Michael Beasley, Greg Oden not needed as LeBron-less Miami Heat win opener

What happened to Michael Beasley and Greg Oden? The Miami Heat won their first game of the post-LeBron James era, and for a night at least, showed that they didn’t need his rare talents to achieve victory. Chris Bosh had a scoring and rebounding explosion, showing off why Pat Riley gave him a max contract in the offseason and reminding the NBA world that he was quite the alpha-dog before he got shoved aside in favor of LeBron. Dwyane Wade threw in 21 points of his own, hushing those who claimed he was washed up. But LBJ was far from the only face missing from the new-look Miami Heat. Down at the end of the bench, Oden and Beasley were nowhere to be found.

Both players were added as low-cost experiments last season, Michael Beasley on his last legs figuratively after a series of immaturity issues, and Greg Oden on his last legs literally after knee injuries nearly derailed his career. But neither saw much meaningful action during the Miami Heat season, and by the time the playoffs came around, both had been shoved to the end of the bench. But now they’re both unceremoniously gone, and while it’s possible one could still return at some point, the other is apparently gone for good.

Beasley was never in the Miami Heat’s plans heading into the 2014-2015 season, and after failing to catch on elsewhere in the NBA, signed a contract last month to play basketball in China of all places. The Miami Heat could have had him for the minimum but didn’t want him. Oden is a different matter. Riley spoke publicly about wanting to keep him around. But after a domestic violence arrest in the offseason, Oden’s NBA career appears to be on hold entirely. The Heat could re-add him at some point if the charges are dropped.

But the team appears to have moved on. Rookies like James Ennis and Shabazz Napier are leading the new youth movement in Miami. And with those players having unfettered potential and a clean history, the Heat appeared to have simply lost interest in continuing with baggage-laden reclamation projects like Michael Beasley and Greg Oden. Although no one will argue that the Miami Heat are as talented as they were last season when they had LeBron James, they are more deep overall this season. It’s unlikely Oden or Beasley could have seen the floor much even if they had been signed. And so the end of the bench is occupied by newcomers instead.

Michelle Wie vs Stacy Lewis LPGA Tour golf rivalry renewed in Taiwan

Michelle Wie and Stacy Lewis have finally renewed their friendly LPGA Tour rivalry – and they had to travel halfway around the world to make it happen. Perhaps the two most popular American female golfers, Wie and Lewis briefly appeared to finally be kicking off a Tiger-Mickelson type of high level competition earlier this season. But Wie’s game fell apart as Lewis struggled, then Lewis started taking some of the tour’s Asian stops off even as Wie returned to action. Now finally, as the Fubon tournament in Taiwan, both are playing at the same time – and both are in contention.

Stacy Lewis finds herself at five under after one round in Taipei, while Michelle Wie is positioned at four under par. They’re both back a bit from the top of the mountain, where two other players are currently tied at eight under. But with Lewis and Wie both on their games so far this weekend, the LPGA Tour can finally feel some degree of optimism that the two may indeed be re-finding their games at the same time. That can turn into serious ratings potential if the two golfers are indeed playing at the top of their games by the time the Tour comes back stateside.

For now, relatively few Americans are seeing either golfer in action. Because the tournament is in Taiwan, live broadcasts in the United States are airing in the middle of the night. But perhaps it’s just as well. Even as the Michelle Wie vs Stacy Lewis begins to gain traction, the audiences can come later. For now, the key is for both players to continue competing strong beyond simply the first day. In the mean time, the Taiwan tournament heads into day two with plenty of golfers in contention.

Round 3 Fubon LPGA Leaderboard in Taiwan: time TV schedule scoring

The Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship has the top players on the women’s golf tour playing halfway around the world for yet another weekend, with the first two rounds having already concluded thanks to the vast difference in time zones and RD 3 happening tonight. This is the second to last LPGA Tour event in Asia for 2014 before the action returns to North America for the rest of the year. The top of the LPGA Leaderboard is a mix of surprise names and familiar faces.

Inbee Park is all alone atop the LPGA Leaderboard after thirty-six holes, sitting at eighteen under after following her opening round of 64 with a second round of 62. She’s followed by Shanshan Feng at fifteen under, who had been tied with her for the lead after one round. Then comes four players tied at ten under: Mirim Lee, Lydia Ko, Azahara Munoz, and Line Vedel. Stacy Lewis is at nine under. This is the first Asia-based tournament in which Lewis has participated in some time, after having sat out several of the most recent dates. Michelle Wie, who disappeared from the LPGA Tour for a time with an injury, is back in action but is twelve strokes off the lead at six under.

The Fubon LPGA Leaderboard in Taiwan continues with Round 3 tonight with a start of 3:00am eastern time, midnight pacific time, and airs on TV on the Golf Channel, live for three hours. Here’s more on Michelle Wie vs Stacy Lewis