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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

Kings, NBA Announce Start of Joint Investigation into Allegations Against Luke Walton

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The Sacramento Kings and the NBA have announced that they have started a join investigation into the allegations of sexual assault made by
Kelli Tennant, a former host on Spectrum SportsNet LA, in a civil suit filed against new head coach Luke Walton from alleged incidents back in 2014.

“The Kings and the NBA take these allegations very seriously and will collaborate to conduct a complete and thorough investigation,” the team and league said in a statement.

The Kings’ investigation will be led by Sue Ann Van Dermyden, the founding partner of Sacramento law firm Van Dermyden Maddux, and Jennifer Doughty, a senior associate attorney at the firm, while the league’s investigation will be led by Elizabeth Maringer, the league’s senior vice president and assistant general counsel, integrity and investigations.

Tennant held a news conference earlier this week to comment on the allegations to which Walton’s attorney responded by calling the allegations “baseless” and calling Tennat “an opportunist”.

Walton became the head coach of the Sacramento Kings immediately following his dismissal as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this month.

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NBA

Former NBA Player Sebastian Telfair Convicted in Gun Case, Faces 15 Years in Prison

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Former NBA player and once highly touted young prospect Sebastian Telfair has been convicted of possessing a firearm and could face up to 15 years in prison, according to TMZ Sports.

Telfair, 33, was busted back in June 2017 in Brooklyn, New York after cops found several weapons in his possession during a traffic stop.

Telfair, a high school phenom, played for the Boston Celtics, Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder, Toronto Raptors, and Phoenix Suns, among others, throughout his 12 seasons in the NBA, but many believe that he never reached his full potential.

Telfair plead not guilty and tried to fight back the charges, but a jury found him guilty on Wednesday of felony criminal possession of a weapon.

Telfair, who could face up to 15 years in prison, is scheduled back in court in June for sentencing.

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Golden State Warriors

Sports Reporter Suing Kings’ Luke Walton for Sexual Assault Allegations

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Sacramento Kings new head coach Luke Walton is already in the news, but for all the wrong reasons, and he has hired attorney Mark Baute to defend him against the allegations of sexual battery made by sports reporter Kelly Tennant, who is suing Walton.

According to TMZ Sports, Walton and his legal team are blasting the accuser, and Baute issued the following statement;

“Luke Walton retained me to defend him against these baseless allegations,” Baute said. 

“The accuser is an opportunist, not a victim, & her claim is not credible. We intend to prove this in a courtroom.”

According to the suit, Tennant, who worked as a reporter for Spectrum SportsNet and SportsNet LA, claims that while Walton was an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors, he asked her to come and meet him at the Casa Del Mar Hotel in Santa Monica, California, to drop off a book she had published.

Tennant says that she asked Walton to write the forward in her book due to a business relationship that the two had had for several years.

Upon arriving at Walton’s hote, he conviced her to come up to his room so that the two could “catch up” and upon arriving in his room Walton pinned her to the bed and placed his hips and legs over her body, forcing kisses on her neck, face, and chest.

Tennant claims that she screamed for him to stop and attempted to break free, but Walton held her down, groped her breasts and groin, and rubbed his erection on her leg.

Tennant claims she was “in shock and fear. She was afraid she was about to be raped,” the suit states. 

Additionally, Tennant claims that when Walton finally stopped and released her he escorted her out of the hotel room as if nothing ever happened and she claims that “He smiled, laughed again and made the disturbing statement, ‘Good to see you,'”

The disturbing behavior allegedly continued while Walton was the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers back in May 2017, and Tennant claims that Walton once greeted her by uttering “vulgar, guttural sounds at her” and said, “mmmm … you’re killing me in that dress.”

The Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, and the Sacramento Kings all stated that they had no knowledge of the alleged incident during Walton’s tenure.

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