked like the second-team offense was ahead of the second-team defense — he looked like he at least belonged.
“I hear they hesitate to even play him in the first exhibition,” added Madden, before Benz made an excuse for Pickett’s struggles.
“I think that might have a lot to do with the third-string offensive line because it is apparently not functional. These are third-string Steelers defensive linemen they are going against and they are getting housed on a regular basis,” he said.
“It’s always something … I want to hear excuses why things are going right, not why they are going wrong,” offered Madden.
“Here’s what I’ve heard about Pickett that is a little surprising to me,” concluded Benz, summing up the exchange. “His issues weren’t about him getting the verbiage out of his mouth, it’s not getting the team in and out of the huddle, it’s not knowledge of the playbook or the offense. It’s he’s having a very difficult time dealing with the speed of the game and not putting much air under the ball when he throws deep and knowing how quickly the ball needs to come out and the quickness of the reads. All of these things we thought he would be ahead of the curve on than the average quarterback, he is not.”
All that said, if Pickett stays a firm No. 3 on the depth chart, that would seem to reduce the chances that the Steelers try to trade Mason Rudolph prior to the start of the regular season, despite Rudolph being viewed as “attractive” trade bait.
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