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The Miami Heat Win Big On Opening Night

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The Miami Heat came out hot in their opening game of the season against their in-state opponents the Orlando Magic. The Miami Heat have a different look on the court this season due to players such as Dwyane Wade leaving for the Chicago Bulls. Chris Bosh was removed from the team due to medical issues.

The Big 3 era in Miami is officially over now that those players have departed, but now it is time for the team to rebuild and Pat Riley has started that process in the past few seasons. The players that the team has acquired over the past few season will make this team a contender in the eastern conference.

Hassan Whiteside is a player that has bounced around the NBA, but now he has found a home with the Heat and he is playing with a chip on his shoulder. Whiteside is one of the better big men in the league and he shows it every night.

His high energy is hard for opposing teams to keep up with and his numbers tell that story. In last night’s game Whiteside would collect a double double with 18 points and 14 rebounds. He is very alert around the basket on offense and defense and that is why he is such a great big man.

Justise Winslow the second year forward out of Duke also made a big impact in the opening game of the season. He would finish the game with 15 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists. Winslow showed great ball handling ability last season, and now he is going to get more playing time this year and show his talents off.

Dion Waiters had his debut as a member of the Heat last night and his points total would not be in the double digits, but he would finish with 9 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. Waiters did have a productive game and helped his team with the win.

The Magic kept the game close, but they could not capitalize on the offensive end. Serge Ibaka made his debut for the Magic last night and had a good game scoring 14 points, and grabbing 7 rebounds. Last night the Magic did not have good production off of their bench and that is why they lost the game.

The bench only accounted for 17 of the 96 points scored for the team in the game. The Magic starters all scored in the double digits, but their bench had an issue in that area. The Heat bench had 3 players in the double digits and that showed up in their final score.

In most categories the Heat played better than the Magic. The Magic had 11 turnovers while the Heat had 10. The Heat would finish with 52 total rebound and the Magic would finish with 44. Another important statistic in this game is the Heat’s 27 total assist, and the Magic finishing with 20.

The way the Heat moved the ball during this game and got fast break points helped them play at their own pace. If they can control games like this they can be a tough team to beat this season. Their next game will be a first round playoff rematch against the Charlotte Hornets.

Blest Eshareturi is a contributor to Sports Rants. Writer for the MLB, NBA, and NFL sections. Teams that are followed are the New York Giants, New York Yankees, and the Miami Heat. New York City native with a passion for sports.

NBA

Eagles’ Jalen Mills Arrested

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Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills was arrested in Washington D.C following an altercation with Washington Wizards player Devin Robinson, according to the Associated Press’ Howard Fendrich (via the Washington Post).

Both men were charged with disorderly affray, which is described as fighting in a public place.

According to the Washington Post’s Candace Buckner, a verbal altercation broke out between the two that escalated into a physical fight that took place on the sidewalk.

Robinson was transported to a hospital following the fight with Mills and upon his release he was taken to to department’s 2nd District station where Mills was detained.

Mills and Robinson were “involved in a verbal altercation which escalated into a physical altercation on the sidewalk adjacent to the Opera Night Club” in the early hours of Saturday morning, according to the police report.

Both teams have since responded, with the Wizards essentially parting ways with Robinson due to the incident.

“We are aware of the incident this morning involving Devin and are disappointed in his actions. We will not extend him a qualifying offer for the 2019-20 season,” the Wizards said in a statement.

The Eagles issued a statement saying that they are “aware of the situation” and “continuing to gather more information.”

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Dallas Mavericks

Mavs’ Kristaps Porzingis Accused of Rape in New York

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Dallas Mavericks big man and former New York Knick Kristaps Porzingis is being investigated back New York for an alleged rape that a woman told police took place sometime last year, according to the New York Post.

The woman, who informed police about the alleged rape on Thursday, says that she waited more than a year to come forward regarding the incident because she had discussed receiving $68,000 from Porzingis to keep quiet.

Roland G. Riopelle, the attorney for Porzingis, has since denied the allegations and has said they had previously referred the case to federal authorities due to the “accuser’s extortionate demands.”

“We are aware of the complaint that was made against Mr. Porzingis on Friday and unequivocally deny the allegations,” Riopelle said. “We made a formal referral to federal law enforcement on Dec. 20, 2018, based on the accuser’s extortionate demands. We also alerted the National Basketball Association months ago, and they are aware of the ongoing investigation of the accuser by federal law enforcement. We cannot comment further on an ongoing federal investigation. Please refer any questions to the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the National Basketball Association.”

The woman alleges that the incident took place on February 7th, 2018, at the Sky building in New York, where Porzingis lived, just hours following Porzingis suffering a torn ACL, the injury that has kept him off the court for more than a year.

An NBA spokesman said the league is aware of the situation while the Knicks’ team spokesperson said; “This is Kristaps’ personal matter and not related to the Knicks.” Mavericks owner Mark Cuban stated that the team is aware of the situation but “we have been instructed by federal authorities not to comment.”

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Knicks had informed the Mavericks of the pending Porzingis rape allegations during a trade call with NBA headquarters, that took place on January 31st,  that finalized the deal that sent Porzingis to the Mavericks.

A spokesman for the New York Police Department issued the following: “The NYPD takes sexual assault and all rape cases extremely seriously, and urges anyone who has been a victim to file a report so we can perform a comprehensive investigation, and offer support and services to survivors.”

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Golden State Warriors

Warriors’ DeMarcus Cousins Says Fans Have Called Him ‘N—-r’, Says He’s Reported it to League

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Golden State Warriors big man DeMarcus Cousins is speaking out about how NBA fans treat players, revealing that fans have called him the N-word during games and stating that he had reported the incidents to the league.

Cousins discussed the incidents during an interview with Chris Haynes on the ‘Posted Up’ podcast:

“Oh, I’ve been called n—-r, and it’s crazy because this has happened to me on a few occasions. I reported it to the league, and, you know, I may have said whatever I said back, and I was still punished for it. But obviously it became a bigger issue when it was Russ [Westbrook] and he was still fined for it. I don’t really understand it. We’re the product. We push this league. So, I don’t understand. When does our safety, when does, it become important?”

While Cousins spoke candidly about his experiences, he did not specific which cities in which he heard the racial slurs.

“I don’t really want to, because I’m not really trying to put a label on an entire fan base” Cousins said when discussing which cities he heard the slurs. T”here are ignorant individuals in every city. I’ll just put it like that. [NBA] tells you to ignore it, or whatever the case may be. But how many times am I supposed to ignore that? Me coming from where I come from [Mobile, Alabama]. They lucky all they got was a response.”

While Cousins did not mention any cities or teams, Haynes reported that one city was Sacramento, where Cousins spent the majority of his career playing for the Kings.

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