MIAMI -- Affixed to the back of Hassan Whitesides locker in the Miami Heat dressing room is a small photo, one he put there to serve as a constant source of motivation.Its of Ivan Drago -- the villainous boxer character from Rocky IV.I put it there to remind myself of how hard I have to train every day, Whiteside said.The Heat center is a huge fan of the Rocky movies, and right now even his big numbers havent been enough for Miami to win fights. Miami (2-8) has dropped six straight and owned the NBAs third-worst record entering Wednesday, even though Whiteside is averaging 18.2 points and a league-best 15.9 rebounds per game.Its early, but to put Whitesides start in some perspective consider that in the last 35 years only three players -- Kevin Love in 2010-11, Kevin Willis in 1991-92 and Moses Malone in 1982-83 -- averaged at least 18 points and 15 rebounds over an entire season. Thats the current pace for Whiteside, who put up 19 points and a career-high-tying 25 rebounds in Tuesdays 93-90 loss to Atlanta.Whiteside, obviously, is a load, Hawks forward Paul Millsap said.The Heat are Whitesides team now, something no one would have seen coming even a year ago when Miami still had Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to rely upon. So far, hes lived up to the expectations that accompanies signing a $98 million contract like the one he got for the next four years this past summer.His big-man colleagues around the league are taking notice.Sacramento center DeMarcus Cousins, who helped the U.S. win Olympic gold this summer at the Rio Games, was once a teammate of Whitesides. They would play 1-on-1 regularly after practice. Asked how those games went, Cousins acknowledged that Whiteside often won.At one point I thought Hassan was a better player than me, Cousins said. His talent was always there. Everything hes doing now I thought he was capable of doing then. ... Hes proved a lot of people wrong. Hes overcome a lot of adversity and obstacles -- and look at him now. Im extremely happy for him. I know hes been though hell and back to get where he is so he deserves everything thats coming his way.Whiteside is the only player in the NBA this season to grab at least 10 rebounds in each of his teams games. Hes second in blocks per game and his efficiency rating is seventh-best so far in the league behind only James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Chris Paul.Any questions about what a huge salary bump would do to Whitesides hunger on the court have apparently been answered.It really means something to him right now, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. Hes feeling the responsibility of inspiring and helping a team win. Its a big responsibility. And you have to put yourself out there as a competitor and show everybody how much it means to you. And when you do that you make yourself vulnerable, especially when you dont get the result that you want. But Hassan is putting himself out there.Hes even starting to show leadership off the court.The Heat locker room was a quiet and somber place Tuesday night, as would be expected after a sixth consecutive loss -- and yet another close one, which has been the case in most of their defeats so far this season.Whiteside didnt offer excuses. All he insisted was that the Heat, who have lost to San Antonio twice as well as Toronto, Charlotte, Oklahoma City, Utah, Chicago and Atlanta this season -- all of them have winning records so far -- still have plenty of time to figure things out.In other words, hes still got a lot of fight left.Thats what Ive been doing all my life, Whiteside said. You are going to have down days. You are going to have down weeks. That doesnt mean you give up or listen to outside people. They are not in here. They are not on the court. We are not listening to that. 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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. DETROIT -- Unhappy because they felt the calls werent being made evenly, the Detroit Tigers expressed their displeasure -- several times.Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez were ejected, along with manager Brad Ausmus and hitting coach Wally Joyner in a series of balls-and-strikes disputes as the Tigers five-game winning streak ended Saturday night in a 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.Victor Martinez argued with plate umpire Mike Everitt after taking strike one in the third inning. Martinez was tossed after about 30 seconds, then put his hands behind his back to continue the debate. He later flipped his helmet onto the field from the bench.It was just simply that we didnt like some of the pitches being called strikes on us, and it felt like we werent getting them called when our pitcher was on the mound, Ausmus said. So its not necessarily that we didnt think every pitch that was called a strike wasnt a strike, but wed like the same pitches called for us.Everitt spoke briefly to a pool reporter following the game.All of the players, as well as the manager and coach, were warned, and sometimes more than once or twice, Everitt said. I will be filing my report with the Commissioners office in New York.Kaleb Cowart hit his second career home run and C.J. Cron added an RBI single for the Angels.After Ian Kinsler struck out looking in the fifth, Joyner was ejected from the dugout by Everitt. Joyner came out to argue, Ausmus followed and was tossed, too.In the sixth, J.D. Martinez was called out, looked back at Everitt and was ejected.Ive never been ejected in a game, Martinez said. I just told him hes having a bad day. Everyone has bad days.Jhoulys Chacin (4-6) threw four scoreless innings and struck out five for the win. Fernando Salas closed for his fifth save.His relief picked up where he left off, in his last starrt against the Yankees, Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.dddddddddddd Thats really encouraging. Hes matched up well with these guys. He pitched a great game against them in Anaheim early in the season. He pitched four strong innings.Rookie Michael Fulmer (10-5) gave up three runs in the third.I dont know if he had quite the same stuff we saw early in the year, Scioscia said. As far as his command he was up in the zone and got behind a lot of hitters, needed a lot of pitches to get through five.Kinsler hit a leadoff homer in the first inning. Andrew Romine, who replaced J.D. Martinez, drove in Miguel Cabrera with a grounder in the eighth.SECOND TIMECowarts first career hit was a home run in a 15-3 loss to Toronto on Aug. 22, 2015.EJECTION NIGHTIt was the fourth career ejection for Victor Martinez, the first for J.D. Martinez, the 10th for Ausmus and the second for Joyner as a coach.TRAINERS ROOMAngels: Scioscia said 3B Yunel Escobars concussion symptoms are stabilizing and he could return to some baseball activities early next week. There wont be a rehab assignment, but hes going to need a couple days, I think, to make sure hes ready, Scioscia said. Escobar was placed on the seven-day disabled list Aug. 20.Tigers: RHP Jordan Zimmermann (neck) started an injury rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Toledo Friday night, allowing two hits and one walk while striking out one in 3 2/3 scoreless innings.UP NEXTAngels: LHP Tyler Skaggs (1-3) will make his first career appearance at Comerica Park.Tigers: RHP Anibal Sanchez (7-12) will make his 30th overall appearance and 22nd start of the season. Sanchez has recorded a quality start in each of his four home starts since the All-Star break. ' ' '
jj009, 07.09.2019 08:45