Tag:Miami Heat
Posted on: January 2, 2012 11:03 pm
 

Report Card: Hawks fly over the Heat

Posted by Royce Young


A: Atlanta Hawks

It's easy to overlook the boring old Hawks when talking about the class of the East. But remember: That team went to the Easter semifinals and gave the Bulls a decent run. Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Al Horford -- there's talent there. And while we all may want to forget about them and talk about the Heat, Knicks and Celtics, the Hawks aren't some team to take lightly in the East. They sent a pretty clear message by outscoring Miami 33-21 in the fourth while executing halfcourt possessions and holding the Heat's big three in check.

A: Minnesota Timberwolves

Dating back to last season, the Wolves had lost 18 straight games, including their 0-3 start. But with a win over the Spurs, the Wolves have just taken two in a row. Luke Ridnour showed Ricky Rubio that the starting job isn't his yet (nine assists), Kevin Love was terrific and the Wolves handled the Spurs with pretty much no problem. Minnesota's 2-3 on the season with two really tough losses to Oklahoma City and Miami. Not far off from being 4-1.

B: Dwyane Wade's block

Sometimes Dwyane Wade does stupidly incredible things. His block on Vladamir Radmonovic was one of these such things. Why only a B? Well, it came in a losing effort and let's keep in mind, Wade denied Vladamir Radmonovic at the rim.

B: 2003

Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter turned back the clock Monday. McGrady put together a big night for the Hawks with 16 points in a win over the Heat and Carter added 14 against the Thunder for the Mavericks off the bench. The cousins were doing work on the same night for the first time in... well, a while.

C: Boston Celtics

Boston got back to .500 with a home win over the Wizards, but it wasn't easy. It took a big fourth quarter to put away Washington and the Celtics actually trailed with six minutes left. It's a win, which is what's important, but it wasn't exactly an impressive performance against an overmatched team.

D: Miami Heat

The Hawks aren't terrible. So if you want to openly mock the Heat for losing their first game, keep in mind the Hawks are a playoff team with some good players. However, Miami's offense went completely stale, the Heat never tried to run and with everything shut down in the fourth, neither LeBron nor Wade tried to go to work on the block. Which I thought was the plan, right? Miami wasn't going to go 66-0, but this was a decent wake up call.

F: Flip Saunders

The embattled Wizards coach didn't get to watch his team for long against the Celtics as he picked up two technicals and was ejected in the first quarter.
Posted on: January 1, 2012 11:52 am
Edited on: January 1, 2012 12:34 pm
 

LeBron James proposes to Savannah Brinson

By Matt Moore

LeBron James proposed to his longtime girlfriend and the mother of his two children, Savannah Brinson Saturday night at a predictably lavish birthday party celebrating James turning 27 Friday. Both Chris Paul and Micky Arison tweeted their congratulations Sunday morning to the happy couple. 

Oh, and there was cake. There's always cake.

James and Brinson have been together since high school, and have two sons together, LeBron Jr. and Bryce. The engagement comes just months after James' close friend Chris Paul was married and a year after Carmelo Anthony, another close friend of James, tied the knot with LaLa Vasquez. It also comes just days after Vanessa Bryant filed for divorce from her husband Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant.

The decision also comes in line with a summer where James purposefully kept a low profile and has claimed that he's gotten back to "who he is" in mutiliple interviews. It seems, at least on the level James allows the public to see, that he's attempting to move away from the egotist he was portrayed as last year. 

Congratulations to the happy couple.
Posted on: December 30, 2011 11:34 pm
Edited on: December 31, 2011 1:08 am
 

Report Card 12.30.11: Heat escape from Wolves

Posted by Ben Golliver

lebron-wolves

A: LeBron James to Dwyane Wade game-winning inbounds lob

The Miami Heat really, really should have lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves, which is one of those phrases that you expect never to  think, much less write. But it's true: rookie point guard Ricky Rubio's 12-point, 12-assist effort kept Minnesota in it until the very end, and a careless LeBron James turnover on a critical late possession gave Minnesota multiple chances to steal their only game against the Heat this season.

Instead, order was restored by an absolutely brilliant play design from coach Erik Spoelstra. Miami set up a sideline inbounds play out of a timeout, using James as the inbounder. Miami ran two players to the near corner to pull Minnesota's defense away from the middle of the court and then ran guard Dwyane Wade on a looping pattern using a high screen from forward Chris Bosh to free himself. James then threw the lob pass to a suddenly open Wade, who did well to catch it from behind his body and finish a lay-up smoothly in one motion, as the Timberwolves defense tried, too late, to contest his shot. Final score: Miami 103-101. Can't draw it up any better than that.


A: Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls

You'll rarely see two teams play harder than the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers did during the third quarter on Friday night, when bodies were flying all over the court on both ends. Chris Paul and Derrick Rose went tit-for-tat, blow-for-blow throughout, and DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin finished more dunks than anyone could keep track of. But the Bulls, led by Rose, remained their steady selves, down the stretch, pulling out a 114-101 win at Staples Center. Rose finished with a ridiculous 29 points on just 14 shots, adding 16 assists on top of that. Elite, elite, elite play. Paul was excellent; Rose was on a different level.

B: Boston Celtics and Paul Pierce's return

It must have felt nice for the Boston Celtics to enjoy a return to normalcy. After a dismal 0-3 start to the season in All-Star forward Paul Pierce's absence, Boston got its first win of the year by thumping the pathetic Detroit Pistons at home, 96-85. Pierce wasn't dominant, finishing with 12 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists in just 23 minutes, but the contribution was much needed. 

C: Indiana Pacers

The Indiana Pacers remained undefeated on the season, improving to 3-0 on Friday night, but it took overtime and a gift from the Gods to make sure it happened. Indiana struggled to shoot all night, finishing just 36-for-94 from the field and a pitiful 2-for-10 from deep. The Cleveland Cavaliers, one of the league's weakest sisters, were almost exactly as terrible (34-for-88 overall and 5-for-25 from deep) but one Cavaliers miss swung this in Indiana's favor. Rookie guard Kyrie Irving made a beautiful series of moves to free himself near the rim on the final possession of regulation, staring at a point blank lay-up that would have given Cleveland a thrilling buzzer-beating victory. Instead, Irving, who finished with 20 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists, saw his attempt rim out, forced to hold his head in disbelief. The Pacers slammed the door, winning overtime 14-7, to seal the 98-91 victory. But, Indiana: you're better than all that.

D: New Orleans Hornets' bricklaying

The Phoenix Suns have had a rough start to the 2011-2012 season but they got an elixir for their ills in the New Orleans Hornets' bricklaying. Minus guard Eric Gordon, who didn't play because of a knee bruise, the Hornets starting backcourt of Jarrett Jack and Marco Belinelli combined to shoot 9-for-33. The starting frontcourt of Trevor Ariza and Carl Landry was only barely better, at 8-for-27. In fact, not a single one of the 12 Hornets who played shot 50 percent or better. The final damage: 26-for-90. Unreal.

F: Chris Bosh's ridiculous pass

Oh, Chris Bosh. Just when you were starting to look invincible and slightly more likeable you had to pull us back in. The following blooper brings plenty of unintentional comedy. Bosh, working near the three-point line, hesitates to pass the ball to center Joel Anthony, who decides to move away and set a pick for a teammate. With Anthony's head turned, Bosh decides to fire a pass to him, which richochets hard off his back and out of bounds. Bosh doubles down on the hilarity by giving Anthony a death stare, pointing at his own eyes as if to say, "Watch for the pass." Sorry, man. That one was on you.

Here's the video.



E for Effort: Minnesota Timberwolves

Just like the Charlotte Bobcats earlier this week, The young, frisky Timberwolves watched an excellent shot at upsetting the Heat slip between their fingers at the last possible moment thanks to miracle work by Dwyane Wade. Now 0-3 after suffering varying degrees of heartbreak throughout the first week of the season, Minnesota now possesses what it hasn't in previous seasons: its dignity. A respect level is beginning to develop around the league, thanks largely to the hype building around Rubio, and these close encounters will surely turn into nailbiting upsets before too long.
Posted on: December 30, 2011 9:50 pm
 

Wade's birthday message to LeBron: You're bald

Posted by Ben Golliver

Happy birthday, LeBron James. You look old and you're balding.

That was the message from the other two members of the Miami Heat's Big 3, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, when James turned 27-years-old on Friday. The pair passed on those birthday wishes to James during a halftime feature aired on Fox Sports North during Miami's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

"Happy birthday," Bosh deadpanned. "Shout out. To LeBron. Nah, happy birthday man. I know you look 37 but you're turning 27, good for you, man."

"Happy 27th birthday to you brother," Wade said, flashing his trademark smile. "Glad I could share this moment with you. I don't think you're 27 but that's what you tell us so we're going to roll with it."

Wade then continued to take a shot at James' receding hairline, pointing to his own forehead for effect.

"Been around to see you grow from an 18-year-old kid that had a line-up to a 27 year old man that don't have one," Wade said. "I'm looking forward to seeing it come back soon. Happy birthday brother."

With friends and teammates like these, who needs bloggers? Here's the birthday message video from Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to LeBron James via YouTube user 07rcmp.


Posted on: December 30, 2011 6:04 pm
Edited on: December 30, 2011 7:12 pm
 

3-on-2 Fast Break: First impressions

3-on-2 asks the EOB crew to compare two quick items for debate. This week's topic? First impressions. You can follow EOB on Twittergerald-wallace-2011 at @EyeonBasketball.

1. Which team has been most impressive in the first week of the season and why? 

Matt Moore: We knew how good the Thunder were going to be, and it took a huge near-miracle shot from Durant to assure victory on Thursday. We knew the Heat could be this good, we're just not certain they'll keep this pace. But how about the Portland Trail Blazers? They've been impressive on both sides of the ball and beat a very good Denver team that had been as impressive before Thursday. The Blazers are hitting on all cylinders and Thursday night Raymond Felton started to get involved. Jamal Crawford has been surprisingly efficient. LaMarcus Aldridge is still LMA, and Gerald Wallace has been a demon on defense. The Blazers have made a statement early. 

Royce Young: Oklahoma City. The Thunder are the only team with four wins, and they aren't wins over nobody. Orlando, an improved Minnesota squad on the road, at Memphis and a buzzer-beating victory over the defending champion Mavericks. And not just that, but those four wins both were sets of back-to-backs.

The Thunder had to overcome a lot of noise after the Memphis game to remain focused on their task. Outside distractions like supposed altercations and supposed feuds can be difficult to move past, but the Thunder have handled their business in the first week. They've put away four wins in five days. And against some pretty good teams. That's impressive.

Ben Golliver: Miami Heat. The Big 3 and company have dumptrucked Dallas, blown out Boston and come back against Charlotte after appearing a bit bored during the first half. In each game, the Heat had flashes of superhuman play that can't be match by anyone in the NBA, Oklahoma City included. LeBron James is the key: his improved mid-range game, attack mentality and restraint from hoisting long balls takes Miami a giant leap towards becoming the team everyone has wanted them to be since the Summer of 2010. A self-assured Chris Bosh helps too.

2. Which team has been most disappointing in the first week of the season and why?

MM:  How about the Suns? The Suns weren't going to be good, but they weren't supposed to be this bad. Steve Nash looks trapped on an island of misfit toys and this is not how his career should end. Marcin Gortat is fine, good even, but the rest of the team can't hit a shot and still can't defend. It's looking very bad early for the Suns. 

RY: Dallas. The Mavericks are going to be fine. I don't know if they're going to be fine in the sense they'll compete in the playoffs for a repeat, but they're going to be fine in terms of getting back to the playoffs. Thursday's game in Oklahoma City showed that those wheels are turning again finally after a pretty major champagne hangover. 

But still, an 0-3 start with two blowouts is not how you want to see a defending champ come out of the gate. There was a real complacent look to the Mavs early on. They were missing a bit of that drive. Totally understandable, but at some point you've got to snap out of it.

BG: Sacramento Kings. No one expected the Kings to be world-beaters this year and their season opening win was about as exciting as life gets for the Cowbellers. The disappointment is more about Tyreke Evans. What is going on here? Evans has barely produced in the boxscore aside from his scoring, which is way down from his career averages through three games. A 4-point, 5-turnover effort against the Portland Trail Blazers was particularly bewildering. Is he out of shape? Checked out? Out of sync? Struggling to deal with new teammates? Simply off to a slow start? Evans seemed like a prime candidate to bounce back from an injury-plagued sophomore season and get back to his sterling Rookie of the Year performance in 2009-2010. Instead, the nosedive continues.
Posted on: December 29, 2011 5:20 pm
Edited on: December 29, 2011 7:22 pm
 

Wade: Superman act was 'respect' for Cam Newton

Posted by Ben Golliver

dwyane-wade-cam

Miami Heat All-Star guard Dwyane Wade hit a game-winner against the Bobcats on Wednesday night, and he wasted no time sending a message to Charlotte's most prominent professional athlete, Panthers rookie quarterback Cam Newton.

After banking in a leaner in the closing seconds to give Miami its 96-95 winning margin, Wade turned to Newton, who was seated courtside, and emulated the quarterback's patented "Superman" celebration. Wade and All-Star forward LeBron James both mimicked ripping open their suits to reveal the Superman outfit, just as Newton does when celebrating touchdowns, while staring right at the 2011 NFL Draft's No. 1 pick.

The Charlotte Observer reports that Wade says he was not mocking Newton but was instead simply tipping his cap to the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback out of Auburn.
"That was a show of respect to him," Wade said. "Not showing nobody up."

"First of all, the guy is huge," Wade said of Newton. "... I've seen him play a lot. He's entertaining. He had one of the best rookie years of any player to ever play the game."
This seems plausible. Wade and James are both noted NFL fans. Wade, a Chicago native, roots for the Bears; James cheers for the Dallas Cowboys. Star athletes across sports are part of an elite fraternity and this can certainly be read as an homage to Newton's greatness.

But the play, the celebration and, really, the start to Miami's season combine to send a greater message. Not just to Newton but to all basketball observers. These guys look eager to create their own lasting, memorable, trend-setting greatness this year.

Hat tip: HoopsHype.com

Image via YouTube
Posted on: December 29, 2011 10:59 am
Edited on: December 29, 2011 6:06 pm
 

Video: Did Wade travel on game-winner?

By Matt Moore and Ben Golliver.

The Heat narrowly squeaked by a surprisingly feisty Charlote Bobcats team Wednesday night 96-95. In the course of that game, the Heat were cost two points on account of a missed goaltending call that went against them where LeBron dunked on Gerald Henderson's head, and the ball bounced back out though the net. So that was weird. But Dwyane Wade hit a jump stop floater to win the game. Over at Hardwood Paroxysm, Rob Mahoney examines whether or not Wade traveled on the final possession. Turns out ... it looks an awful lot like he did.

Update: The NBA issued a statement on Thursday, validating the legality of Wade's bucket.

"The Dwyane Wade basket shown in the below video is a legal basketball move," the statement read. "Wade gathered the ball with his right foot on the floor: his first step is when both feet touch the floor simultaneously and his second is when he steps forward with his right foot."



Dos this even out with the goaltending call? We're not sure, but it's an interesing video nonetheless. Take a look.

(Note: Matt Moore, the author of this post, is the editor of Hardwood Paroxysm.)
Posted on: December 28, 2011 11:40 pm
 

Report Card 12.28.11: Spurs ground Lob City

Posted by Royce Young


A: San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs are too old right? THIS is the year it all starts coming apart for them, right? Yeah, right. The Clippers came to town bringing their lightshow of dunks and alley-oops, but the old, slow Spurs had no problems handling all that noise. San Antonio used a 38-point third quarter to pull away from the Clips and really highlighted a lot of issues Lob City has. They need a shooter and some depth, badly. The Spurs seem to have it all together once again, as long as the old guys can stay healthy. Doubt them all you want. Pay attention to the young, excited kids running and jumping and dunking. But the Spurs will just keep winning no matter how boring you may find that, thank you very much. The Spurs are 2-0 with blowout wins over Memphis and the Clippers. No big.

A: LeBron James and Chris Bosh

The Heat got a tougher than anticipated test from the Bobcats, but LeBron and Bosh were terrific for Miami. LeBron had 35 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Bosh had 11 of his 25 in the fourth. And he also had this incredibly awkward and awesome dunk.

B: Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder picked up a third straight win, beating Memphis 98-95 on the road, but it's a bit tainted as Mike Conley injured his ankle on the very first possession of the game. And on top of it, the Thunder shot just 37 percent from the floor and gave up 19 offensive rebounds. But winning is winning and it's always good. Especially when it's on the road against a contender. Kevin Durant dropped a beautiful 32 points and carried OKC down the stretch.

C: New Orleans Hornets

They beat the Celtics to start 2-0. And they did this one without Eric Gordon. That really deserves an A. But you're supposed to be doing bad, New Orleans! You're supposed to be tanking this season away! You're supposed to be setting yourselves up for the Anthony Davis sweepstakes! Each win will be bittersweet this season for that stupid reason. It's supposed to be about the future and every win hurts that a bit. It's a horrible thing, but reality.

D: Russell Westbrook

How's this for a line: Four points, 0-13 shooting, four turnovers. Yikes. So why isn't this an F? Because Westbrook picked up six assists, hit two very important free throws in the final seconds and his team won.

F: Boston Celtics

What can you say? The Celtics are 0-3 and just lost to the Hornets despite their best player sitting. And it wasn't even a close game as they lost by 19. Yeah, Paul Pierce is hurt. Yeah, it's a night after that tough game in Miami. That's not supposed to be an excuse for a team like the Celtics though.

E for Effort: Charlotte Bobcats

So, sooooo close to knocking off the Heat. Miami was dragging a bit and probably overlooked Charlotte a bit as the Heat were coming off a game the night before against Boston, but the Bobcats were ready to go. Charlottle held a one-point lead with a few seconds left and if not for Dwyane Wade being ridiculous, the Bobcats would've registered the upset of the early NBA season. Things to be encouraged about though if you're Paul Silas and the Bobcats though. Gerald Henderson, Kemba Walker, Bismack Biyombo and D.J. Augustin should give Bobcat fans something to be excited about.

Incomplete: Indiana Pacers

The Pacers are 2-0, but have wins over the Pistons and Raptors, with both games being relatively close. Are they good or just beating who they're supposed to beat? It's hard to know right now.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com