Tag:Miami Heat
Posted on: February 2, 2012 12:23 am
 

Report Card: An upside down kind of night

Posted by Royce Young



It was a pretty wild Wednesday in the NBA with some close games, some massive blowouts, some top teams losing and some big stat lines. Let's grade the action.

Serge Ibaka

What a game from Oklahoma City's paint protector. Ibaka set a franchise record with 10 blocks and finished with an unconventional double-double with 11 rebounds to go with it. He only had four points, which is a shame because a points-rebounds-blocks triple-double is pretty awesome. But Ibaka's impact in the Thunder's win over Dallas can't be understated.


Steve Nash

Nash went for 30 and 11 assists but that's not the best thing from his game against the Hornets. He also became the Suns all-time assists leader with 6,522 passing Kevin Johnson's mark of 6,518. Oh, and the Suns won, scoring 120 points. Just the way it should've happened for Nash.


Overlooked East teams

The Pacers beat the Timberwolves by 10 in Minneapolis and the 76ers beat the Bulls in Philadelphia. Two big wins for teams that are in the top half of the East, but that don't command the same kind of respect or attention as the Bulls or Heat. Andre Iguodala was fantastic defensively on Derrick Rose and Danny Granger poured in 36 for Indiana.


Russell Westbrook

With co-star Kevin Durant struggling a bit, Westbrook took over for the Thunder scoring 33 points to go with four assists and six rebounds. As he tends to do, Westbrook hit a dagger 3 with a minute left to ice the game for Oklahoma City. The six turnovers though were the only blemish in his line, but he had a fantastic game and showed why his scoring can often be incredibly valuable to the Thunder in close games against good teams.

Brandon Jennings

The Bucks won and Jennings scored 31. So why a C? Because he went 9-25 from the field and quite frankly, I was having trouble finding a C tonight. Jennings was pretty good though. He hit seven 3s, dished out eight assists and didn't turn the ball over once. He loved to shoot and does it without conscience, so the 31 points on 25 shots shouldn't really come as any kind of surprise.


Top East teams

While the Pacers and Sixers won, the Heat and Bulls both lost. Miami wasted a 40-point effort from LeBron and 23 from Dwyane Wade as Chris Bosh didn't provide much help at all with only nine points as the Heat lost to the Bucks. A Bucks team missing Andrew Bogut, mind you. Those type of games happen to everybody, but both the Bulls and the Heat definitely revealed a few dings in their armor. Neither executed well offensively and neither were able to consitently find baskets whether in transition or the halfcourt.

Dallas shooting

Credit the Thunder defense, but the Mavericks were absolutely awful shooting the ball Wednesday. Dallas shot only 35.7 percent from the field and went just 8-38 from the floor in the second half. Dirk Nowitzki clearly isn't entirely right as he went just 2-15 from the field. Dallas was without Jason Kidd and Lamar Odom, but that doesn't matter if you only hit 35 percent of your shots. Ten of those shots though never had a chance as Serge Ibaka was blocking them, but still.

Toronto Raptors and Charlotte Bobcats

The Suns scored 120 points. The Raptors and Bobcats combined for 132. The Raptors lost 100-64 to the Celtics and the Bobcats lost 112-68 to the Blazers. Scoring has been ugly on some nights in the NBA this season, but good grief, those are some major league whippings right there. The Bobcats and Raptors aren't good to start with, but an NBA team should be losing by 40 or 44.
Posted on: January 31, 2012 8:13 pm
 

NBA Power Rankings: Breakdown, Takedown Vol. 7

Posted by Royce Young and Ben Golliver

Not the best of weeks for Dwight Howard and the Magic. (Getty Images)

The 2011-2012 NBA season continues. Here's the seventh weekly 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: Atlanta Hawks at No. 9. Somehow, despite losing probably their best player, the Hawks aren't just keeping their head above water but soaring. They've won four of five games since the Al Horford injury. However, not exactly against marquee opponents -- New Orleans, Cleveland, Detroit and Milwaukee. It's a little hard to tell if the Hawks are actually going to overcome Horford's injury or if they're just getting by as a result of a soft spot in the schedule. I tend to think it's the latter and as the season drags on, we'll see the Hawks are mediocre at best and not a top 10 NBA team. -- RY

2. Too Low: Orlando Magic at No. 20. Last week, I had a little fun at Matt's expense when he dropped the Magic after their ugly loss to the Celtics. In hindsight, he was correct. But, unfortunately, he made the same mistake again! The Magic have had by far their worst stretch of the season -- pointing fingers at each other during a 4-game losing streak -- but they're still 12-9 and they're still safely in the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference. By comparison, the Trail Blazers, who Orlando beat in Portland, are also 12-9, barely in the West playoffs, and ranked No. 11 in this week's Power Rankings. Where's the consistency? These guys shouldn't be below 15, despite how ugly things have gotten of late. -- BG

3. Most Overrated: Washington Wizards at No. 26. This one isn't a disaster but it's hard to really make a case that there are four worse teams than the 4-17 Wizards. Sacramento, for example, is 6-14 despite being in a 4-game losing streak. The Kings have three quality wins over the Lakers, Spurs, Pacers and a sort-of quality win over the Bucks. That's pretty bad for a team in the basement. Washington, meanwhile, had that one shocking, pretty fluky win over the Oklahoma City Thunder plus three wins against patsies (two against the Charlotte Bobcats, one against the Toronto Raptors). Their body of work just screams lower than No. 26. -- BG

4. Most Overlooked: Utah Jazz at No. 10. It's natural to just assume the Jazz are overachieving and will eventually come back to Earth. That's not a team built with any stars or big names, and yet in the toughest division in basketball, they're 12-7 and in the thick of the West. Their point differential and efficiency numbers aren't great. But they are winning consistently. Not that the Jazz should be higher than 10, but I think we're all quick to discount them for whatever reason. Much in the same way we all wanted to ignore last season's Nuggets, the Jazz could be for real. -- RY

5. Sure Thing: Miami Heat at No. 1. Sunday's showdown against the Chicago Bulls made it clear that these two teams, if healthy, are the clear, clear, clear favorites to repeat as Eastern Conference Finalists. That series will be a blood bath, too. Miami played very well at times but it was far from a flawless victory. With a few days to let it sink in, they're probably feeling pretty fortunate given Dwyane Wade's shooting struggles and LeBron James' predictable late-game free throw gaffes. The TV ratings for the potential Chicago vs. Miami East Finals are going to be absurd. -- BG

6. Wild Card:
Indiana Pacers at No. 8. It's not fair to say the Pacers aren't exceeding expectations and having a great season. They are. They just beat the Lakers, Magic and Bulls last week. But one thing that's unshakeable for me is their bad losses. For example, a loss Jan. 18 to the Kings and then a whipping by Orlando Jan. 24. The Pacers are a bit erratic with their play and while absolutely a good team, I'm not so sure they are in true contender territory, which is normally reserved for the top eight. They're good, but just how good? -- RY
Posted on: January 31, 2012 1:01 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2012 5:56 am
 

LeBron: Chemistry is at "all-time high" with Wade

LeBron says his chemistry with Wade is at an "all-time high right now." (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

Rewind to last summer where Dwyane Wade blamed part of the Heat's NBA Finals loss to the Mavericks on chemistry. He said, "One thing that Dallas beat us at – they had more chemistry than us. They had a game plan and we were still figuring ours out in our first year together."

Fast forward to this season where the transition alley oops are happening by the bunches and the Heat look as powerful as ever. LeBron James says the chemistry between him and Wade isn't just good, it's at a level it's never been before. Via the Sun Sentinel:
"It is at an all-time high right now, honestly," James said of the chemistry between the two. "It is just a chemistry that we have.  Last year was a blueprint for us.  It is not like we look for each other more than others, it kind of just happens.

"We're two of the fastest guys in the league when it comes to a break and it is kind of pick-your-poison with the defender, either allow me to get a dunk or allow D-Wade to get a dunk. We are two unselfish players. If a guy is open, we pass it."
That sound you just heard was 29 other teams shuddering slightly. If that's actually true and LeBron and Wade are figuring out how to play together and off each other -- whoa.

But the thing is, transition baskets and running is one thing. Executing down the stretch in the halfcourt of a close game is another thing. And I don't think Wade and LeBron or the Heat as a whole have figured that out at all. Take the most recent example Sunday against the Bulls. Miami won, but not because of the halfcourt offense in the fourth quarter. Had Derrick Rose made two free throws, we might all be sitting here saying "What's wrong with the Heat?" and LeBron might not be saying things like that.

I have no doubt the on-court chemistry between Wade and LeBron is great and they are willing to pass to each other. But that's not the secret key to making the Heat unstoppable. It's about incorporating that chemistry with the other three guys on the court with them. It's about playing off each other while playing with each other. The Heat look very good and with Chris Bosh playing exceedingly well along with the terrifying fast break Miami has, nobody is going to argue if you say they're the best in the league right now.

But it's one thing to feel your chemistry at its highest level in late January. It's another to feel it in the NBA Finals when you desperately need a basket.

Posted on: January 30, 2012 3:17 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 3:56 pm
 

Derrick Rose: Free throw misses were 'unreal'

Posted by Ben Golliver 

Derrick Rose came up short at the free throw line against the Miami Heat. (Getty Images)

There's no lonelier place in basketball than the free throw line after a big miss. Reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose was reminded of that fact on Sunday night.

Rose, a career 81.9 percent foul shooter who is shooting 85.6 percent so far this season, stepped to the foul line for two shots with 22 seconds left, and his Bulls trailing the Miami Heat, 94-93. 

SheridanHoops.com noted that Rose had not missed a free throw in the fourth quarter during the 2011-2012 season until he missed both in the clutch, helping send the Heat to a 97-93 victory in a rematch of the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals.
Rose was 26-for-26 on fourth-quarter free throws heading into the game. He was also on a second-half tear, having scored 21 points, many by getting to the rim after carving up Miami’s defense in typical Rose fashion. Rose was on an even bigger free throw roll. He was a perfect 12-for-12 when he stepped to the line with the game in the balance and inexplicably bricked both shots.

“Give me one of those,” Rose lamented. “I missed both of those (expletive). Come on.”
ESPNChicago.com reports that Rose had trouble processing his late-game shortcomings afterwards, despite scoring a team-high 34 points and dishing 6 assists.
"This is so unreal right now," an emotional Rose said. "Knowing that I had the chance to change the game, and this time it didn't work out. I know my will to win is still very high, but I guarantee the next time those shots are going down."

"It was definitely tough," Rose said. "All I can say is I guess God [does] everything for a reason. I've been in those situations before, knocked them down, but to miss both [free throws] -- I let my team down. The only thing I can do is learn from it... If I would have hit them free throws, it never would have gotten that far. I know I can live with it. It's just going to make me a stronger player and it's onto the next game."
As Chicago's chief ball-handler and most lethal offensive weapon, Rose is constantly in the position to decide games for the Bulls. Since the start of the 2010-2011 season, Chicago is 79-25, so he's clearly coming up big in crunchtime far more often than he's falling short.

But we shouldn't act like this is Rose's first free throw adventure in his lifetime.

In the 2008 NCAA title game, Rose had the opportunity to put away the Kansas Jaywhawks with a pair of free throws with 10.8 seconds remaining in the second half. His Memphis Tigers were leading 62-60 when he stepped to the stripe with the chance to make it a two-possession game by making both. Instead, Rose missed the front end, allowing a late 3-pointer by Jayhawks guard Mario Chalmers to send the game into overtime, where Kansas completed the miracle comeback to take the title. 

The 19-year-old Rose's post-championship message to the Associated Press back in 2008 was a bit different than the one after Sunday's loss.
"It wasn't really the free throws," Rose said. "If we'd done things before the free throws, we would've been in good shape."
Rose was correct then, in part. His free throw miss -- and earlier misses by Chris Douglas-Roberts -- were not the sole determining factor of the game. Technically, it's impossible to argue that a single play ever decides a game. But his miss then was absolutely crucial and it changed history.

His path has been a long, busy one in the nearly four years since that loss at Memphis. He's been all the way to the East Finals, all the way to franchise player status, all the way to a super-lucractive, almost 9-figure contract extension. The fact that his free throw misses weren't the sole determining factor in Sunday's loss hasn't changed. But his message, given the last four years worth of developments, should have changed, and it did.

And it did. Rose took responsibility, repeated his well-known desire to win, expressed a desire to improve, and guaranteed to make amends for the shortcoming in the future. There's nothing more that anyone could reasonably ask of him. He might have lost at the free throw line but he won in the locker room.

All that's left now is to deliver on that guarantee.
Posted on: January 30, 2012 12:40 am
Edited on: January 30, 2012 1:35 am
 

Report Card: Heat, Mavs, Lakers roll on Sunday

Posted by Ben Golliver and Matt Moore

LeBron James topped Derrick Rose in their first head-to-head match-up of the season. (Getty Images)

Your nightly report card gives you a big picture look at what happened each night in the NBA. Grades are granted based on team or individual performances, and are graded on a curve for each element. Leave your own grades in the comments.

LeBron James jumps over John Lucas III to dunk

Words can't really express how ridiculous this dunk is from James. If you haven't seen it at least 10 times by the start of work on Monday all of your co-workers will hate you. Watch it over and over again. There's not enough plusses to add at the end of this "A." This deserves to be in the "all-time greatest dunks" conversation. -- BG


Miami Heat

The Heat have to feel pretty, pretty, pret-tay good with how Sunday's smackdown with the Chicago Bulls played out. Looking dominant for long stretches even with Dwyane Wade struggle and Derrick Rose going for 34 points, the Heat escaped after two late misses at the charity stripe from James. Chris Bosh was a crucial X-factor, contributing 24 points (on just 14 shots) while grabbing 12 rebounds and hitting all eight of his free throw attempts. James was a monster and he torched the Bulls, who were down Luol Deng due to injury. -- BG

Los Angeles Lakers

L.A.'s road struggles run so deep this season that it's no exaggeration at all to say they exited the Target Center with a big win on Sunday night. Hot shooting from deep was an obvious key -- 8-for-19 as a team, including five bombs from Bryant -- but the Andrew Bynum / Pau Gasol combination combined for a ridiculous 49 points and 13 rebounds, including 12 points in the game's final five minutes. Minnesota committed just four turnovers on the night, out-rebounded L.A. 52-41 and took 25 more attempts from the field, yet still wound up on the losing end of this one. You don't see that every day. The Lakers' shooting (40-for-79 as a team) had everything to do with that.  -- BG

Jason Terry


There will come a time when Jason Terry is not in this league and that will be sad. Too often Terry gets overlooked for the understandable idolization of Nowitzki. But Terry's ability to find, create, and deliver huge shot after huge shot should be remembered for a long time by fans in Dallas and across the league. He has an uncanny ability to make the right decision of whether to continue to the basket for a layup or pull-up, and just when you think there's no way he delivers a score, he nails it with nothing but nylon in the ball's trajectory. The bench mob won the battle for a while, but it was Terry who helped the Mavs win the war. You limit Dirk Nowitzi to ten points and this happens. Jason Terry, the itch that you can never scratch. -- MM

Vince Carter

Carter went Vinsanity for much of the first half, nailing pull-up jumpers, getting to the rim, and when the game needed a rebound and a stop for the Mavericks, Carter delivered both down the stretch. Carter providing that kind of performance for the Mavs makes them an entirely different team in the backcourt and it shows the value of his free agent signing for Dallas. Off a steal late in the game instead of pushing for a layup against two defenders, he wisely slowed the game down and set up Jason Terry for a huge shot to close the gap in the fourth quarter.  -- MM

San Antonio Bench Bombardment, LLC


Gary Neal played point guard, ran an offense and sliced and diced his way to 19 points. Danny Green and James Anderson, who have both spent time in Austin with the Spurs' Developmen team (along with Neal) hit big shot after big shot against the champs. Tiago Splitter brought 8 points and 7 rebounds in 26 minutes to help fuel the comeback. Matt Bonner played terrific defense, for crying out loud. It was simply insane, how well the Spurs' bench played, particularly in the fourth quarter, scoring on 8 of 9 possessions at one point. It was an inspiring performance that was nearly enough, had a buzzer beater with .5 left in regulation from Danny Green not been a fraction of a slice of a piece of a hair follicle too late. B+. -- MM

Gregg Popovich

How many coaches have the guts to keep their bench in that long and let them ride it out, even in overtime, to trust those young players to deliver? Two? Maybe? Popovich didn't get the win but rested his starters, nearly pulled it out, gave his young guys valuable experience, and sent a message to the first team. The fact it almost worked is pretty insane all by itself. -- MM 
 

Derrick Rose

This might seem like an incredibly harsh grade, but ask yourself whether if Rose would give himself anything better than an "F" after he bricked two late free throws that had major endgame implications? Rose had some "holy crap" moments against the Heat, feathering in pull-up jumpers and runners and finshing after contact time and time again. But while he put up 34 points and got all four of his teammates into double figures, he came up empty at the end and shot just 11-for-28 from the field. He protected the ball well, his teammates left some assists on the table for him by missing open shots and he was missing Deng, who would have been huge. He had Chicago in it until the very end. But he goes home with frustration, just like after the 2011 East Finals. That's got to feel below average. -- BG
 
Spurs' Starters


Spurs' Starters: Listless, uninspired, sloppy. If they were scoring (Tim Duncan), they weren't defending. If they were defending (Kawhi Leonard), they were shooting poorly. The bench mob redeemed the Spurs' effort, but San Antonio largely just "didn't have it." -- MM



Tony Parker


9 points on 11 shots. 4 assists, 2 turnovers, and a benching for Gary Neal, who's not a point guard, to run point. And he was outplayed by Roddy Beaubois a fellow Frenchman much younger. So yeah, a poor night for TP. D-. -- MM



Carlos Boozer's Family

Poor Boozer got punked hard by his family on national television. Of course this would happen to him. -- BG


Posted on: January 29, 2012 7:23 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 4:49 pm
 

LeBron James rode bike to Bulls game

Posted by Ben Golliver 

LeBron James rode a bicycle to Sunday's game agains the Bulls. (Credits below)

LeBron James can arguably finish in traffic better than anyone in the NBA. On Sunday we learned he's pretty good at beating traffic, too.

The 2012 Miami Marathon began at 6:15 a.m. at American Airlines Arena on Sunday, drawing 6,000 registered runners, according to the Miami Herald. While the paper reported that a six-hour time limit was instituted, traffic congestion issues were still a problem to be dealt with for members of the Miami Heat and the Chicago Bulls prior to the 3:30 p.m. tip of their nationally-televised game at the AAA.

Rather than deal with the headaches associated with road closures and extra pedestrian traffic, James opted to ride a custom bicycle to the arena. Suited up in a skintight all-black outfit and helmet, and donning a camoflauge napsack, James biked the few miles from his home to the stadium, escorted by what appears to be Randy Mims, his manager/business partner. James is no stranger to two wheels: bicycling was a regular part of his conditioning routine during the lockout and he hosts an annual bike giveaway in Ohio. 

The ABC broadcast later showed James' red, black and silver bike parked inside the American Airlines Arena. The words "King James" were custom printed in yellow old English styled letters on the bike's frame.

Asked about his biking adventure during a televised halftime interview, James said: "My legs feel really good. It felt good to get open field and get a bike ride in and be prepared for today's game."

James finished with a game-high 35 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 block on 12-for-23 shooting in 41 minutes to help Miami defeat Chicago, 97-93. He also completely jumped over John Lucas to finish an alley-oop.

The Herald reports that Samuel Kipkosegei Malakwen of Kenya won the marathon in the Miami Marathon's closest finish ever, posting a time of 2 hours, 16 minutes, 54.58 seconds. 

Image credits: @peter1leeHotHotHoops.com, @cjzero and cjzero. Hat tip: @JackNruth
Posted on: January 29, 2012 6:48 pm
 

Five big takeaways from Bulls-Heat

Posted by Royce Young

Round one went to the Heat, but not much separates Miami and Chicago. (Getty Images)

For the first time since Game 5 of the Eastern Confernce Finals where the Heat put together a massive comeback -- or the Bulls choked away a big lead, depending on perspective -- the Bulls and Heat matched up Sunday in Miami. It went as expected, down to the wire, with a couple key possessions decided it as Miami slid by, 97-93.

It was a game that will be played three more times during the regular season and likely one we'll see four, five, six or maybe seven more times in the postseason. It's one of what will be many more, but here are five big things to take away from the first matchup.

1. The final minute was pretty much perfect. Why? Because it was a total mess. Or as Kevin Garnett might say, a bar fight. The Bulls clawed back to finally have a shot at their first lead of the game as Derrick Rose stepped to the line with Chicago down 94-93 with 22 seconds left. Of note: Rose was 12-12 from the line to that point and had made all 28 free throws he'd attempted in the fourth quarter this season. He missed the first short. He missed the second long. The Heat gained possession and Joakim Noah was forced to foul LeBron James.

So it was LeBron's turn to finish the game at the line. He missed the first short. He missed the second long.

And that's when things started to get weird.

Off the second miss, there was an inadvertant whistle as Dwyane Wade saved the ball and Miami appeared to regain possession. The officials decided to jump it up at mid-court, but Monty McCutchen's toss was incredibly lopsided as LeBron easily won it against Taj Gibson. The Bulls fouled, Mario Chalmers stepped to the line with 13 seconds left. He made the first, missed the second and the ball somehow squirted through Carlos Boozer's arms as he called timeout. Rose grabbed it, got the timeout called and the Bulls, after all of that, had the ball with nine seconds left and a chance to tie it or win.

Rose got free and had a decent look for 2 as Richard Hamilton stood wide open in the corner. Rose came up short, the Heat grabbed the ball and finished off the Bulls in a completely fitting finish to a wild, entertaining game between the East's top two teams.

2. LeBron v. Rose. Both were absolutely spectacular. Rose finished with 34, LeBron 35. It was a show of two of the most electric players with the ball in their hands. Everything you'd want from a Heat-Bulls game.

The Heat didn't use LeBron on Rose much in the game like they did in the Eastern Finals, but LeBron did switch to Rose one time -- the Bulls final possession. Rose was terrific despite missing the free throws and 17 of his 28 shots, but he did it abusing Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole. With the Bulls in a position to win or tie, LeBron switched to Rose.

Chicago ran a quick little set that got the ball to Rose isolated at the top of the key on LeBron. Rose got an on-ball screen, slipped past LeBron and jumpstopped at an elbow. Two Heat defenders stepped up, Udonis Haslem flopped to try and draw a charge and Rose was left with an open 15-footer. Which of course he missed.

But for the first 47:51 of the game, the Heat resisted having LeBron guard Rose, like he did so much of in the Eastern Finals. I couldn't help but wonder if it was an intentional switch to try and keep LeBron off of Rose and let the Heat defend the reiging MVP collectively, but it's almost like Erik Spoelstra was saving it as his secret weapon, just in case. As the two teams go forward against each other, it's definitely something to watch for.

3. Rose still has to do too much. There's a key difference between the Bulls and Heat: Rose defers to Richard Hamilton, Kyle Korver, Carlos Boozer and Ronnie Brewer. LeBron defers to Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. A crucial distinction.

The Bulls are mostly in a position where either they have to kill the offensive glass and create multiple shot possessions or play incredible defense and win an ugly 80-78 game. Or hope that Rose plays an entirely flawless game.

The good news for Chicago is that all three of those things are entirely possible. The Bulls did a great job creating second opportunities, played solid defense and Rose was really good. But still, they didn't get enough of all three. I'm not so sure the Heat are all that much better than the Bulls, but I do think Chicago's margin for error is much smaller.

4. Luol Deng matters, a lot. Forgotten in all of this is Chicago's second best player didn't play. Luol Deng, a guy that gives the Bulls almost 16 points and 7.5 rebounds a game was out with a wrist and hand injury. Not only did the Bulls miss the extra offensive punch Deng gives, but they missed most his defensive ability.

Deng would've been the primary defender on LeBron, but instead Chicago was forced to rotate guys like Ronnie Brewer, Rip Hamilton and big guys like Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah on him. Not ideal for the Bulls and it's a big reason LeBron exploded for 35 points. You can't take something away from this game without remembering that the Bulls were minus Deng. He means way too much to them, especially for the reason he's their guy to stick on No. 6.

5. A seven-game series between these two would be terrific. I'm not entirely sure who the favorite would be, but if this game is any indication, it will likely come down to either Derrick Rose carrying his Bulls, or a combination of LeBron and Wade doing the same for Miami. It's a wonderful contrast between a top heavy squad with three amazing players against a deep roster headed by one incredible player.

Sunday, Wade wasn't great scoring 15 points on 4-16 shooting, but that's the design of the Heat. One guy didn't get it done, so another stepped up. In this case, it was LeBron and Chris Bosh (24 points, 12 rebounds). Bosh is a linchpin in that when Deng is healthy, the Bulls really can defend the Heat well. There likely will be games where Wade and LeBron are struggling and Bosh has to outclass Boozer inside to give Miami easy points.

There's a lot of stuff going on between these two teams. A lot of matchup issues, adjustments and big players making big plays. They're on a crash course to see each other again in the Eastern Finals and as Sunday showed, it'll likely be a beautiful mess.
Posted on: January 29, 2012 6:37 pm
Edited on: January 29, 2012 7:25 pm
 

Carlos Boozer's son cheers for Heat, against dad

Carlos Boozer's son cheers against his father. (ABC Broadcast)
Posted by Ben Golliver 

Carlos Boozer has been the butt of thousands and thousands of jokes since he signed with the Chicago Bulls and immediately disappointed everyone by getting injured and then being a virtual non-factor in the playoffs last year. But it's never been quite this bad.

It's never been so bad that his own family turned against him on national television.

During the fourth quarter of Sunday's game between the Bulls and their major current rival, the Miami Heat, the television broadcast featured a quick story on Boozer's son, who has made a remarkable recovery from sickle cell anemia. As the camera panned to Boozer's family, seated in the American Airlines Arena crowd, Boozer's son was caught chanting "Let's Go Heat!" along with the home crowd.

Boozer's wife appeared to think it was funny, smiling as it happened.

The cheering was so obvious and extended that it was even called out by the broadcast crew and shown on a replay during a dead ball stoppage.

"If I'm pops and I'm watching this film," said former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy, "if my kid is yelling 'Let's Go Heat' like we just saw, I've got a problem... You can't go against pop's team... We would have a long talk." 

Papa Boozer, who finished with 10 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in 28 minutes, surely left the arena disappointed after the Heat escaped with a 97-93 victory over the Bulls. Maybe his son's excitement could help cheer him up on the drive home? 

Here's the video of Carlos Boozer's son cheering against his father during a game against the Miami Heat.


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com