Heat’s Erik Spoelstra misses Dwyane Wade, marvels at LeBron’s ‘ridiculous’ start

first_imgLOS ANGELES — Seeing Dwyane Wade sit courtside was a comfort, Erik Spoelstra said, but it could be better.Wade was wearing a red and black track suit, sitting on the baseline near the Miami Heat bench. Retirement in Los Angeles seems to suit him, if not his former team.“If you print this, I’d rather have him in uniform,” Spoelstra deadpanned to the press prior to tip-off. “That’d be good, right? He’s gonna sit right by our bench. So I’m gonna let him take one of our huddles.”As things stand, the Heat have a pretty good team anyway, getting out to a 6-2 start entering Friday night’s game against the Lakers. With new star Jimmy Butler anchoring the franchise, Spoelstra still has a shooting guard to lean on. One of the things he most admires about James is his commitment to his physical well-being, which is why he’s not surprised that the 34-year-old star is still near the top of his game in his 17th season. Spoelstra called James’ willingness to work “uncommon,” which explains how James has managed to stay so youthful even long after his Heat days.Spoelstra was interested, too, in the pairing James is enjoying with Anthony Davis, who he said makes a very natural fit. James has a way of blending into what a roster needs, but Spoelstra believes Davis’ game actually fits James’ natural skills well.“I think that’s part of his genius, is he’s able to morph into whatever he needs to be to bring out the best out of the other players,” he said. “And I think his connection with (Chris Bosh) was pretty natural, and this just fits like a glove with LeBron and A.D., the way they work together. Their skill sets complement each other.”BRIEFLYVeteran point guard Rajon Rondo missed his eighth consecutive game to start the season with a calf strain. The Lakers were planning to ramp up Rondo’s activity in practice this week, but they listed him as doubtful following Thursday’s practice. The team did not shoot around on Friday morning before the game. Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Related Articles Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions center_img Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersWade visited with the team on Friday afternoon, squeezing in facetime with Miami and his old team after they flew in the night before from Phoenix. He’s moved residences to Southern California, and his son Zaire Wade is a senior standout on the court for Sierra Canyon High alongside Bronny James.While Spoelstra knew Wade would come in support of the Heat, with whom he enjoyed 15 NBA seasons, the Miami coach also knew Wade would likely cheer on his close friend James, at least a little bit.“Ah look, I get it,” he said. “But LeBron always looked better in red and black.”The LeBron in purple and gold isn’t so bad, either, Spoelstra admitted. Going into the game, James was averaging the highest assist total (11.1) of his career and leading the league. Spoelstra coached James to two of his four league MVP awards, but he was more scorer than dish-giver for his best Heat teams.“Every year he’s doing something that’s just ridiculous, that you can’t explain,” Spoelstra said. “That’s why he’s the best player in the game.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NORWALK – Authorities have issued an arrest warrant for 32-year-old Herminio Sanchez Merino of Norwalk in connection with the shooting death of a 23-year-old man outside a nightclub, police said.Authorities said the victim, Juan Vasquez, also of Norwalk, was standing outside the Pioneer Club at about 2a.m. Sunday when the shooting occurred.“He was waiting out in front for his girlfriend to come out of the club and got into a verbal altercation with one of the band members,” said Sgt. Alec MacArthur of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau.The other man pulled out a handgun and shot Vasquez, who died later at St. Francis Hospital, MacArthur said. Police talk man out of suicide WHITTIER – Police officials talked a suicidal man out of shooting his wife and children, Whittier police spokesman Jason Zuhlke said Monday.At midnight Friday, a man called the Whittier Police Department and said he was threatening his wife and children with a gun at the Blue Pacific Motel, Zuhlke said.After talking with dispatchers over the phone and officers at the scene, the man agreed to surrender to officers. He was taken to a mental institution for an assessment. Suspected thief arrested at hotel WHITTIER – Police arrested a 25-year-old Whittier man on suspicion of driving a stolen vehicle Sunday at the Best Whittier Inn.The officer ran the license plates of a vehicle parked at the motel Sunday and discovered it was stolen, said police spokesman Jason Zuhlke.Three hours after identifying the car, a man came out of a motel room to move the car and was arrested. Officials would not identify the man. Garage shooting remains a mystery WHITTIER – Authorities continue to search for suspects in the case of a man who was shot and killed inside his garage days before Christmas.Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials identified the victim as 25-year-old Marco Vasquez of unincorporated Whittier.Vasquez was shot several times in his upper body in the garage of his apartment complex in the 10000 block of Ben Hur Avenue at 7:20p.m. Dec. 19.Anyone with information about the case is asked to call (323) 890-5500. Suspected robber caught by dog WHITTIER – A repeat robber led Whittier police on a short chase before being caught and arrested at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, police said.Whittier Police spokesman Jason Zuhlke said a police dog was used to apprehend the robber, who was found hiding in a house near the 7300 block of Milton Avenue.The man, who police would not identify, was taken to a local hospital for minor dog-bite injuries, Zuhlke said. La Mirada to vote on fireworks law LA MIRADA – At 7 p.m. tonight, the City Council will consider an ordinance keeping the use of fireworks legal on July 4. The meeting will be in the council chambers at City Hall, 13700 La Mirada Blvd.Since the city has had problems with fireworks, city officials legalize their use on a year-to-year basis.Last year, 41 citations were issued, compared with 44 in 2004, and the city received 103 calls for service related to fireworks, compared with 117 in 2004. – From staff reportslast_img read more