Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Hassan Whiteside edged out by DeAndre Jordan for All-Defensive First Team honors

The snubs keep on coming for Hassan Whiteside.

After finishing third in the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year voting last month, the NBA's leader in blocked shots this season was head scratchingly named to the All-NBA Defensive Second Team on Wednesday. 

Whiteside was beat out for the top spot among centers by the Clippers' DeAndre Jordan, who had three more first-team votes and five more second-team votes than Whiteside. The Heat's center finished sixth among all vote-getters with 141 points. 

Jordan had a slightly better defensive rating (100.3) than Whiteside (101.5) according to the NBA's stats page. But the Heat center still averaged 3.8 blocks to Jordan's 2.3. Whiteside also defended more field goals at the rim (769) than any other player in the league. 

Whiteside’s 9.7 block percentage was the highest in the NBA and no other player had a percentage higher than 6.1. According to Basketball Reference, Whiteside's defensive rating of 95 was the best in the NBA this season and the best rating in the league over the last five years.

He became just the second player in NBA history to block at least 250 shots and shoot over 60 percent (.606) from the field, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who accomplished the feat during the 1979-80 season. Whiteside also became only the third player over the last 20 years to post at least 1,000 points (1,040) and block at least 250 shots, joining Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo.

Whiteside recorded 22 five-plus block games, the second-most during a single-season in team history and blocked multiple shots in 23-striaght overall games, the longest such streak in franchise history. He also blocked multiple shots in 21 consecutive games to start the season, the third-longest streak to start a season over the last 30 years, only Mark Eaton (1988-89) and Shaquille O’Neal (1992-93) had longer streaks.

Whiteside also led Miami in rebounds a team-high 55 times and grabbed double-figure rebounds a team-high 53 times, just three short of tying the single-season team record of 56 held by Rony Seikaly in 1991-92.

2015-16 NBA ALL-DEFENSIVE FIRST TEAM
Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio, 130 (1st team votes), 0 (2nd team votes), 260 points
Draymond Green, Golden State, 123 (1st team votes), 5 (2nd team votes), 251 points
DeAndre Jordan, L.A. Clippers, 47 (1st team votes), 43 (2nd team votes), 137 points
Avery Bradley, Boston, 62 (1st team votes), 25 (2nd team votes), 149 points
Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers, 59 (1st team votes), 30 (2nd team votes), 148 points

2015-16 NBA ALL-DEFENSIVE SECOND TEAM
Paul Millsap, Atlanta, 11 (1st team votes), 75 (2nd team votes), 97 points
Paul George, Indiana, 5 (1st team votes), 38 (2nd team votes), 48 points
Hassan Whiteside, Miami, 44 (1st team votes), 38 (2nd team votes), 126 points
Tony Allen, Memphis, 44 (1st team votes), 33 (2nd team votes), 121 points
Jimmy Butler, Chicago, 18 (1st team votes), 26 (2nd team votes), 62 points 

Other players receiving votes, with point totals (First Team votes in parentheses): Rudy Gobert, Utah, 64 (17); Klay Thompson, Golden State, 49 (16); Jae Crowder, Boston, 47 (3); LeBron James, Cleveland, 43 (5); Kyle Lowry, Toronto, 43 (9); Danny Green, San Antonio, 39 (9); Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City, 35 (12); Tim Duncan, San Antonio, 33 (5); Ricky Rubio, Minnesota, 30 (6); Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Detroit, 27 (3); Anthony Davis, New Orleans, 24 (3); Andre Drummond, Detroit, 14 (5); Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City, 14 (1); Stephen Curry, Golden State, 13 (3); Andre Iguodala, Golden State, 13 (3); Patrick Beverley, Houston, 11 (1); Al Horford, Atlanta, 7 (1); Marcus Smart, Boston, 7 (2); John Wall, Washington, 6; Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee, 3; Trevor Ariza, Houston, 3; Kent Bazemore, Atlanta, 3; Andrew Bogut, Golden State, 3 (1); DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento, 3 (1); Nicolas Batum, Charlotte, 2; Victor Oladipo, Orlando, 2 (1); LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio, 1; Harrison Barnes, Golden State, 1; Bismack Biyombo, Toronto, 1; Mike Conley, Memphis, 1; Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City, 1; Derrick Favors, Utah, 1; George Hill, Indiana, 1; Wesley Matthews, Dallas, 1; Luc Mbah a Moute, Los Angeles Clippers; Kristaps Porzingis, New York, 1; Andre Roberson, Oklahoma City, 1; Mike Scott, Atlanta, 1; Dwyane Wade, Miami, 1.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Justise Winslow named second-team all-rookie, Josh Richardson left off

Justise Winslow spoke often this season about how he'd rather play for a winner than post empty statistics on an also-ran.

As it turned out, he didn't get punished for his modest numbers in the All-Rookie voting. 

Instead, Josh Richardson did. 

Winslow finished 6th overall, not far behind former Duke teammate Jahlil Okafor (76ers). Minnesota's Karl-Anthony Towns, New York's Kristaps Porzingis, Phoenix's Devin Booker and Denver's Nikola Jokic filled out the first team. 

Winslow did get a good number of first-place votes (44), but the 6th-place finish put him on the second team. 

Richardson finished tied for 11th with Charlotte's Frank Kaminsky, behind the Lakers' D'Angelo Russell (7th), Denver's Emmanuel Mudiay (8th), Indiana's Myles Turner (9th) and Sacramento's Willie Cauley-Stein (10th).

Of the top 10, only Winslow and Turner were on playoff teams.

Richardson was likely hurt by playing only 52 games, after he was bouncing back and forth from the D-League early in the season.

But he made 53-of-115 three-pointers (46.1 percent). 

And while Mudiay played 16 more games -- starting 66 -- and averaged twice as many points (12.8), he did so on just 36.4 percent shooting (31.9 percent from three), and with a terrible assist-to-turnover ratio. Cauley-Stein had his moments, but the Kings weren't competing for anything. 

Richardson certainly noticed the slight, tweeting: 

"And they wonder why this chip will never leave my shoulder." 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Could Luol Deng give the Heat a discount this summer? Maybe

He's sort of become the forgotten man.

Luol DengLuol Deng, once tabbed by Pat Riley as one of the most important free agent signings in Heat history, has sort of fallen to third in the pecking order behind Dwyane Wade and Hassan Whiteside when it comes to free agents Heat fans would like to see the team keep. 

But his value in the second half of Miami's season can't be denied. With Chris Bosh out, Deng slid over from small forward to power forward and became a big part of the Heat's 19-10 second half surge.

In Miami's fast-paced offense, which finished fifth in scoring after the All-Star break, Deng was as valuable a sparkplug as any. He averaged 15.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and led Miami in plus/minus (+144). Then, in the first round against the Hornets, he and Wade led the Heat in scoring at 19.0 points per game before struggling some against the Raptors.

With only $40 million in salary cap space, the Heat probably won't have enough money to keep Deng around and give Wade and Whiteside sizeable contracts.

The truth is, Deng turned out be a pretty good bargain at $10 million this season.

So do the Heat have any realistic shot at getting a discount from Deng to stay here? Well, maybe after hearing him talk on Tuesday. 

 "It was great. I always say I enjoyed it," Deng said of his two-year stint with the Heat. "You learn so much. You go through different paths in your life obviously. I'm really appreciative of this. Not only did I enjoy playing basketball on the court, but off the court it's an amazing city. So much to do. People have been great. People are very supportive. The fans are just unbelievable. Everywhere you go people really love the Heat and appreciate everything you do.

"Here people notice how hard you play and how hard you work. For me, it's always been who I am. Just go out there and it never really mattered to me what my numbers looked like. What always mattered to me was to be able to do what I could do out there and play as hard as I can. I felt like people kind of noticed that here. So, I really enjoyed it."

Could that influence his future? 

"Definitely," Deng said. "Like I said I enjoyed it here. I enjoyed every bit of it. So going forward obviously I would love to be here. It's something that we will sit down and discuss. I can't really say one bad thing about being here. I enjoyed my time. The one thing that I know about here is that it's an organization that wants to win and an organization that will support the players and what they do whether its on the court or off the court. My foundation got a lot of support, things I want to do in life. It's a lot more than just basketball here."

Is Deng at a point in his career philosophically where winning and staying with an organization are at least equal with financial considerations?

"Definitely," he said. "At the end of the day, I try to play the best that I can play, be the best player I can be and hear what everyone has to say and listen to teams. But for me, it's always about being comfortable, being in an organization and around people that really appreciate the things that I do. I think the financial part is what you discuss when you go into that room. There's a lot of teams out there that can offer you a lot of money, but the feel might not be the same and vice-versa. There could be teams that can't give you what the other team can, but they have a lot of other things they can support you with.

"I've been in this situation before when I came here. I remember choosing here and it wasn't really the financial [part that drew me]. It was really the fact I wanted to be comfortable and be somewhere where what I do is appreciated."

Of course, Deng says that now. But there are teams out there that would probably pay the 31-year-old veteran good coin to do what he does and to play in a system that might be better suited for him.

Remember, Deng wasn't involved in the Heat's offense when it was running through Chris Bosh and Wade in the first half of the season. All Deng pretty much did was stand in the corner and wait for the ball to find him.

If Bosh returns and plays again and Deng resigns with Miami, Deng would probably have to go back to that corner and play the small forward spot again.

In the end, Bosh's future with the Heat could ultimately be what makes Deng a real possibility of returning or not. 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Amare Stoudemire: "I would have loved to have played more"

After Sunday's season-ending loss to Toronto, in which Amare Stoudemire did not play, the veteran center was asked if the game proved that size still matters in the NBA.

"Dr. (James) Naismith created the game to be an inside-out game," Stoudemire said. "It's going to always matter. It's how the game has always been played." 

Stoudemire did say it was "pretty good year." 

"For me personally, I showed great health, showed resilience and consistency of playing," Stoudemire said. "Would love to have played more but, for the most part, it was a successful year from a health standpoint. Great chemistry. I enjoyed the guys. I had the best time of my life with my teammates this season."

Does he want to come back?

"Well see," Stoudemire said. 

Was it part of the deal, when he signed a minimum contract, that his playing time would be limited? 

"That was not a part of the deal," Stoudemire said. 

Stoudemire played in 52 regular season games, starting 36 -- most after the All-Star break as Hassan Whiteside settled into a dominant bench role. But Erik Spoelstra put Whiteside back in the lineup right before the season ended, and Stoudemire's playing time was sporadic thereafter. 

He played in just nine of the 14 playoff games, and as many as 11 minutes in only four of them. 

Teammates enjoyed his presence, and he enjoyed living in Miami -- he plans to stay in town for most of the summer after traveling to Europe for much of last summer.

But he may seek a little steadier role somewhere else. 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Miami Heat would be biggest conference finals longshot in a while

The Heat would be an extremely heavy underdog if it reaches the conference finals against Cleveland, not just because of his health issues, or because it won just 48 regular season games -- nine fewer than Cleveland, seven fewer than Oklahoma City and 25 fewer than Golden State -- but also on a historical basis. 

Last season, Cleveland had the fewest wins among the NBA's semifinalists, with 53. 

In 2014, Miami had the fewest, with 54. 

In 2013, even though Memphis was a fifth seed in the West, Indiana had the fewest with 49 (while playing only 81 games).

In 2012, a lockout-shortened 66-game season, Boston had the fewest with 39, which projected to 48.5 over a full season.

In 2011, Oklahoma City had the fewest with 55.

In 2010, Boston had the fewest with 50. 

In 2009, Denver had the fewest with 54. 

In 2008, San Antonio had the fewest with 56. 

In 2007, Cleveland had the fewest with 50. 

In 2006, Miami had the fewest with 52. 

In 2005, Detroit had the fewest with 54. 

In 2004, Detroit had the fewest with 54.

In 2003, New Jersey had the fewest with 49.

In 2002, Boston had the fewest with 49.

In 2001, Milwaukee had the fewest with 52.

In 2000, New York had the fewest with 50.

So you need to go back to 1999 to find a conference finalist that had a lowest regular season winning percentage.

And that comes with an asterisk.

The 1999 Knicks went just 27-23 in a 50-game lockout shortened season.

That projected to 44-38 over a full season.

You probably remember that team. It beat the East's top-seeded Heat in the first round on its way to the NBA Finals. 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Justise Winslow starts for first time in playoffs, in Game 6

From shelved to starter.

After being benched for Game 3, Justise Winslow played big minutes in Games 4 and 5.

And now he'll play them from the beginning.

Erik Spoelstra chose to go really, really small, putting Amare Stoudemire on the bench, and elevating Winslow.

That means Luol Deng -- who says he feels "great" after an MRI showed just a bruise on his left wrist -- is essentially the center, though Winslow said Wednesday that the center is just whoever is setting the screen in pick-and-roll. 

This also means the Heat will likely use either Gerald Green or Tyler Johnson in significant minutes off the bench.

Pat Riley-coached teams were known for playing big, and not playing rookie.

But this, in the end, is an Erik Spoelstra-coached team. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Dwyane Wade not worried about getting booed in Canada tonight

TORONTO -- In just about every NBA arena except Boston and Dallas -- two cities the Heat have had classic playoff battles against -- Dwyane Wade usually gets cheered pretty loudly by opposing fans.

Dwyane Wade anthemIt's what comes with being a three-time NBA champion, a Finals MVP, a Gold medal winner in the Olympics and just a good overall guy. 

But everyone is expecting some loud boos tonight when the Heat face the Raptors in Game 5 at Air Canada Centre. 

Wade put himself in position to receive those boos when he kept shooting through the early parts of the Canadian national anthem prior to Game 3 in Miami. Even though he's apologized for hurting the feelings of fans in Canada, and blamed what happened on the schedule change for the antem, Wade knows what's coming tonight.

And the truth is he's not too worried about it.

"I'm a visiting player. I'm coming out here to do my job," he said after shoot around Wednesday. "I expect to come out here and for it to be an amazing crowd like they always have here at home. I have a job to do -- to play basketball and try to lead my teammates."

Does getting booed hurt your feelings? "No."

Do you feed off it? "Sometimes."

Charlotte Hornets fans remember how Purple Shirt Guy changed things in Round 1 against the Heat.

Wade went off in the fourth quarter of Game 6 and lifted the Heat to a gritty road win after Purple Shirt Guy decided to get in his face and tell him to retire.

Maybe booing Wade tonight will have the same effect.

Goran Dragic hit with technical, $2,000 fine for swinging at Cory Joseph in Game 4

TORONTO -- Goran Dragic has been hit with a technical foul and $2,000 fine by the NBA for swinging at Raptors guard Cory Joseph with 2:17 left in the fourth quarter of the Heat's Game 4 overtime victory.

Here's a look at the play.

Dragic is the first Heat player or coach to be hit with a technical in the playoffs.

Dragic is lucky he didn't connect. Had he punched Joseph he would have likely not only been ejected from Game 4, but potentially suspended for Game 5.

Dragic has been frustrated all season with the officiating and how he hasn't gotten the benefit of many calls. In Game 2 vs. Toronto, DeMar DeRozan elbowed Dragic in the mouth, leaving him bloodied and requiring eight stitches to close a gash on his bottom lip. Dragic was called for a blocking foul.

And it's clear on that play he was swinging out of frustration.

Nine of the 12 missed calls late in Heat-Raptors series have hurt Miami

TORONTO -- Maybe Gabrielle Union is right. 

Maybe the officials really do have it out for the Miami Heat.

Dwyane WadeAlthough the NBA's Last Two Minute Reports do not provide a complete picture of all the missed calls in an NBA game, in this series between Toronto and Miami, tied 2-2 and with three of the first four games having gone to overtime, it certainly gives us a pretty good snapshot of which team has been hurt the most by bad calls during the most crucial moments of the series.

And clearly that's been the Heat.

Of the 12 incorrect calls through the first four games according to those L2M reports, nine have aided the Raptors.

In Game 1, five missed calls alone helped Toronto not only force overtime, but put the Raptors in position to tie it late in OT. If not for some late Dwyane Wade heroics, the Heat might not have pulled that victory out.

In Game 2, a missed call early in overtime kept Joe Johnson off the free throw line and another missed call midway through OT should have resulted in an offensive foul against Jonas Valanciunas. Instead, Valanciunas scored moments later to stretch a two-point lead to four points. Toronto, of course, ended up winning that game.

And most recently in Game 4, a missed traveling call on DeMar DeRozan with under a minute to play in regulation gave the Raptors new life and might have derailed the Heat's late comeback led by Wade had Cory Joseph not missed a 17-foot jumper with 20.9 seconds to play. 

Anyway, here's a look at the dozen missed calls on the NBA's Two Minute Reports in the series. 

GAME 1
1. Bismack Biyombo should have been called for an illegal screen on Luol Deng with 1:31 left in the fourth quarter.

- WHO BENEFITED: Raptors.
- RESULT: DeRozan ended up missing an 18-foot jumper and the Heat grabbed the rebound.
- WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN: If DeRozan hits the basket, Miami's lead shrinks to 83-81.

2. Justise Winslow trips Kyle Lowry with 35.7 seconds to go in regulation, but doesn't get called for the foul.
- WHO BENEFITED: Heat.
- RESULT: Lowry ends up missing the layup and the Heat grabbed the rebound.
- WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN: If the refs call the foul on Winslow, Lowry goes the free throw line for two with the Raptors down 86-81.

3. Jonas Valanciunas should have been called for an illegal screen on Dwyane Wade with 8.7 seconds left in regulation.
- WHO BENEFITED: Raptors.
- RESULT: Terrence Ross ends up hitting a corner three-pointer to trim the Heat's lead to 89-86 and make it a one possession game. Soon after, Kyle Lowry hits the tying three-point shot with a half-court heave to send the game to overtime.
- WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN: If Valanciunas is called for the illegal screen, Miami has the ball up 89-83 with less than nine seconds to play and likely wins the game in regulation with a clean inbounds pass. 

4. Jonas Valanciunas should have been called a defensive three-second violation with 3:14 left in OT.
- WHO BENEFITED: Raptors.
- RESULT: The Heat ended up scoring on the possession anyway when Dwyane Wade hit a 14-foot fadeaway with the shot clock expiring to put the Heat ahead 96-90.
- WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN: Miami would have gone to the free throw line up 94-90 for a technical free throw and then had a fresh shot clock.

5. Jonas Valanciunas set an illegal screen on Goran Dragic with 2:10 left in OT.
- WHO BENEFITED: Raptors.
- RESULT: Kyle Lowry ended up taking and missing a 25-foot three-point shot and the Heat grabbed the rebound.
- WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN: Had Lowry hit the three-point shot, the Heat's lead would have only been 96-93 with two minutes to go in OT.

6. DeMarre Carroll grabs Dwyane Wade limiting his freedom of movement and ability to catch an inbounds pass from Luol Deng with 10.6 seconds left in OT.
- WHO BENEFITED: Raptors.
- RESULT: Deng's pass goes out of bounds and the Raptors take over down 99-96 with 9.7 seconds left. Dwyane Wade ended up saving the day for the Heat seconds later when he steals the ball from DeMar DeRozan, raced up court, dunked and drew the foul to clinch the victory.
- WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN: Without Wade's steal and clinching basket, the Raptors would have had a chance to tie the score and force another overtime.

GAME 2
1. DeMarre Carroll should have been called for a shooting foul on Joe Johnson with 4:17 left in overtime.
- WHO BENEFITED: Raptors.
- RESULT: Johnson missed the shot and DeMar DeRozan grabbed the rebound for Toronto. The Raptors, however, didn't score on the other end of the floor.
- WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN: Miami was down 88-86 when Johnson should have gone to the line for free throws. If he makes both, maybe the Heat's offense runs a little more smoothly the rest of the overtime. Miami didn't score in overtime until there were 23 seconds left. The Heat was down 92-86 at that point.

2. Jonas Valanciunas should have been called for an illegal screen on Goran Dragic with 2:30 left in OT.
- WHO BENEFITED: Raptors.
- RESULT: Valanciunas ended up scoring four seconds later on a 13-foot jump shot to put Toronto up 90-86.
- WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN: That Valanciunas basket gets wiped off the board and the Heat remains down only a bucket.

GAME 3
1. Dwyane Wade should have been called for traveling with 14.7 seconds to play.
- WHO BENEFITED: Heat.
- RESULT: Wade ended up missing a three-point shot with 10 seconds left and the Raptors, leading 92-88, grabbed the rebound. The Heat immediately fouled DeMar DeRozan and he went to the free throw line and hit both shots to clinch the game.
- WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN: If Wade ends up hitting the three-point shot, Miami would have only been down 92-91 with 10 seconds to play and the Raptors would have been pretty upset.

GAME 4
1. Traveling should have been called on DeMar DeRozan with 48.1 seconds left.
- WHO BENEFITED: Raptors.
- RESULT: DeRozan missed a jumpshot a couple seconds later, but the Raptors kept the ball on a Patrick Patterson offensive rebound. Toronto, however, wasn't able to score on the extra possession and Wade ended up tying the score on a drive to the basket with 12.6 seconds left.
- WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN: Had the Raptors scored after the missed traveling call the Heat would have been down two scores and in deep trouble with less than 24 seconds to play.

2. Joe Johnson fouled Cory Joseph with 4:42 to go in overtime.
- WHO BENEFITED: Heat.
- RESULT: Joe Johnson was credit with a block, but the Heat lost possession as the ball went out of bounds. The Raptors ended up turning the ball over on a five second violation.
- WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN: Joseph should have been at the free throw line for two shots and there's no telling how the Heat would have performed in OT had the Raptors scored first.

3. DeMarre Carroll should have been called for a shooting foul on Goran Dragic's drive to the basket with 2:10 left in OT.
- WHO BENEFITED: Raptors.
- RESULT: Justise Winslow ended up grabbing the offensive rebound and passing it out to Luol Deng who missed a dunk, but was fouled by Carroll at the rim. Deng ended up hitting two free throws to put the Heat up 89-85.
- WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN: The Heat was up only 87-85 when refs missed the call on the Dragic drive. Had Toronto grabbed the rebound off Dragic's miss -- and Winslow beat two Raptors to get to it -- Toronto could have tied the score or even taken the lead on the other end of the floor.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A brief history of Charles Barkley sniping at Dwyane Wade

Let's say this at the start:

Dwyane Wade doesn't understand it.

He's not necessarily stressing about it, but if he's taken at his word, he has no idea why Charles Barkley -- formerly in his "Fave Five" in those 2009 T-Mobile commercials -- has taken so many shots at him since. 

The latest was more subtle:

After Kenny Smith, Barkley's colleague on TNT's Inside the NBA, said during Monday's halftime that Wade had aged better than any star over the past five years, Barkley scoffed: "He's not that old." 

This, of course, comes after half a decade of Barkley saying that Wade is getting old. 

(The irony of that contradiction wasn't lost on Wade when this was mentioned to him after Monday's win.)

Later, Barkley did say that Wade had played "fantastic" in Monday's win, even while continuing to belittle the Heat. 

Here are just a few of the other instances:

-- Barkley has repeatedly said that he roots for LeBron James to win in Cleveland. 

There are countless examples, but here's one from July of 2014, just before James chose to leave Miami to return to the Cavaliers:

'It was very disappointing when he left Cleveland the first time and I’d be very disappointed if he doesn’t go back.”

He didn't really need to say that. He spent four years on James' back, the entire time the latter was with the Heat.

He was strident enough early that Wade felt the need to respond. In an ESPN interview with Rachel Nichols near the start of the Big Three era in 2010, Wade said that Barkley needed to "look in the mirror," considering that the former Sixers and Suns star teamed up with other superstars in Houston. Wade didn't have all the dates correct, in terms of when Clyde Drexler and Scottie Pippen were there with Hakeem Olajuwon, but Wade's comments were among the first real signs of frost. 

-- In December 2012, when Wade was just 30, Barkley said this:

“The toughest thing for Dwyane Wade is understanding that he’s starting to lose his talent and now he has to learn how to play below the basket. The toughest thing when you’re a great player or very athletic, when you can’t jump over a building anymore, you have to learn how to play.”

Wade then made 20-of-25 shots over a two-game period, then-teammate James jumped in...

''It means Charles Barkley needs to shut up. I mean, the man's shooting 80 percent from the floor in the last couple games. Come on, man. That's like crazy, right? That's why [he is] who he is.''

Barkley then called both of them sensitive.

-- In February 2015, Barkley said that "Dwyane's great, he's a Hall of Famer... but he didn't deserve to make the All-Star team." After Wade's wife, Gabrielle Union, in a tweet, equated Barkley's statement to "me talkin bout Meryl Streep but I ain't won nuthin," Barkley went on to praise Union's beauty but slight her acting. 

-- Earlier this season, Barkley and Smith mocked the Snapchats that Wade and LeBron -- no longer teammates -- posted while working out together. 


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