Posted on: December 28, 2011 9:36 pm
Edited on: December 28, 2011 9:43 pm
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Posted on: December 28, 2011 9:36 pm
Edited on: December 28, 2011 10:25 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver.
Go ahead and book it: this is the greatest blocked shot you will see during the 2011-2012 NBA season.
Miami Heat All-Star forward LeBron James threw down a vicious one-hand dunk during the fourth quarter of a Tuesday night game against the Charlotte Bobcats. One problem, though. As the ball went through the rim cleanly, Bobcats guard Gerald Henderson flew underneath the basket in a failed attempt to contest the play. James' dunk bounced off of Henderson's head and back through the rim, richocheting out clear to midcourt.
The officials apparently thought James' dunk either clanged off the bang rim or was blocked by Henderson and let play continue without counting the basket. James protested mightily, to no avail.
The Heat went on to beat the Bobcats, 96-95, at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte.
Here's the ridiculous video of LeBron James dunking the ball off of Gerald Henderson's head, only to have the basket not count.
Posted on: December 28, 2011 8:40 pm
Edited on: December 28, 2011 8:49 pm
Posted by Royce Young
UPDATE: Wade returned to the game in the fourth quarter.
Early in the Heat's game Wednesday against the Bobcats, Dwyane Wade injured his left foot and left the game. He didn't return to the team's bench after halftime, remaining in the locker room.
Officially, his return is listed as questionable.
Posted on: December 28, 2011 1:56 pm
By Matt Moore
Theory: The Celtics are in trouble despite their comeback effort against the Heat and tough opening schedule.
Proof: Paul Pierce was out. It was a road game. The calls didn't go their way. And they still managed to come back from 20 down to put the knife to the Heat's throat Tuesday night. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com says that the reports of the Celtics' demise are greatly exaggerated. And he's right. But a further examination of this team's performance through two games reveals that it's not all smoke and mirrors that show cracks in the green facade.
For starters, well, you know, they lost both games. A great comeback effort doesn't mean much if the result is still a pair of L's to playoff opponents gunning for you on national television. The Celtics dug themselves holes they couldn't get out of despite long second-half runs in two games, especially Tuesday night, and the result is an 0-2 mark to start a season they need to rack up wins early in order to rest later in.
But beyond the obvious losses, there's a serious trend coming to light that looks awful bad. The Celtics have been one of the best defensive teams in the league for the past four years. They've been about as reliable as it gets in terms of cracking down on the opponent. But they surrendered a 112.7 defensive efficiency (basically the rate they would have scored at in an average pace game) against the Heat after givig up a 112.8 mark to the Knicks. They allowed the Knics to shoot 47 percent on Sunday, and the Heat to shoot 56 percent on Tuesday. This despit stellar third and fourth quarters, respectively, in those games. The Celtics' defense has been just plain bad. Has the copetition been high? Absolutely. But the same style that worked for so long, slowing it down, grinding it out, isn't working well so far.
Then there's the offense. The C's managed to close the Heat's lead to 3 late in the fourth quarter against the Heat, but consider what they needed offensively. With Paul Pierce out, the Celtics wound up running a huge chunk of their offense throught he perimeter. The shots fell. They were 12-19 from the arc against the Heat, a ridiculous mark. Would Keyon Dooling (18 points, 4-6 shooting from 3) have had as many minute with Pierce available, even with Keyon Dooling playing minutes at the 2. The Celtics were downright Magic-ian in shooting all those threes. That was the only way they were able to hang so long. That kind of shooting obviously isn't sustainable. The argument can be made that the Heat's clip won't stay that high either, and it's a valid one. But the Heat ran a smoother offense and created easier opportunities in transition.
This isn't to say that the Celtics won't figure it out, they will. Pierce will help. Continuity will help. Understanding lineups better and getting Bandon Bass more minutes will help. But the Celtics have issues as they showed in the first three quarters against the Heat. There are problems that the Celtics need to resolve quickly.
Posted on: December 28, 2011 2:00 am
Edited on: December 28, 2011 2:12 pm
By Matt Moore
The Lakers get off the schneid, the Heat win by the hair on their chinny-chin-chin, and the Blazers look better than last year. All this and more in Tuesday night's report card.
A: Portland Trail Blazers: On the second night of a back-to-back, the Blazers trounced the Kings in dominant fashion, including holding them to just 14 points in the fourth quarter. There's a lot to like about this Blazers team along with the usual suspects, LaMarcus Aldridge, Marcus Camby, Nicolas Batum, and Wesley Matthews. Mostly, the defense, lead by Gerald Wallace. Wallace was an absolute demon Tuesday night, covering wall-to-wall and making every play you can imagine. The Blazers blocked three shots on one possession at one point, and wound up with eight blocks and six steals. A dominant showing on a night when their guards struggled. Blazers look good early.
A: Los Angeles Lakers: The Lakers played so well I'm handing out two A-grades. On the third night of a back-to-back, the Lakers came out at home and put away any talk of their losing streak stretching to 0-3 in the first quarter. The Utah Jazz looked like the worst team in the league Tuesday night, but the Lakers' dominance was great enough to overcome the challenge of a terrible opponent bending the curve. Defense was the key here. Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace were everywhere. Gasol played extremetly strong both at the rim and in space against Al Jefferson. The Jazz were a wreck, but the Lakers steered them there. Great first win for Mike Brown and company.
B: Norris Cole: The Heat rookie was the fourth quarter closer the Big 3 could not, would not be. 20 points for the rook who was aggressive at every turn. Cole not only took the game by the horns and drove the Celtics into the ground to bring back for supper when they made a furious fourth quarter run behind a zone defense, he was pivotal on defense and made good decision making. He would nail a big shot, then fist pump his way to the bench without turning around for Dwyane Wade or LeBron James' approval. So why the B? He was a bit too aggresive at times and still struggles with finishing like all rookies do. Wouldn't want the kid to get too big a head on his shoulders. The kid simply stepped up, did his job, and helped get the win for the Heat when they needed someone to step up and hit the shots. And now everyone gets to ask, "They have MORE talent?"
C: Boston's comeback: Great adjustment by Boston coach Doc Rivers to go to the zone, which the Heat will now be seeing in every game for the remainder of the season. That, combined with some great shooting, particularly from Keyon Dooling, helped the Celtics bring the Heat to the knife's edge before Cole turned it around on them. The Celtics made the push they needed to, and showed why they are still dangerous. So why the C? They lost, are 0-2, with two losses to teams they are likely to encounter in the playoffs. It was a good comeback effort, but ultimeately, it wasn't enough, and you have to wonder if it would have been that close had it not gotten so out of hand in the third so as for Erik Spoelstra to start screwing with lineups. The Celtics get a D, but the comeback is a C.
D: Heat's composure: How many times is this team going to melt down in the fourth? They had to turn to a rookie to save them late in a key game against arguably their biggest rival. It should never have gotten that close. Oh, and Paul Pierce didn't play. The Heat won, and they played incredibly well in the third, but man alive, they need to learn to close better.
F: Utah Jazz: So, you know, this draft class, it looks great...
Other Notable Grades:
Withdraw: Heat as invulnerable: Best team in the league right now? No question. But after looking like a flying death machine in the third, the Celtics drew blood on Heat before falling to their own mortality.
E For Effort: Kevin Love: 31 points, 20 boards in a three-point loss to the Bucks. Love was a monster and gave it his all in a badly coached game by Terry Porter with Rick Adelman absent due to a death in the family. One complaint? His final shot was either badly drawn up or executed, a pull-up 35-footer a la Kevin Durant in last year's playoffs vs. the Mavericks. But that stat line is part of what we missed during the lockout.
Gold stars: Pau Gasol (5 blocks). LaMarcus Aldridge. Brandon Jennings. Jon Leuer. Chris Bosh. MarShon Brooks. Vlad Radmanovic.
Posted on: December 27, 2011 6:40 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver.
Nothing says serious championship contender quite like Eddy Curry making a rap music video cameo while wearing two polo shirts.
The Miami Heat have released a 2011-2012 introduction video set to the tune of Kanye West's "All of the Lights". It's pretty incredible and almost defies explanation, but we'll give it a shot anyway.
The one-minute spot features LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and company bouncing their hands and shaking their moneymakers as psychedelic graphics spin around them. Wade is dressed in a white suitcoat, James a green sweater, and Bosh dons a striped sweater. Things get cooky when Shane Battier shows up in double popped collars, James Jones in a scarf, Mike Miller in a jean jacket and cargo shorts. The Heat dancers also make a mandatory appearance.
There are goofy faces, shoulders that are dusted off and some flexing. It ends with the tagline, "Let's Go Heat." This baby has it all.
Related: In early December, the Heat released a hype video dubbed "The Wait Is Over".
Take a look at the Miami Heat's "All of the Lights" introduction video courtesy of the Miami Heat on YouTube.
Hat tip: Palm Beach Post
Posted on: December 27, 2011 1:39 pm
Edited on: December 27, 2011 1:52 pm
Posted by Royce Young and Ben Golliver.
The 2011-2012 NBA season is a few days old, and with that comes the second installment of CBSSports.com's NBA Power Rankings by Eye On Basketball's Matt Moore.
What did he get right? What did he get wrong? We're here to break it down and take it down.
1. Too High: Denver Nuggets at No. 2. I realize it's easy to get excited about the Nuggets. They whipped the defending champs in their opener. But after one game we're moving them all the way to No. 2? After one game, they jump 12 spots? I think it's probably more overrating the Mavs than it is the Nuggets, because Denver's win over Dallas wasn't that impressive. The Mavs are uninterested, unmotivated and unhungry (is that a word?) right now. They're coasting. And they probably aren't even as good as they were last year. Yeah the Nuggets looked good in their takedown of the Dirks, but geez, I think we're getting a little ahead of ourselves here in having Denver jump Oklahoma City, San Antonio and the Clippers. -- RY
2. Too Low: Los Angeles Lakers at No. 23 Just when Royce got done scolding for over-correcting on the Nuggets, there's the Lakers, who dropped 18 spots by virtue of losing a tight one to No. 6 ranked Chicago on Christmas under bizarre late-game circumstances and getting picked off by a hungry Kings team on the second night of the back-to-back. That places Kobe/Pau/company six spots behind the Toronto Raptors and seven spots behind the Charlotte Bobcats. Come on. Maybe the last five years or so should have a touch more bearing than the last 48 hours in weighing the relative merits of these organizations. -- BG
3. Most Overrated: New York Knicks at No. 5. The Knicks took down a wounded Celtics team at home on opening day. They looked solid at times, sure. But is this New York team truly in the class of the NBA? Is it really top five material, with point guards named Toney Douglas and... Toney Douglas? (OK, so I know Mike Bibby is on the team too, but he doesn't count.) The Knicks are a quality squad but there's a burning desire in many to crown them a contender, but I think that's premature. -- RY
4. Most Overlooked: Minnesota Timberwolves at No. 26. I feel like I'm getting ahead of myself here, but after watching the Wolves compete against the top-notch Thunder, I came away impressed. Rick Adelman has made a difference, Ricky Rubio is fun and between Derrick Williams and Kevin Love, there's some real talent there. Minnesota hasn't necessarily done anything to deserve being higher than 26 because you need to actually win to move up. Moral victories don't count. But fourth to last? This Wolves team won't be in the bottom five for long. -- RY
5. Sure Thing: Miami Heat at No. 1. Miami looked so good in routing the Dallas Mavericks on Christmas Day that the general reaction around the league seemed to be to just pretend it didn't happen. Outside of the Oklahoma City Thunder, it's difficult to imagine any NBA team being able to keep pace in a 7-game series, Bulls, Celtics, Clippers and Lakers included. Here's hoping Miami keeps its foot on the gas all season long. The Hated Ones can do some amazing things. -- BG
6. Wild Card: Houston Rockets at No. 25. The middle-of-the-pack Western Conference teams are likely headed for a rollercoaster ride on this year's power rankings, and Houston probably gets to be the first poster boy for that phenomenon here. They start near the gutter but still have enough talent to work their way into the top-15 in fairly short order. But would you bet your money on it happening? -- BG
Posted on: December 26, 2011 1:36 am
Edited on: December 26, 2011 11:49 am
Posted by Royce Young
A: Miami HeatHoly Ghost of Christmas Fast Break. It was a total show by the Heat, who basically pummeled the Mavericks in every way possible. Maybe it was motivation, maybe it was a revenge factor or maybe it was just the fact the Heat are the best team in the league, but Miami bulldozed their way over the champs and did it in style. LeBron James showcased his revamped post game, rookie Norris Cole showed exciting flashes, Dwyane Wade was excellent the Heat suffocated the Mavs. If you want a signature opening win, the Heat made an early statement.
B: The NBACliche, boring high mark for the league? You know it. But it's deserving. And not just because there was real basketball to be played after a longer-than-normal offseason. The league gets a good grade because its product looked excellent. For all the talk about shortened training camps and fewer practices, the NBA had two fantastic finishes in New York and Los Angeles, the Heat looked amazing, the Thunder played a quality game and the Clippers and Warriors both were good in the capper. There weren't many moments where the game turned to a total slopfest. The only guy looking that rusty was ref Bill Kennedy, who evidently needs a few more practices.
C: Lob CityIt wasn't showtime or Lob City at all. It was just solid winning basketball. Bor-ing. It's really not fair to give the Clippers an average grade when they went on the road and won by 19 in a tough environment. But for about 40 minutes of the game, Lob City looked a bit mediocre with Chauncey Billups shooting them both in, and out, of the game at times. You saw what makes the Clips so darn good (Chris Paul coming in and completely closing out the Warriors -- he gets an A) and what makes them vulnerable (lack of depth, iffy shot selection and a conflict of roles -- also known as Chauncey Billups, who gets a D). The Clippers are probably more deserving of a B, but I don't think many came away feeling overly impressed by them Sunday.
Kendrick Perkins completely handled Howard. Now I haven't watched Howard up close all that much, but I would say he looked a bit uninterested for stretches in this game. For a player as dominant as him, there's no reason for him to be such a non-factor. Perkins is a really good defender, but Howard didn't affect the game defensively at all.
F: Dallas MavericksThat first game as champs isn't always that easy. There's still a hangover from the champagne that was popped back in June and the banner raising only causes a little relapse. The Mavs had an entirely complacent look to them and it didn't help that they ran into a total buzzsaw in Miami. Still, you'd expect a little more effort in your first crack at defending your title.