Tag:Heat Stroke
Posted on: January 14, 2011 1:35 am

Heat Stroke: The 72-10 dream is dead

The Heat fall to the Nuggets for their eleventh loss, ending the desperate dream of them matching the '96 Bulls
Posted by Matt Moore

There will be no joy in Mudville, mighty LeBron did sit out.

Before the season, the NBA's biggest question was not if the Heat would mesh, it was whether they would challenge the all-time best record for a regular season team set by the '96 Chicago Bulls at 72-10.  On Thursday night, that dream was mercifully put to rest much earlier than most people anticipated. Following a deep November swoon, the Heat had righted themselves and at one point had won 19 of 20 games. But a West Coast road trip against a motivated Blake Griffin led to a shocker loss to the Clippers Wednesday, and on Thursday, LeBron James sat out Thursday's game against the Nuggets, and the result was a 28-point loss.  And so they fall to 30-11. 

72-10 is no longer within range. 

It was a silly objective to begin with, hoping for a team laden with ancient role players, facing injury problems from the get-go, and trying to gel for the first time in a complex combination of talents to aim for the highest peak in historic NBA land.  It became absurd over the opening stretch where the Heat went 9-8, exposing significant issues and showing that this team was a work in progress. From there, it was only a matter of time. That they managed to rebound as significantly as they did, driving the point of double digit losses into 2011. 

And so it ends, not with a late season quest, under constant coverage from ESPN 24-7 (or from us, for that matter), but with a quiet road loss in a late game, downed by 28 points without the signature star they brought in amid the most controversial free agency decision in sports history.  From the beginning, the Heat said that this season was about wins, not about 72-10. It was about a championship, not catching Jordan's Bulls. Now they've set the table. A loss in the playoffs and they cement themselves as the biggest disappointment based on expectations of the modern era. Win, and they show that all the hoopla over the regular season was inconsequential and that it is all about the rings. But unlike LA or Boston, who seem to lose nearly only when they lack effort, the Heat seem to lose when boiled down to their essential parts, when the chemistry doesn't mesh. 

The glory of being legends has escaped the Heat. The pressure is now even greater to become champions. That's what they've put on themselves with all their behavior. Anything less than a championship and they are a disappointment to their fans and a joke to their detractors. Oddly enough, the word I keep thinking of is ... 

Posted on: January 4, 2011 1:39 am
Edited on: January 4, 2011 2:11 am

LeBron says Heat call themselves "The Heatles"

LeBron James calls the Miami Heat "the Heatles" in comparison with the legendary rock band, due to their ability to sell out on the road wherever they go. We compare and contrast in an all-too-serious endeavor of an altogether silly comment.
Posted by Matt Moore

In a move that's sure to make everyone much less critical of the collective ego of the Miami Heat, LeBron James said in his postgame comments after the Heat dispatched the short-handed and "Revolution No. 9"-esque Bobcats that the Heat referred to themselves as "The Heatles" since they sell out wherever they go. It should be noted that Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reminded us tonight, LeBron has used the "Eatles" gag before with Drew Gooden, Damon Jones, and James calling themselves "the Cleatles" in 2006.

Now, comparing his fledgling basketball team to the greatest rock and roll group of all time isn't even the dumbest thing LeBron's said in the past month (you may remember the 2010 pop hit "I Want To Contract Your Hand"). But it's right up his alley to make a ridiculous allusion which will only further the overwhelming amount of vitriol directed towards he and his Fab ... er ... Three ... when Bosh shows up. People love the Beatles. Love the Beatles. They were representative of both the childhoods of many and their parents, but a cultural revolution and the idea that the world could be a better place through listening to music made by drug users and makers of ridiculous film.  They were also much, much cooler than LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, and Wade's pretty cool. 

Still, if we're going to venture down this long and winding road, we might as well take it all the way. And with that, here is the comprehensive guide to the similarities and dissimilarities of the Beatles and the 2010 Miami Heat. 

LeBron James is clearly John. Complicated relationship with his mother: check. Periodic moments of delusions of grandeur (okay, not so periodic): check. Rampant mood swings particularly when brought under criticism: check. Brilliance in performance to an almost genius capacity in chosen field: check. Two sons: check. 

Both James and Lennon shared early flashes of strain against traditional roles, as Lennon was one of the first to seek out experimentation with new instruments and creative ideas counter to the verse-chorus-verse traditional concept (along with George Harrison), LeBron began redefining the small forward position in the modern age with his ability to both distribute and rebound along with dropping a fat 40 in any given night.  The two also began their professional careers when they were in their teens. 

More than that, though, is that Lennon always sought to both embrace and reject the idolatry of their rock and roll lifestyles. Lennon very much sought to reach the "toppermost of the poppermost" in both creative and commercial success, while James and his merry band of LRMR men want to build a global empire. Lennon had a fierce rejection of the public eye once Beatlemania ran him ragged, and James began to slough off being the ultra-nice hero beginning with his refusal to shake Dwight Howard's hand in the 2009 playoffs. 

And then, naturally, in the end, there's the rather ugly similarities between how Lennon left the Beatles and LeBron James left the Cavaliers, a kind of bizarre inverse similarity. Lennon left the greatest musical collaboration of all time to spread his wings on his own. This is the point where I quote "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and reference "I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me." James left a situation where he was forced to be singularly great and solely profound on his own floor in order to join the greatest starting five collection of talent since... well, the Lakers. But it sells like rock and roll. 

Dwyane Wade is Paul, there can be no doubt. Commercially viable, easy with the press without having to overly strain himself, easy in the spotlight and more than happy to simply pursue pop songs, in this case, championships instead of messing with overt artistic revelations (global branding). Yet oddly underrated in that department as well, as some of the finest songs of the Beatles' peak era (Rubber Soul through Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band) came from Paul, while Wade himself is redefining the combo guard position, sometimes playing the small forward to LeBron's point guard and at times the point guard to LeBron's shooting guard. 

Again we see the similarities in reverse, as Wade had a prolific solo career that was still never as recognized as it should have been prior to his collaboration with the Triad. 

Wade and Paul also enjoyed, ahem ... the company of several young ladies, though Wade's marriage to his childhood sweetheart is more reminiscent of John's relationship with Cynthia Lennon.  Like McCartney, Wade is comfortable as the front man of his band and has been proactive in the management of his assets. 

I would love to tell you that Chris Bosh is a perfect compliment to George Harrison, but the comparisons simply aren't there.  Harrison was a savant, and a driving force in both the life of John Lennon until the breakup of the Beatles, and in the creative mojo that transformed the band from mop head magazine covers to transcendent artists that influenced everyone from U2 and the White Stripes to the Beastie Boys and Kanye West.   Bosh on the other hand, would have been better replaced by Amar'e Stoudemire and while the explanations for his play being of an All-Star caliber are sound, watching the way the Celtics outright dominated him along with other tougher inside tandems leaves doubt, no matter how well he played against the Lakers. Harrison was quiet and enigmatic, Bosh is desperate for attention in the hurricane of media he operates in and has always sought out the limelight. If anything, with his videos featuring cowboy hats and other nonsense, he's more the Ringo type, but perhaps that's too cruel.

In this scenario, it should be said that Pat Riley bears a striking resemblance to George Martin, "the Fifth Beatle." Having the vision to take them to the next level, knowing how to manage their egos, trusting in their creative vision, it all flows in line with Riley's work as GM of the Heat. Of course, if the Heat flounder in the playoffs, undergo a massive transformation and never recover, all of these translations are pointless. Okay, they're pretty pointless anyway, but the comparison still is fun to contemplate. 

Of course, there's one huge difference between the two teams. After the Beatles made it big, they always sold out in England. In other words, they always sold out at home. Can't say the same for the Heat. 

Maybe the strongest conceptual relationship, though, exists in the friendship itself. Brought together by a common interest (basketball, music), the groups became thick as thieves and seemed for all the world like the closest lads in Liverpool/South Beach. Never mind that in this scenario the Olympics in Beiijing is boarding school. But for all the intimacy that such time together can afford, the bonds still weren't warm enough to keep the group together as it spread apart with maturity. Yet the Heat grew together in part because of that maturity, or immaturity, as some have reasoned. The Beatles never expressed much public regret about their friendships ending, and if the Heat were to detonate this whole idea this summer after a failed playoff run, it's hard to see too many tears being shed by Dwyane Wade or LeBron James. Wade would go on trying to win championships and James would go on trying to build his brand just as McCartney continued making music and Lennon continued trying to build the brand of peace until his death in 1980. 

At the end of last year's Eastern Conference Semifinals matchup between the Cavs and Celtics, Kevin Garnett spoke with LeBron James and while not explicitly suggesting he make his decision one way or another, did bring James' mind around to the complexities of the decision. Likewise, Bob Dylan, an older and more experienced musician, introduced the Beatles to marijuana and in doing so, brought them into a new age of musical experimentation which led to their best work. 

The recurring theme of Wade's injuries and the conspiratorial nature of the calls he received in the 2006 Finals do translate favorably to the "Paul is dead" hoax that came out of "Revolution No.9." 

Have we mentioned that Chris Bosh hired a documentary filmmaker to cover his free agency this summer? The passion for film certainly translates here as well. A Miami Heat "Help!" film would do much to repair their public image. Okay, that's a lie. But it would be really funny.

Dare we say that Jim Gray is the equal to Ed Sullivan?

The best inverse relational aspect that people are hoping and waiting for? 

They're all hoping LeBron becomes buds with Allen Iverson prompting him to leave the Heat hanging in order to join Iverson on some weird Sixers team that runs the Princeton offense or something. Yoko'd.

And yes, Spoelstra's best comparison is Pete Best, despite not having been replaced yet. Hard to get around it. Other candidates include: Mo Williams, Delonte West, and the entire city of Cleveland, Ohio.

Your complete Heatles Discography so far:
"A Hard Day's Night" BOS 88 MIA 80
"Baby's in Black" UTA 116 MIA 114
"Twist and Shout" MIA 96 ORL 70
"Yesterday" MIA 118 CLE 96
"Ticket to Ride: MIA 113 NYK 96
"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" MIA 96 LAL 80

Posted on: December 1, 2010 9:58 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2010 11:18 pm

Tampering and the price of Heat Stroke

The Miami Heat are being investigated by the Cavaliers regarding tampering charges. We look at the burden of proof and the possible fallout. Posted by Matt Moore

And boom goes the Comic Sans.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into a high-powered Midwestern law firm to investigate their suspicions that the Miami Heat broke NBA tampering rules while pursuing LeBron Jamesnotes, and owner Dan Gilbert has privately vowed he won’t relent until he has a thick binder of findings to drop on the desk of the NBA commissioner, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

(via Cavaliers probing Heat's signing of James - NBA - Yahoo! Sports )

As Ken Berger elucidates , this is a sticky situation that 's going to be awfully difficult for Cleveland to prove. The burden of proof is obviously on Cleveland and you're trying to not only prove that the meetings took place but the conversations that occurred without recording or documentation and the context within which the conversations took place.

Still, if the Cavs do plop down the "binder" on Stern's desk, he's going to have to proceed with caution. He was already viewed as a willing participant in the Heat's summer shenanigans. With a thorough report on his desk he'll have to give it the consideration it requires. Not because Dan Gilbert levied it, but because word is that Gilbert wasn't the only owner concerned that something was amiss.

Fines aren't really going to be a big problem for the Heat were they to wind up guilty as charged, so to speak, since they're producing so much revenue thanks to the Big 3. Front office suspensions are hard to see as troublesome since Pat Riley is really the only one in charge, he's pretty much done his job for the year, and it's not like ownership is going to make a change away from Riley.

Which leaves draft picks. The Heat have traded or swapped the most picks they can over the next four years. Removing draft picks would mean losing high first round picks who aren't likely to get playing time on a team obviously committed to the veteran role player approach.

In other words, losing some draft picks and some dough to get LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh for six years, even if they're struggling now?

I believe the phrase is, "Worth it."

Whether it was moral or not, that's another, and possibly irrelevant question.

Boy, the owner talks about the CBA are going to loads of fun when Micky Arison and Dan Gilbert show up at the same time. Awkward.
Posted on: December 1, 2010 4:41 pm

Heat Stroke: Odds LeBron gets in a fight Thursday

Posted by Royce Young

I think one of the biggest things people are wondering about LeBron's return to Cleveland isn't just about how he'll handle it or how the fans will react. People are curious if anything will happen. Not like something cool or something great.

Like will something happen .

Well, there are odds for such an event. The betting site Bodog has released odds on if LeBron will get into an altercation Thursday night with a fan. If you're betting on it - which you shouldn't because it's illegal, remember? - the odds are 30/1 that LeBron gets in a fight with a Cavs fan.

The other thing folks have been wondering is if LeBron will do the powder toss. He's already said he would, but Bodog still has 1/50 odds on it. So if you want to plop down 50 Bucks, you can make a dollar!

As for the fight odds, I say it's a longshot. I just can't see it happening. Security is going to be ridiculously high and tuned in, plus I don't think anyone will cross that line. Throw things, say things, spit things? Yeah, I can see that. But jump out on to the floor and try and tackle LeBron? In the history of stupid things, that one would be ranked pretty high.

But if those two bets are a little too out there for your taste, you can go with the more common things like. The over/under on points James scores is 26.5, the over/under on assists is 7.5 and on rebounds it is 7.
Posted on: November 29, 2010 5:30 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2010 5:41 pm

Heat Stroke: Don't boo, laugh

Posted by Royce Young

What do you think will happen when LeBron James enters Quicken Loans Arena Thursday night? What do you think will happen when his name is announced during introductions. What do you think will happen the first time he touches the ball?


Something like that.

But there's a movement that has a different idea. And if you ask me, a better one. Don't boo. Laugh. Instead of the universal sound for audience disapproval, confuse the heck out him with some chuckles, giggles and loud HA-HAs, Nelson-style.

It comes from the Twitter account @LaughAtLeBron. The idea, is this: "Let's flip the script on LeBron people. He's expecting crowds booing him. Why? We all need to LAUGH at him. Dec. 2nd." Sounds innovative, if you ask me.

Right now, the group has almost 400 followers, which surely isn't enough to sway an entire arena that's ready to boo their heads off to laugh instead. People have been waiting months to take their seat Dec. 2 and unleash the loudest, meanest, most devastating chorus of boos known to history. And LeBron is ready for it. He knows it's coming. That's why laughing could throw him.

Heck, why not take it even further? Why not REALLY confuse him and applaud him? Cheer him, even. Chant his name. Well, let's not kid ourselves here. The laughing thing is a pretty big longshot. I think it's more likely for my dog to walk over, shake my hand and say, "Hello Royce" in a funny British accent than for Cavs fans to cheer LeBron.

But honestly, with the way the Heat are playing, it really might not be that hard to laugh at them. It almost might even come naturally.
Posted on: November 18, 2010 3:59 pm

Video: Bosh says the Heat just want to "chill"

Posted by Royce Young

Finally, Chris Bosh played a solid game. Against the Suns Wednesday, Bosh put up a season-high 35 points in just three quarters of action. So of course he got the camera time he so desperately wants after the game and he let out a little quote that many have found as interesting.

Basically, in talking about Erik Spoelstra and how he's coaching the team, Bosh talked about how Spoelstra felt like he was loosening up too much. No big deal. But then Bosh let this little line out.

I've watched this video eight times now and I still don't exactly know what Chris Bosh meant. "[Spoelstra] wants to work and we want to chill." Hmm. I need my professional athlete translator here because this one isn't in the handbook.

It makes sense to me that Bosh was implying that Spoelstra has been riding the team harder than expected and that the team has kind of felt like they need to just hang in there and let it all come together. I think that's what Bosh meant.

But the way he phrased it was just odd. "He wants to work, we want to chill." That makes it sound like Spoelstra cares about the things that, you know, make you a great team. Hard work, then harder work and then some more hard work. While Bosh sounds like he just wants to hang in South Beach, get on TV some and then oh yeah, play some hoops. I don't think that's what he meant, but that's what it sounds like.

Thing is though, Bosh is starting to make a habit of saying some dumb things. He's the black sheep of this Miami super-trio and hasn't really held up his end of the deal until he played a team like the Suns that literally doesn't employ an actual power forward. I get the feeling that if you put a mic in front of Bosh's face enough this year, you're going to get some quotable quotes that are head-scratchers.

I'm convinced that the way this sounded isn't what Bosh actually meant but he ought to know better. Especially since most feel like he's sort of "chilled" his entire career. He's never had a reputation for hard work and actually has one for giving up. Maybe it was more of a Freudian slip than anything.
Posted on: November 11, 2010 2:43 pm
Edited on: November 11, 2010 2:44 pm

Heat Stroke: The Three Cavaliers?

Posted by Royce Young

Take a look at that magazine cover on the right. It shouldn't take you very long to potentially put it all together.

Obviously, it's not hard to see how a certain city and a certain fanbase could take offense to that. But did Sports Illustrated for Kids have a motive behind this? Did they really want to take a big shot at Cleveland and Cavs fans?

I would think that would be a no.

That didn't stop Cleveland-area folks from getting into a tizzy over it. During a report on it, one local TV reporter called it "outrageous." I can see that side of it, but I can also see the side that says it's outrageous to call it outrageous. I mean, real talk here. Why on earth would SI for Kids go for the low blow here? What purpose does that serve?

What likely happened is the graphic artist that rendered the art for the cover just wasn't thinking. SI for Kids aims to target, you know, kids, so more than likely the artist aimed to link the three Miami players to something kids can relate to. Three... something. An obvious choice would be the three musketeers. And it so happens the a musketeer and a cavalier are similar things.

But I think this speaks to Cleveland's absurd oversensitivity in all things LeBron at this point. I honestly think if someone were to order a No. 6 at a fast food restaraunt, other people would freak out, tackle him and demand that he say he hates LeBron.  The whole thing has reached a point where not only has the surface tension given way, but were spilling over with ridiculous stuff.

Thing is, we're not really supposed to be seeing that cover anyway. Kids are. And I doubt that some 12-year-old in Akron really saw that cover and put it together. Wait a minute. That's LeBron, Wade and Bosh. Dressed like... Cavaliers. WHERE'S MY COMIC SANS MARKER!?!?! In the end, freaking out over little things like this just holds everyone back. It keeps the eye on LeBron, the eye on Cleveland's pain and nobody can get past things and notice that hey, the Cavs are 4-4 and playing pretty darn decent.

But maybe that's what Cleveland wants. Maybe they intend to milk all things LeBron until we're all bled completely out. They feel we all owe them our indignation. We don't, but we're not going to stop them from feeling cheated and betrayed. Such is life in Cleveland.

Via Deadspin
Posted on: November 8, 2010 4:23 pm

Heat Stroke: LeBron says they aren't showing off

Posted by Royce Young

Did you see Dwyane Wade's alley-oop to LeBron over the weekend? Please tell me you did. Well, because I'm a pal, if you didn't, have a look:

Most would call that an "unnecessary, extra pass." I can hear Hubie Brown right now. "See, this here is what you don't want to do. Yes, I agree that it looks good. But this is just not good. You want to make the smart basketball pass. It looks nice, but the goal is to get two points, which Wade could've done on his own."

But it's hard not to love it. It's flashy, it's fun and it's the type of stuff we all imagined when LeBron joined forces with Dwyane Wade.

But LeBron says it's all business and that the Heat aren't showing off. “We’re just an athletic team, just making plays,” James told the Sun Sentinel. “There’s nothing circus about it. Everyone wants to put a ‘Showtime’ or ‘showboating’ on us. Nah, we just made plays. It’s not circus.”

Well here's one vote for making it a total Barnham and Bailey three-ring show. I want the circus LeBron. I want the acrobatics. In fact, the Heat are probably at their best out in the open floor "showing off." With that lineup, they could have the most deadly fast break in basketball. So maybe showboating is a key to playing well. That was sort of another Miami team's philosophy back in the 1980's with the Hurricane football team. Act good, look good, play good. It all runs together a bit. (Except of course the Hurricanes were taunting, not necessarily showboating.)

If LeBron wants to say they aren't playing a little "Showtime," that's fine. You don't have to fess up as long as you keep doing it. Basketball is supposed to be entertainment and the Heat can make it just about as fun as anyone.
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