Tag:MIami Heat
Posted on: January 24, 2012 11:42 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2012 12:31 am
 

Report Card: Like a Bosh

Posted by Royce Young

Chris Bosh scored 35 for the Heat Tuesday, including 17 in the fourth. (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.

Chris Bosh


Bosh did the heavy lifting for the Heat against Cleveland scoring 35 points, including 17 in the fourth quarter. He did it on 10-16 shooting and 14-14 from the free throw line. It was a nice game to see from Bosh who picked his spots wisely, took open shots when he had them and didn't waver throughout the game in his aggressiveness. That's been the problem with Bosh, is him fading out after a good half or quarter. But he stayed with it against the Cavs, putting together a very complete game.

Orlando Magic

A night after completely embarrassing themselves by shooting 24 percent and scoring only 56 points in Boston, the Magic bounced back by whipping the Pacers by shooting 46 percent from the field and hitting 13 3-pointers. So it really was just an off night against the Celtics. Ryan Anderson led the way hitting 5-7 from deep.


Marcus Camby

Camby led the way to a nice Blazer win over the Grizzlies pulling in 22 rebounds while also holding Marc Gasol to only seven points on 2-7 shooting. It was one of those classic Camby games where his box score is almost entirely out of whack. The 22 rebounds but only two shots, three points and then five blocks to go with it. Every now and then we all tend to forget that Camby is still one of the best defensive and rebounding big men in basketball. Marc Gasol won't forget that for a while.

Carmelo Anthony


OK, that's sort of a sarcastic grade. Carmelo had said recently he needed to re-evaluate his shot selection and he did that in a big way against the Bobcats. Melo went 0-7 from floor and scored only a single point in 30 minutes in the Knicks 111-78 blowout of the Bobcats. The Knicks got balanced scoring across the board with 20 from Tyson Chandler, 18 from Landry Fields, 18 from Amar'e Stoudemire and 51 points from the bench. The Knicks aren't a better team getting that little from Melo, but it certainly worked fine for a night.

Toronto Raptors

The losing streak is over! After eight consecutive losses, the Raptors finally got on the high side with a win in Phoenix. Andrea Bargnani had 36 and James Johnson 18. But here's the sobering reality: Toronto is still just 5-13 and are not very good.



LeBron James


LeBron's team won, but he played one of his most mediocre games of the year. He went 8-21 from the floor, turned the ball over five times, made only a single basket in the fourth and only had five assists. He wasn't great. He didn't really need to be because the Heat were playing an overmatched Cavs squad. It's not like LeBron to not be the best player on the floor during a game, but that was the case Tuesday.

Indiana Pacers

The Pacers are a bit hard to figure. Granted, they were getting a pretty angry Orlando team, but getting worked against another Eastern contender doesn't speak well for a team that's trying to be taken seriously. The Pacers sometimes can look crisp and clean offensively and other nights completely at a loss for consistent scoring.

Posted on: January 24, 2012 11:52 am
Edited on: January 24, 2012 11:53 am
 

Dwyane Wade out Tuesday vs. Cavaliers

Posted by Royce Young

Dwyane Wade will miss his fifth straight game of the season because of a sprained ankle, sitting out the Heat's game at home versus the Cavaliers Tuesday.

Wade sprained it during a Jan. 14 game against the Denver Nuggets. Without Wade this season, the Heat are 6-1.

Miami will likely just continue doing what it has done over the past four games, putting the ball in LeBron's hands more while using a committee of James Jones, Mike Miller, Norris Cole, Mario Chalmers and Shane Battier to fill Wade's time.

Wade, 30, is averaging 19.6 points, 5.4 assists, 4.3 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.7 blocks in 35.1 minutes per game this season.

Miami next game after tonight is Tuesday at Detroit, which I wouldn't expect Wade to play either. Maybe he could return Friday for a home game against New York.
Posted on: January 23, 2012 2:49 pm
Edited on: January 23, 2012 3:29 pm
 

Quarterly Report Awards: LeBron leads MVP

James leads the pack of first-quarter MVP candidates (Getty Images)


This lockout-shortened NBA season is already a quarter over for most teams, stunningly. It has been a crazy whirlwind under the compacted schedule, and we're seeing older teams like the Mavericks, Lakers, and Celtics struggle through it. Meanwhile, deep, younger teams like the Nuggets and Sixers are thriving, and yet the same powers that were expected to be at the top are, even with Miami fallen off a bit. So to get a fix on where we are this season, we thought we'd hand out some awards, roundtable-style. 

1. Who's your MVP?

Royce Young: LeBron James. The Heat lost their first game without Dwyane Wade this weekend, but still, they're 5-1 without him and that's pretty much because LeBron is still the best player in the world.

Matt Moore: I don't want to say LeBron James, because it seems too obvious, but I'm going to say LeBron James, because it's so obvious. No one takes over those first 46 minutes like he does, and without them, you don't get to the time where he has so many question marks.

Ben Golliver: We’ve exhausted the ways to explain LeBron James’ individual brilliance in recent years, but the modifications that he’s made to his game – slashing his three-point attempts, improving his mid-range shot, getting to the free throw line more than he did last season – plus ridiculous numbers (29.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 2.1 blocks, 56.4 percent shooting) make this James’ best season to date. Give it to him so we don’t have to listen to arguments in 5-8 years about how many times he was snubbed, like we’re been hearing from droning Kobe Bryant fans since 2006.

2. If star power wasn't a factor, just straight out "who helps their team the most," who's your MVP?

Royce Young: Still LeBron. I think it became pretty obvious last season how valuable he is to a roster when the Cavs went from a contender to the longest losing streak in NBA history just with the subtraction of LeBron.

Matt Moore: I think it's a tie between Gerald Wallace and Andre Iguodala. Both of those guys do such a phenomenal job in every facet of the game for their teams, and the wins and losses often correspond to how they come out. They're so active with and without the ball and make so many plays for their teams, they have a ridiculous level of impact on their teams, even if James is a superior player.

Ben Golliver: James’ PER ranking is 8 full points above the nearest competition (35 to Bryant’s 27) and he’s carried the Heat in Dwyane Wade’s absence due to injury, so his claim to “helping his team most” to date is essentially indisputable.

3. Is ROY a two-man race already?

Royce Young: Not yet. Ricky Rubio is the first quarter ROY, and Kyrie Irving is right there with him, but don't count out Kemba Walker and even Brandon Knight, who had quietly been playing well in Detroit early on.

Matt Moore: Rubio is drawing comments from people who say he is unlike anything they've ever seen and Irving is statistically dominant in nearly every category. If there were an award for Rookie to wind up making the most impact on wins and losses, I'd go with Kawhi Leonard, who will be making life very unhappy for some team in the playoffs.

Ben Golliver: We’ve definitely got the Ricky Rubio vs. Kyrie Irving two-headed monster that we expected, but the twist is that both the Timberwolves (11th in West) and the Cavaliers (9th in East) are fringe-y playoff teams rather than conference basement dwellers. Team performance could easily be the deciding factor.

4. If James Harden was starting like he should, who would be your sixth man of the year?

Royce Young: It's a close race between Al Harrington and Lou Williams. Both impact their teams greatly when they step onto the floor.

Matt Moore: Al Harrington. Harrington's ability to score anywhere on the floor combined with his active defense make him the prime candidate and it's not close.

Ben Golliver: Mo Williams of the Clippers has dealt with some injuries but has put up 14.5 points and 3.9 assists while shooting the ball extremely well (53.8 percent from the field and 44.8 percent from deep) during the season’s first month.

5. Who wins "worst coaching performance?"

Royce Young: Paul Westphal. Getting fired kind of seals your fate by default, doesn't it? But Westphal, who is a good basketball mind, just couldn't connect with his young team and lost them. That's not doing a good job.

Matt Moore: It pains me to say this because I think he's limited by his roster and will work out in the long-run for the Pistons, but Lawrence Frank has disappointed. Signing veterans with limite upside and impact isn't his fault, but relying on them is. The pieces are there for the Pistons to come together, but it simply hasn't so far this year.

Ben Golliver: I’ll give it to Flip Saunders of the Washington Wizards, if only because he was blown off so blatantly by referee Danny Crawford during this argument. He should have already been fired.

6. If we were giving an award for "strategic adjustment" by a team, who wins?

Royce Young: Rick Adelman has done the best job of any coach so far this season. The Wolves are finally organized offensively and he smartly managed the Rubio starting situation. He gave him time to ease in and made the move to start him before it became a nagging issue that was a constant topic of discussion.

Matt Moore: I'm going with Doug Collins' use of his bench. Deploying them as units and then integrating based on what's working in-game has been genius. Honorable mention to George Karl's two-point-guard lineup.

Ben Golliver: Completely disregarding defense was getting played out, so props to Mike D’Antoni’s Knicks for switching it up and completely disregarding offense.

7. Who has the best defense in the league, team and player?

Royce Young: The Bulls have easily been the best defense. Teams are having trouble cracking 80 on them for crying out loud. At home, they've held four teams to under 70. Best player, I'm giving credit to Andre Iguodala who had been terrific defending the perimeter so far this year.

Matt Moore: Chicago has the best team defense, but the Sixers' more basic, very stable set is a strong candidate as well. Dwight's the obvious pick, but with the Magic's overall defense not as hot, how about the Clippers' DeAndre Jordan? A block machine. He still overreaches on help at times, but overall he's been nearly dominant down low.

Ben Golliver: I think we’re at the same place we were last year: Chicago has proven itself to be the NBA’s best defense while Magic center Dwight Howard (16.1 rebounds, 2.3 blocks per game) is in a category all his own when it comes to individual accomplishments and impact.

Andre Iguodala has helped the Sixers to a surprisingly strong start. (Getty Images)
8. What wins "best storyline" for you?

Royce Young: The 76ers and Pacers quiet rise to contendership. Both teams don't really have any starpower and might not be able to sustain this success through the year, but they're playing well right now and positioning for a high seed in the East.

Matt Moore: The Knicks, Celtics, and Lakers falling apart like a flan in a cupboard. Nothing is more scinitllating that star-studded teams in big markets collapsing.

Ben Golliver: The Denver Nuggets and the Utah Jazz being so much better than the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets, the teams who made blockbuster moves for Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams at least year’s deadline.

9. Best free agent signing, first-quarter?

Royce Young: David West. He's given the Pacers exactly what they needed. An extra scoring option and someone to rely upon late in games for a big basket.

Matt Moore: Marc Gasol. Cheap out as he was re-signed, but Gasol has been even better than last year and looks like the franchise center he's being paid to be. Memphis made out huge with that deal.

Ben Golliver: Among the teams with the top records in the league, the Pacers adding David West – solidifying them as a likely top-4 team in the East – and the Clippers nabbing the amnestied Chauncey Billups – giving them a foul-drawing machine and a stand-in replacement when Chris Paul gets injured, both merit acknowledgement.

10. Who is the best team in the league?

Royce Young: Chicago. The Bulls are a bit boring -- especially when Derrick Rose doesn't play -- but you can't ignore how they're just hammering on people right now. Scoring against Chicago is a full on chore and with Luol Deng playing great, Carlos Boozer looking better and of course having Rose ready to carry the load when needed, the Bulls appear to have the total package.

Matt Moore: The Miami Heat. I know what the records say. I know how good Chicago and the Thunder have looked. But the Heat at their best are a better team than they were last year. OKC doesn't look as good, and Chicago is the same. Look me in the eye and tell me you're confident either of those teams can knock off the Heat if it's best vs. best. Chicago or OKC can both win the championship this season. The Heat are still the best team.

Ben Golliver: The Bulls are No. 2 in defense, No. 6 on offense and No. 1 in rebounding; their closest competition, the Thunder, are ranked No. 5, No. 14 and No. 16 in those categories. So far, this one isn’t as close as the records might indicate. I think Orlando – riding Howard and their point generating machine of an offense -- is a strong dark horse.
Posted on: January 22, 2012 10:33 pm
Edited on: January 23, 2012 12:10 am
 

Report Card: Paul Pierce carries Boston

Posted by Royce Young



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.

Mo Williams

If anyone is taking advantage of Chris Paul's injury, it's Mo Williams. And here's the irony: Paul's injury may end up benefitting the Clippers. As a result, Williams has been able to showcase he still has a little All-Star ability in him after putting up another big line with 26 points against Toronto. With Williams playing so well, his trade value is climbing and the Clippers, who don't have a ton of need for him once CP3 returns, could dangle him at the deadline for a 2-guard or interior post defender.

Paul Pierce

The Celtics are looking old and hobbled, but Pierce still has a good amount left in the tank. Granted, it was against the Wizards, but Pierce was in triple-double territory with 34 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds. Pierce got his points on just 15 shots and did it as he likes to -- getting to the line, attacking the middle of the floor and hitting open shots when he got them.

Indiana Pacers

The Pacers failed to make a statement earlier in the month in Miami, but did exactly that Sunday night notching a signature win over the Lakers in Los Angeles. All five starters scored in double-figures and the Pacers just played a wise, defensive game limiting Kobe's counterparts. It helped hitting 10-18 from 3 and the fact the Lakers missed 11 free throws. Regardless, the Pacers needed this type of win to really grab attention and they executed and got it done.

John Wall

Finally, it looks like John Wall might be turning a corner. After a disappointing start to his sophomore season, Wall has had a better week. Against Boston Sunday, he put up 27 points, seven assists and 10 rebounds. In order for Washington to stay competitive with anyone, that's how Wall has to play. I'm sure the dysfunction and losing have weighed on him, but he has to realize a lot of it is on his shoulders. And if he can bring it like he has lately every night, the Wizards can play with people.

Washington Wizards

The Wizards lost again dropping to 2-14, but they kind of hand a decent week. They beat the Thunder, were competitive against the Nuggets and nearly beat the Celtics. I wouldn't say they're coming around to get excited, but it definitely is encouraging to see they haven't completely quit. Continuing to play hard and competing is often the first step in turning things around.

Brandon Jennings

Check out his line: 23 points (good), 5-20 from the floor (not good), 12-13 from the line (good), 1-10 from 3 (not good). Milwaukee got good games from Ersan Ilyasova and Andre Bogut which was enough to beat Miami, but Jennings' night was a little bit of a mess.


Toronto Raptors

The Raptors kind of had a little promise to them early in the season. Dwane Casey had them defending, Andrea Bargnani was off to an All-Star caliber start and there was some legit optimism about the direction. But they've now dropped eight straight games, the most recent being at the hands of the Clippers in a game they were handled with relative ease (just 11 first quarter points for the Raptors). Things may be improving in Toronto, but not quite at the pace some might've thought.

Heat players not named LeBron or Chris

LeBron James and Chris Bosh combined for 61 of Miami's total of 82 against the Bucks. Only one other player scored in double-figures (Mario Chalmers) and no other player scored more than six. It was an extremely weak effort from the Heat's role players and without LeBron playing an incredible game, Miami wasn't going to win like that.

Posted on: January 21, 2012 10:37 pm
 

Heat wear orange & pink Floridians jerseys

Posted by Ben Golliver 

lebron-james-pink-jersey

The Miami Heat took to the court on Saturday night against the Philadelphia 76ers wearing a white, pink and orange throwback jerseys that paid tribute to the Miami Floridians of the American Basketball Association.

The Floridians were only in existence from 1968 through 1970 before moving to Minnesota, but that didn't stop LeBron James and company from donning the throwbacks as a South Florida tribute. The design features a white base, black lettering and numbers, pink borders and distinctive orange and pink vertical stripes on the left side of the jersey and shorts.

ESPN.com reports that this Floridians design is one of just six different jerseys that the Heat will wear during the 2011-2012 season. During a nationally-televised game on Thursday, Miami donned a shiny black jersey to face the Los Angeles Lakers.

For the record, Miami topped the 76ers, 113-92, at American Airlines Arena.

Here are some more pictures of the Floridians design modeled by, from left to right, Shane Battier, Chris Bosh and Mario Chalmers.

miami-team-pink
Category: NBA
Posted on: January 21, 2012 12:39 pm
Edited on: January 21, 2012 6:04 pm
 

Heat G Dwyane Wade (ankle) out Saturday vs. 76ers

Posted by Ben Golliver

All-Star guard Dwyane Wade will not play for the Miami Heat during Saturday night's game against the Philadelphia 76ers as he continues to sit with a badly sprained ankle, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

Wade sprained the ankle during a Jan. 14 game against the Denver Nuggets and did not play in a Tuesday win over the San Antonio Spurs and a Thursday win over the Los Angeles Lakers. CBSSports.com's Royce Young took a look at the Heat's success without Wade. 

Without Wade, the Heat are expected to use a committee approach, splitting minutes between starters Mario Chalmers and Shane Battier and reservers Mike Miller, James Jones and Norris Cole to supplement the efforts of All-Star forward LeBron James

Wade, 30, is averaging 19.6 points, 5.4 assists, 4.3 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.7 blocks in 35.1 minutes per game this season.

The Heat next play on Sunday against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Category: NBA
Posted on: January 19, 2012 11:37 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2012 11:41 pm
 

Report Card: Lakers-Heat Grades



Grades from the Heat's 98-87 win over the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday night. 

LeBron James


Well, he was on 4-9 in the fourth quarter. But then, that didn't really matter, since he scored 31 points (but needed 27 shots), had 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 4 steals, and 3 blocks. That's about as complete a game you're going to find in a game with this kind of pace. James had pretty much everything working. A teardrop, a hook shot, threes, mid-range, dunks, the works. His team needed him to step up with flu-like symptoms and he got it done. It's not the flu game, but it is very impressive.

Erik Spoelstra


Spoelstra managed a pretty magnificent stratagem against the Lakers. He doubled Kobe Bryant as aggressively as you can, daring the Lakers' perimeter shooters to hit shots from range. When they couldn't, the Lakers' offense fell apart. Bryant was forced into either deferring or poor shots. The Heat's defense was in fine form. They funneled the ball where they wanted and when it went where they didn't (Andrew Bynum), they hammered the Lakers and made them hit free throws. Masterful game by Spo.

Mario Chalmers


Didn't shoot well, but ran the offense effectively and was disruptive on defense. Chalmers made no boneheaded plays and wound up with six assists. He did what the point guard on this kind of team needs to do. His job, and nothing more.

Chris Bosh


Bosh was charged with a brutal task. Score against two of the best big men in the league and defend them when they have multiple inches and tons of weight on him. Yet Bosh was effective in deterring entry passes and being active on the weak side. He spaced the floor with 15 points and set the tone.

Pau Gasol

The lone bright spot, Gasol should have gotten the ball much more in this game. He had the mid-range and was aggressive driving. It was a vintage performance wasted by a terrible Lakers offense.


Kobe vs. LeBron


The record is 11-5 and James just beat him with flu-like symptoms (Bryant obviously dealing with a torn ligament in his wrist that is arguably much more severe). James has won five straight against No. 24. Those that feel regular season games are meaningless won't be affected by these games (or anything short of James winnning six rings). But if we're buying into head-to-head to any degree, James' dominance is clear.

Kobe Bryant


Some poor shot selection, which you expect. But a lot of shots he usually hits just weren't falling. He controlled his shooting, controlled his turnovers, and tried to get the Lakers back in the game. Bryant's biggest problem Thursday night was not being as good as LeBron James. And really, on a night like Thursday, how do you blame him for that?

The Lakers mystique


Note that James didn't have an A game, Bosh didn't have an A game, the Heat didn't have Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant scored 11 straight in the fourth.... and they lost by eleven. The Lakers can still win a title this season. But no one's scared of this team right now. The menace is gone.
Posted on: January 19, 2012 11:37 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2012 11:42 pm
 

Miami is now 5-0 without Wade -- what's it mean?

Posted by Royce Young



Let me stop myself before I even start: No, the Heat are not better without Dwyane Wade. Yes, even thinking that is pretty stupid. No, the Heat should not trade him. Yes, that's a whole other level of stupid. 

But you know what? The fact the Heat improved to 5-0 without him with a 98-87 win over the Lakers Thursday and are 5-4 with him this season is kind of hard to ignore. And it's impossible not to wonder what it might mean.

Here's my conclusion: It means LeBron is still the best player in basketball. And it's not really all that close.

What you see from LeBron is a player unchained from any restraints of fitting alongside someone else. A player that can completely play free, dominate the ball, handle every situation himself and control a game. When Wade isn't on the floor with LeBron, everything is focused on No. 6. It's hard to take your eyes off of LeBron because he holds the game in the palm of his hand.

Remember how with the Cavs sometimes LeBron would get hot and pull up for 3s from all over the floor? Sometimes even just a few steps in front of half court? That's how he goes at it in Miami without Wade. With Wade, LeBron had taken nine 3-pointers total, hitting three. Without him, LeBron has attempted 10 (in four games), hitting six.

In the four games LeBron has played this season without Wade (remember, LeBron sat out with Wade in a win over the Hawks), he's averaging 32.2 points, 10.0 assists and 7.0 rebounds a game. With Wade, LeBron's putting up 25.4 points, 5.6 assists and 7.4 rebounds. When LeBron plays without Wade, he becomes the Cleveland version of himself, carrying a lower class of players to a higher place, while he dominates the entire game. Except he has Chris Bosh, who plays about the same with or without Wade. But LeBron never had a guy of Bosh's caliber in Cleveland. His supporting cast in Miami without Wade is better than the one assembled with the Cavs.

Now, again, there's no question at all that the Heat are a better team with Dwyane Wade. If they are to win a championship, it will absolutely hinge on the health and inclusion of No. 3 in everything they do. But I do think that LeBron might be a better individual player without Wade. His mind is set free, his game has the shackles removed and he's allowed to roam and own a game in the way he was created to do. But that's the funny thing: LeBron might not ever have won a championship being the clear, indisputable best player in basketball.

Because in order for him to fully realize everything he's amazing at, he has to have free reign over the entire floor. He has to be able to take ownership of a game. That kind of thing can dazzle and destroy teams in the regular season, but was proven to fail in the postseason. He may have been able to win a title on his own, but it would've taken near flawless basketball from him to do it.

Instead with Wade at his side, LeBron can fall asleep in a fourth quarter, can have an off night, can fail miserably at different times and the Heat still be an amazing team. I mean, against Dallas, the Heat were not far off from winning a title despite LeBron not playing well and the fact it was their first season together in a chemistry experiment. That was the whole idea of forming that group in South Beach. LeBron was sick of trying to be perfect. The glory might've been all his had he been able to accomplish the goal and climb to the mountain top. But it would not have been easy. So he teamed with Wade and Bosh and set himself up for a better shot at it.

It really speaks to LeBron's inherent unselfishness as a player and person. Rather than soak it all in and have people drool over his god-like ability on the basketball court, he'd rather fit in alongside his buddies and win. The Heat are collectively an awesome team when fully operational. When it's LeBron and the Other Guys, they're still a really good squad that can demolish teams like the Spurs and Lakers, but not one entirely equipped to finish the objective and win a championship.

I do want to thank Wade though for taking it easy with his foot and ankle injuries because it's given us the treat of seeing just how freaking good LeBron James is when he gets to unleash his full arsenal of ability. Because every now and then, we need to be reminded of just how damn good he really is.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com