Pat Riley continued to juggle his roles as Heat president and coach when he left the team to attend Saturday's NCAA Tournament games in Houston to scout potential prospects for the NBA Draft.
With the Heat (13-59) poised to land one of the top four picks in the June draft, Riley has briefly stepped away from the team for the third time in as many weeks to scout players.
The Heat, two games into a four-game trip, traveled Friday to Boston and did not practice. It plays the Celtics on Sunday and Indiana on Monday. Riley, who planned to also attend a regional Saturday in either Phoenix or Charlotte, N.C., was not certain if he would coach Sunday's game.
Riley was in Houston for another look at Memphis point guard Derrick Rose. He also could get second looks this weekend at Stanford center Brook Lopez, UCLA center Kevin Love, North Carolina guard Ty Lawson and center Tyler Hansbrough. But Riley recently said most of his scouting work is done with the use of a laptop computer when he travels.
''Now that I've got video of these guys, before I land, I've got enough information about what they do, what they look like defensively, all that stuff,'' Riley said. ``You get an idea what a guy's about and go from there.''
Should Riley not return in time for Sunday's game, assistant Ron Rothstein is expected to coach the Heat for the fourth time this month.
ANOTHER GO FOR ZO?
Earlier this month, Alonzo Mourning said he was still ''about six or seven months from making a decision'' about his future. But during an interview aired Thursday on WIOD as part of the Heat's pregame show, Mourning sounded optimistic about a return.
''The mental part is there,'' Mourning said. ''I still want to play the game. I still feel like I have a lot to offer.'' Mourning, 38, tore multiple tendons in his right knee during a Dec. 19 game against the Hawks. Before the injury, he planned to retire after this season when his contract expires.kaynak : NBA