Tag:Heat
Posted on: November 29, 2010 10:53 am
Edited on: November 29, 2010 12:25 pm
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Shootaround 11.29.10: In and Out

Positional struggles, Heat bar losing dough, Westphal losing a lot, and the Lakers should have lost by more, all in today's Shootaround. Posted by Matt Moore
  • Two things about this interview with Sam Bowie about Greg Oden: 1. the point about Bowie being happier with his life than Jordan is something Oden really should focus on and 2. unfortunately Oden can't afford to do what Bowie suggests and give himself extra time. There's just too much pressure, especially with his contract situation.
  • The Miami bar that offered to pay a $25 bar tab if the Heat lost? Yeah, they've lost $30,000 so far . And while the publicity is great, you have to wonder if they're going to have to cut that out soon.
  • Is DeJuan Blair a bad fit for the Spurs as currently concocted? The idea is that he's a 5 and Duncan's a 5 and because his skills don't compliment Duncan, that limits him. I think he could probably survive with Duncan if his weakside rotations were better. Hard to imagine Greg Popovich is really concerned about his "clean-up" center shooting. Players who have played well in that role include Fabricio Oberto and Kurt Thomas.
  • Marc Gasol is not healthy, and it's showing . I watched Memphis-Golden State over the holiday and Andris Biedrins absolutely destroyed Gasol. It wasn't even shiftiness or the system. He just shot over Gasol. For a normally terrific defender, it's bizarre to see him lacking in straigt-up man defense like this.
Posted on: November 26, 2010 1:53 am
Edited on: November 26, 2010 12:43 pm
 

Black Friday: Your NBA Shopping Guide

A list of NBA deals on the biggest shopping day of the year. Posted by Matt Moore




As we speak the hording masses are overrunning exhausted store clerks in a mad Turducken-leftover fueled crush of commerce that we call Black Friday. From sweatpants to hot pants to hi-def televisions and tablets with screens two sizes too small, the countryside is alive with the sound of financial transactions, and everything is on sale.

But what about in the NBA? Surely as your aunt is busy buying you long underwear that looks like it may have been part of Carrot Top's personal brand, there are similar discount deals available across the league, and indeed, we have some. If your team is looking for that perfectly holiday gift to complete their team, here's a few of the bargain Black Friday deals they can find on sale right now.

Expiring Veteran Power Forward, 50 cents on the dollar!
Troy Murphy is healthy. Troy Murphy has a good track record of production. Troy Murphy is not with the Nets. The Nets sent him home to "get in condition" even though he says he's good to go. It's partially because he's having trouble getting up to speed with his injury and partially because Avery Johnson is as temperamental as that dynamite they found on LOST . Just because it's not working out for him so far in New Jersey doesn't mean he wouldn't work fine. He's like that toaster with the beat up box that's sold as-is.

Numbskull Wing, Buy 1, get 1 pick free!
Speaking of Avery Johnson and his endless spring of patience, Terrence Williams is also at home , after being suspended for violating team rules. Now, Ben Golliver thinks Williams is just a knucklehead , and that's certainly possible. But this is the NBA. Knuckleheads make millions of dollars and wind up winning championships. Williams is talented but apparently doesn't have a spot in Averyland. Teams looking to snag a rookie contract with some talent can likely get Williams for a kind word and low first round pick at this point. Throw the Nets a bone with some actual talent and you can likely swing Williams and one of the Nets' picks. That is if Avery doesn't let him go on Black Friday all together.

Slumping Sub-Star, 75 cents on the dollar! O.J. Mayo is in a slump. He hasn't hit a wall, he's not regressing, he is still the third best player on the Memphis Grizzlies. But he's hit a slump. And instead of the endless amount of patience spent on Mike Conley over the past four years (which is working out brilliantly for the Grizzlies, despite my being a moron and blasting him as the worst point guard in basketball which is no longer true), apparently all those games O.J. helped win them mean less as he's been jerked to the bench. Lionel Hollins says it's just because he wants scoring punch off the bench . But Xavier Henry is now starting, despite him being approximately as prepared as a 9th grade pothead for organic chemistry. With Mike Conley's (totally reasonable!) extension, and Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph also due extensions, moving Mayo would simplify matters significantly for the Grizzlies. But they have to do so while he's in a slump. Trading a brilliant scrorer while he's lighting it up just won't do. Get 'em while the Mayo's... nevermind.

"Off-Limits" Superstar, Super-Secret Bargain Find! Denver's 8-6. Which ain't bad. It's also not great. And while there have been times when Denver looked decent, there have also been times when they look like they're inches away from utter implosion. and still... Melo doesn't have an extension.

And without an extension, he's still on the market. Denver's holding out hope, but they're also swaying. It just takes the right set of pressure applied to the right time to get a crack. And from there, you've got Melo. The idea of needing him with extension is fading as teams start convincing themselves they can convince him at season's end. So the trick is to apply the pressure and get Ujiri at the right moment before the offers start increasing, driving the value up. Melo's not off the table. And as long as he's not locked down, he's for sale.

Mega-Star Up for Grabs, Inquire For Availability
. Chris Bosh can't be on the market. Right? I mean, he can't be. He just got there. But if there's one member of the team that best represents the failures of the team's promise, it's Bosh. Bosh, who never waned to play center specifically because he's not made of steel and brawn, has been seen as a failure because he isn't those things on a team that needs it. He's less of a power forward and more of a grace forward. At least LeBron's got the numbers; Bosh has a few nice games and that's all.

Moving Bosh would be nearly impossible even if the Heat wanted to, due to the fact that right now he looks like a weak-willed third wheel with a massive contract. But if some team really wanted a superstar and had a package of talented bigs to offer, it's hard to see Pat Riley not at least writing the figures down on a notepad to kick around later.

Vintage Antique, Will Accept Best Offer. Juwan Howard is easy to make jokes about at 37 years old. But he got it done for the Blazers last year and wasn't the worst Heat player this year. If your team needs a big with experience, Howard's got it in spades. Just make sure you wipe the dust off the bottle.

Posted on: November 24, 2010 10:30 am
 

Kobe's Christmas Grinch Shoes are gross

Posted by Matt Moore

It won't be the first time people alledge that Kobe Bryant has a heart two sizes too small, but it's the first time he'll look the part. Leaked yesterday were Kobe Bryant's "Grinch edition" shoes which he'll be wearing on Christmas Day against the visiting Miami Heat. They are ... ahem ... Grinch-like:




So that would make LeBron little Cindy Lou Who, that's who.

Can we go ahead and get this out of the way? The Lakers are going to kill the Heat on Christmas. Even if the Heat get it together over the next month, there's simply no way they'll be able to deal with the Lakers' size, cohesiveness and overall talent. The Heat's Big 3 are better than the Lakers' Big 3 (as in, take Kobe, Pau, and any of their other five solid star players), but they also haven't learned to play together and the Lakers' Big 2 seem to be a might bit better.

Stealing this win for LA, in LA, is going to be easier than taking candy from ... you know what? Nevermind.

(HT: Sole Collector via The Basketball Jones )
Posted on: November 24, 2010 9:39 am
Edited on: November 24, 2010 8:38 pm
 

Shootaround 11.24.10: Winners and losers

People trying to keep LeBron out of the All-Star Game, Jarrett Jack doubts the Heat, Durant and Beasley as young guns, and T-Will is out of sight, out of mind, all in today's Shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore

  • There's a movement afoot specifically to keep LeBron James out of the All-Star Game. It's things like this that trot the fine line at the nexus of funny, pathetic, and mean. Props for the idea, but just because you don't like a guy's ego, is that really reason to sully a system to honor play that's been in place for decades? And this is all beyond the fact that it would take coaches about forty five seconds to select him as a reserve and then all of a sudden the person atually voted in would have a hamstring injury.
  • Terrence Williams looked like a star in the making last year. Now he's been suspended for two games for "violations of team policy" whle Avery Johnson is talking about him "not getting" it. A perfect example of how a coaching change can dramtically alter a player's forecast. Meanwhile, if Williams is on the block, the Grizzlies and Bulls should both be on the horn to see if they can grab him at a bargain bin price.
  • Jarrett Jack, a winner his whole career except for when he wasn't winning, which was most of his career, is already ready to pack it in on the Heat, saying their failure could curtail others from going the superstar route. In other news, Jack put the cart before the horse and said "Done!" before walking off. The Hornets are 0-1 since Jack arrived, clearly indicating he's not a winner. See what I did there? You see? Because he said ...
  • Spurs fans were joking about Ime Udoka being signed last week, and now it has happened . Still bizarre they thought Udoka was more valuable than Gee.
  • Flip Saunders, getting digs in on Doug Collins. Better hurry to get them in, he may not be around long.
Posted on: November 23, 2010 9:26 am
 

Game Changer 11.23.10: Spurs and ammo

Spurs and Magic have a classic, the Pacers show they're decent in dismantling a mediocre Miami team, and the Celtics take the Hawks to the shed in today's Game Changer.
Posted by Matt Moore


Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.  


THE BIG ONE: Spurs have one more round than Magic in shootout


San Antonio 106 Orlando 97 .

That's the final score but it doesn't even come close to descrbing A. how great this game was or B. how close this game was. It was a back and forth affair for the entire game, as neither team could shake the other one. Just as one team would seem to be pulling away, the other would respond with a flurry of offense. San Antonio would bruise their way to a lead, only to find the Magic creating turnovers, sparking the break, and dropping in three-pointers in transition. The Magic would burst their way into a lead only to find the Spurs settle down, get a bucket, then a stop, then Manu Ginobili Ginobili'ing his way with a knife to their heart. In the end, the Spurs had a few more bullets left in the gun and the Magic were unable to find an answer for Manu.

Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili combined to shoot 23 of 42, for 64 points, 13 rebounds, 21 assists, 5 steals, and 2 blocks. Guess Boston and Miami aren't the only ones with Big 3s. The efficiency with which the Spurs attacked was ruthless. In the third, Tony Parker got up to full speed and was using those wide curving pick and rolls to find Duncan, while Ginobili was using the deep wing picks for that step-back jumper he's gotten to like so much. It was a clinic in execution, and the Magic weren't far behind, with Dwight Howard forcing the issue and the Magic backcourt raining 3s. Combined the two teams hit 21 threes on 37 attempts which is just ridiculous. Matt Bonner came through with 4 big ones (4-4 from the arc) while Mikael Pietrus kept breaking up Spurs runs on his way to a 3-5 run from the perimeter.

Sharp defense, tough shots, fun basketball, a close game. This one was a beauty.

WHAT YOU MISSED: The Heat suck.


I torched the Heat for their lack of effort, cohesion, and heart.

Ken Berger spoke with Delonte West in a must-read interview about his experiences with bipolar disorder .


DEAD BEFORE THE SHIP EVEN SANK

Last night's Celtics-Hawks game was not a game. It was a mercy killing, only without the mercy. The Celtics owned the Hawks 39-13 in the first quarter, and it didn't feel that close. Boston simply could not miss. Sharp passes, smart playsets, intensity at both ends of the floor, attacking rebounds, and Nate Robinson doing his best Rondo Baron Davis when he was good impression, throw in the Hawks looking like they wanted to be anywhere but on the floor and Al Horford being physically dominated by Boston's size and you've got a recipe for Von Wafer to get a fair amount of time by the end of this one.

It was stunning, considering the Hawks swept the Celtics last year. But call it motivation over last year's flukes, or the Celtics' last fluke against the Raptors, or just the impact of a healthy Kevin Garnett, but this one was over with before the t-shirt guns had even been loaded. The Hawks continue to perplex as they look genuinely good and improved at times, and like roadkill in others.

Kevin Garnett looks not only like he's healthy, but like he's healthy like when he was 31. That's terrifying for the rest of the league.

YOUR DAILY "QUAKE" GRIFFIN NIGHTMARE DUNK:




GO-GO-GADGET LINE OF THE NIGHT:


Carmelo Anthony:
39 points (17-17 from the line), 9 rebound, 5 assists

Runner-Up:


Manu Ginobili: 25 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists

FINAL THOUGHTS:


The Hornets are 11-2. Which is great. But the last few games have shown some of their cracks in the foundation. Relying on Jason Smith to be a significant bench contributor isn't going to get it done. Neither is hoping Emeka Okafor stays as an offensive force. The bigger concern may be that Chris Paul has started looking flat-out tired at the ends of games. Him missing the game-tying assist to David West was nothing more than one of those that happens, but in general he looked lethargic down the stretch. Some concerns for the Hornets do exist, even at 11-2.

Last night's game perfectly illustrates why Boston fans get so frustrated with their team. They look so awesome when they consistently try.

The story from Indiana-Miami was the Heat playing terribly but the Pacers deserve a world of credit for getting Danny Granger going, and Brandon Rush took it to Dwyane Wade, which, injured or not, isn't an easy thing to do. The Pacers look like a solid playoff contender.

People will tell you that the Oklahoma City-Minnesota game was closer than the final score appears. And it's true the Wolves lead down the stretch. So maybe I'm just exhibiting confirmation bias when I tell you that I never had a doubt the Thunder would win that game. The Wolves have no idea how to execute in clutch situations most times, and Michael Beasley still does a lot of Michael Beasley-type things.

Houston loses. Again.


Follow F&R on Twitter at @CBSSportsNBA and check out our RSS feed . This has been your daily edition of the Game Changer.



Posted on: November 22, 2010 6:27 pm
 

Haslem has surgery, things look dire for Heat

Heat forward to undergo surgery, out "several months" as Heat begin to explore replacment options in frontcourt.
Posted by Matt Moore



When the 2010-2011 Miami Heat were formed from the fires of overhyped free agency, there was one core condition to the fragile thin roster they put together around the three mega-contracts. Everyone had to stay healthy.

Hey, Riley! You got a Plan B, there, champ?

Ken Berger confirms a Miami Sun-Sentinel report that Udonis Haslem will have surgery to repair his injured foot, leaving him out for "several months" which puts the Heat in a desperate situation down low. Haslem was the team's leading rebounder to this point, as well as the toughest low-post defender they had, and a competent finisher off offensive rebounds and the baseline jumper drop-off. Without him, the Heat are left with Joel Anthony, Zydrunas Ilguaskas, and (gulp) Juwan Howard as legitimate frontcourt minute-takers behind Chris Bosh. Those names aren't atrocious next to Haslem, but without him, the team is different. Different in makeup, different in lineup flexibility, different in skillset, and different attitude. Everything changes with Haslem out.

And with Haslem joining Mike Miller on the shelf, the next month and a half is going to be very rough for Miami, who already was struggling in trying to figure out how to play together to underwhelming results.

KB reports that the Heat will turn their attention towards Erik Dampier, who they previously said "Thanks, but no thanks" to. Dampier makes a ton of sense for this team, in need of a true center that can rebound, play defense, and not get in the way, but with injury issues of his own, you have to wonder if he's only a temporary solution until he goes down again as well. Meanwhile, Dexter Pittman continues to rot on the bench for no discernible reason behind Jamal Magloire and other members of the AARP.

The Heat will have to waive a player to make room for Dampier as their roster sits at 15, and Pittman is the most likely choice, even though he's a raw player that can bring youth, energy and a bullish attitude along with all that fat off the bench. Magloire may be in better shape but isn't physically capable at this point. But Erik Spoelstra's conservative, cautious ways mean that Pittman is the most likely last man out if the Heat elect to sign Dampier.

(HT: Miami Sun-Sentinel )

Posted on: November 22, 2010 1:13 pm
Edited on: November 22, 2010 1:15 pm
 

Wade to be re-evaluated, still questionable

Wade's injury means he's questionable for Monday despite a decrease in swelling.
Posted by Matt Moore


Dwyane Wade remains questionable Monday night for the Heat versus the Pacers, and will be re-evaluated before the game. Wade injured his wrist on Friday against the Bobcats and missed the Heat's loss to the Grizzlies. After practice today, head coach Erik Spoelstra said that the swelling in Wade's wrist had gone down , but Wade did not participate in shootaround and it looks unlikely that he'll play this evening.

The Heat struggle mightily without Wade, as he's been the scoring tip of the sword this season. Wade's perimeter defense is also important as both Eddie House and James Jones aren't exactly all-world defenders. Without him they Heat will likely struggle on both sides of the ball. The Pacers aren't exactly elite, but neither are the Grizzlies who toppled the Heat Saturday. Also problematic is the amount of time Wade has spent at point guard as Carlos Arroyo has been less than ideal at the position. Without him, it means more time for Eddie House, who is either brilliant or terrible depending on the night.

When the three got together this summer, you wouldn't think they'd be spending so much time apart.

Posted on: November 15, 2010 2:59 am
 

Heat need Spoelstra to let go

Heat needs to get out in transition more than they are. Posted by Matt Moore

The Heat has its problems. Among them has been their dysfunctional half-court offense. The Heat simply don't operate well on that end of the floor yet. Players are often out of position, both Dwyane Wade and LeBron James seem to initiate the sets without full confidence in where their perimeter men are nor when to pull up and take jumpers versus attacking the rim, and in general the offense is out of sync. Except when the team is running. With James and Wade gunning up and down the floor with guards that work better in the open floor and the kind of athletes they employ, their transition game is sharp and effective.

According to Synergy Sports, the Heat shoot 62% in transition, which is really very good. But, they only run transition plays 12.8% of the time, which is 15th in the league. Think about that. The best team suited to get out and run the fast break only does it 13% of the time and that's 15th worst in the league. Despite being better suited to score in that position than any team in the league (well, the ones that play defense to any degree anyway), they simply don't get the ball out. They are a slow team.

How slow? Pace is a stat which estimates the number of possessions a team plays in per game. More possessions equals a faster game, or pace. The fastest team in the league currently is the Minnesota Timberwolves, which makes sense since their offensive system right now is akin to a flock of birds after a buckshot rings out. Meanwhile the Heat is the fourth slowest team in the league .

Here's the trick. Getting out in transition with the ball in the hands of one of two of the best players in the world is a pretty good plan. Thing is, that involves Erik Spoelstra loosening his grip on the offense. And as Spoelstra is cut from the Pat Riley cloth, that's just not likely to happen. Furthermore, considering James' sometimes questionable ability in decision making with new teammates, the issue gets more complicated.

The Heat need to get out and run, but that would mean a shift in power even more in the balance of James and Wade. And we're already pretty far down that road already.
 
 
 
 
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