#1 Winslow, a first-round pick out of Duke last season w von love520 13.06.2019 05:05

MIAMI -- Who said the days of significant centers are dead in the NBA?Not the 1-0 Miami Heat or the 1-0 Charlotte Hornets, who meet Friday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.It will be the home opener for the Heat, who remade their team largely around 7-foot, 265-pound center Hassan Whiteside, who signed a four-year, $98 million contract extension in July.Whiteside had 18 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks in 31 minutes on Wednesday night, leading Miami to a 108-96 win over the Orlando Magic.I wasnt trying to make a statement, Whiteside said when asked about his first game since signing the initial major contract of his career. I was just playing.This is the first time that the 27-year-old Whiteside has had his name at the top of the marquee, sharing top billing with point guard Goran Dragic.The Heat no longer have the Big Three that won two NBA titles and got them to four championship series in four years. Dwyane Wade bolted to the Chicago Bulls, Chris Bosh is in limbo due to health concerns and LeBron James had previously gone back home to the Cleveland Cavaliers.Over on the Hornets side, they are also relying heavily on a center, 7-2, 270-pound Roy Hibbert, who has been in the spotlight since he was drafted in the first round by the Indiana Pacers in 2008.Hibbert, 29, is a two-time NBA All-Star, but he has bounced around lately, spending last season on a brutal Los Angeles Lakers team before signing this year with Charlotte.In fact, Hibbert signed with the Hornets on the same day Whiteside re-signed with Miami -- July 7.On Wednesday night against the Milwaukee Bucks, Hibbert made his Hornets debut, getting 15 points, nine rebounds, four blocks and three assists. He made 6-of-9 shots from the floor, 3-of-3 from the foul line and grabbed four of his rebounds on the offensive end, giving Charlotte 32 excellent minutes.The Hornets led by as many as 24 points in the third quarter.We just stuck to our game plan, said Hornets point guard Kemba Walker, who had eight assists. We got a lot of stops.Part of the plan for the Hornets, both on Friday night and for the entire season, is to get the ball inside to HIbbert, who had two monster dunks against the Bucks.Charlotte let injury-prone center Al Jefferson go in free agency after a season in which he played just 47 games, including only 18 starts.Hibbert, who played 81 games last season, is much more durable than that. In fact, he has played at least 65 games in each of his eight seasons in the NBA.Thats not to say Hibbert has nothing to prove. His scoring average dipped to a career-low 5.9 points last season, perhaps influenced by the train wreck that was the Lakers season.For his career, HIbbert averages 10.6 and 6.6 rebounds.But while Hibbert is looking for a bounce-back year, Whiteside is trying to continue to ascend to what he believes is his rightful place among the games greats.In Heat circles, Whiteside is well known for using any perceived slight as motivation for domination -- such as when he was only third last season in the voting for the NBA Defensive Player of the Year.Whiteside led the NBA last season with 3.7 blocks per game, adding 14.2 points and 11.8 rebounds.He was even better after the All-Star Game, averaging 17.5 points, 13.3 rebounds and 3.4 blocks. Thats why Heat president Pat Riley made re-signing Whiteside his No. 1 offseason priority.Beyond the intriguing center matchup, there are several other storylines to follow for Fridays game:--Hornets small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who played just seven games last season due to a shoulder injury, had 23 points and 14 rebounds on Opening Night.He will be opposed by Heat small forward Justise Winslow, a first-round pick out of Duke last season who is just beginning to tap into his potential.--Hornets backup center Cody Zeller, who gets by mostly on sheer hustle, missed the entire preseason due to a knee injury. Yet he produced 15 points in 14 minutes on Wednesday, making 5-of-6 shots from the floor.--Hornets power forward Frank Kaminsky, their first-round pick last year, missed the opener due to a strained right foot. His status is undetermined.--Heat shooting guards Josh Richardson (knee) and Wayne Ellington (quad) sat out the opener and likely wont be ready for a while. Dion Waiters, who averaged 9.8 points last season while serving mostly as a backup for the Oklahoma City Thunder, started for Miami at shooting guard while also making his Heat debut.--Miamis other new starter this year is 6-9 forward Luke Babbitt, a career 40.2-percent shooter from three-point range. This is his seventh year in the league, and last season was his career high in scoring (7.0). Reds Jerseys China . The 43-year-old closer, in his 19th and final big league season, has said hed like to play the outfield. Yankees manager Joe Girardi says hes thinking about allowing Rivera to do it this weekend, when the Yankees finish their season with a three-game series at the Houston Astros. Custom Reggie Sanders Jersey . Reassurance came from Paul Tesori, his caddie and close friend whose newborn son is in intensive care in a Florida hospital. "Paul sent me a text this morning, just told me he loved me and wanted to go out and fight as hard as I would any other day," Simpson said Sunday after doing just that. http://www.customredsjersey.com/custom-barry-larkin-jersey-large-132w.html . The 19-year-old Olsen played 34 games with the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL this season. In that time, hes recorded 17 goals and 17 assists with 36 penalty minutes. Barry Larkin Jersey Large . Newcastle dominated in the early stages but City weathered the storm and then raised its game in extra time. Negredo broke the deadlock from close range after a simple move in the 99th minute before Dzeko took the ball round goalkeeper Tim Krul to seal the victory in the 105th. Custom Ken Griffey Jersey . LOUIS -- Mike Smith is used to facing plenty of shots, so this was nothing new. CLEVELAND -- Losing the opener might not be Torontos only setback early in the AL Championship Series.Blue Jays second baseman Devon Travis aggravated an injury in his right knee during a 2-0 loss to the Cleveland Indians on Friday night and afterward sounded pessimistic about his chances of returning in the series.It hurts pretty bad, Travis said. I felt good going into the game. I covered first on that bunt and jarred my knee a little bit. I felt a super sharp pain in my knee and it felt like it was going to give out a little bit.Travis is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday before Game 2 and the Blue Jays are hoping for good results. Toronto manager John Gibbons didnt want to guess whether Travis would be available for the remainder of the series.Theyre still checking him out, Gibbons said. He felt good going into the game. He planted and felt a sharp pain in his knee, and he wasnt able to continue. Thats where were at rigght now.dddddddddddd What happens (next), I couldnt tell you.The 25-year-old Travis missed two games in the Division Series against Texas after sustaining a bone bruise in his right knee. He batted .300 with 11 homers and 50 RBI in 101 games during the regular season.If hes ruled out, the Blue Jays cant replace him on the 25-man roster for the rest of the ALCS because its a pre-existing injury.In the fifth, Coco Crisp dropped a bunt down the first base line that was fielded by Edwin Encarnacion. He threw to Travis, who caught the ball and then began walking in obvious pain. He was replaced by Ryan Goins, who was lifted for pinch-hitter Darwin Barney in the seventh.Goins played in 77 games this year, batting .186 with 12 RBI. He was added to the ALCS roster because of Torontos concerns about Travis knee. ' ' '

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