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Three Things From Tonight

FIRST THING Detroit fans are great. Not only were fans going at LeBron, Greg Oden, Juwan Howard, Birdman, everyone with creative heckling worthy of the postseason but these crazy people were also heckling me, a sportswriter. And that was even after I turned a courtside TV to the Tigers game so they could watch two games at once.

SECOND THING Michael Beasley is pretty hard on himself sometimes. Beasley received his first minutes of playing time and he was great. He scored nine points in his first five minutes of action and was diving on the floor and doing things coaches generally like to see out of players trying to make a roster. Of course, Beasley also did something a little odd after one offensive play. Upset with himself over a mistake, Beasley started punching himself in the head while running back on defense. He punched himself so hard that he needed treatment after the game from the Heat's trainer. Steel compresses (like the ones cut doctors use in boxing) were applied to Beasley's brow in the locker room.

THIRD THING LeBron cares an awful lot about this team. With less than four minutes to go, LeBron was on his feet on the bench and cheering on Justin Hamilton.

-An addendum to the third thing...An announced crowd of 17k was on hand in Auburn Hills for a preseason game coincided with the Tigers clinching the ALDS. Call that the LeBron effect. Preseason hecklers were in full force for the exhibition game, calling out LeBron, Birdman, Greg Oden and, of all people, assistant coach Juwan Howard.


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Let's don't solely use points scored as the metric for success with this chucker. Much more to the game than that. Diving on the floor can also be for show....Dennis Rodman, anyone?

Did he guard anyone? Block a shot, help on defense, rip any boards, stop a break......?

Pounding yourself in the head so hard you need medical attention screams to me that he hasn't got it all together yet. Any bong resin fall out of his ears?

Whatever man!

He played decent and that's all that matters.

Making too much of a big deal out of nothing.

Zombeas "great?" No. Zombeas a disaster? No. And I watched from start to finish.

"Greatness" in 8 mins and change? EIGHT minutes, until garbage time, when got a few SECONDS more to make it "9". Yeah right. 9 points in 9 minutes -- impressive?

Only if you consider Josh Hamilton's 8 points in 8 the same.

Yes, Zombeas played with energy. Yes, he disrupted the flow of the game (and Detroit's momentum) in his first couple of mins. with fouls received, fouls committed, floor burns and barely controlled exuberance, enough exuberance for Cheeks to sit Josh Smith (presumably fearing injury) and sub "Charlie Villanueva" -- against whom Beasley scored almost all his points.

Yes, Zombeas reverted to form (bad shots --> hope-and-a-prayer runner, one-foot-off-balance-fallaway, a mindless, early shotclock 3 that caromed off lower glass like a hockey puck). Yes, he managed to convert 1 or 2 bad shots. Yes, he threw the ball away. Yes, he lost focus on defense (James Jones actually had to push him into defensive position during 1 transition).

But no -- Zombeas wasn't the Titanic. Not in 9 minutes he wasn't. And NO, Zombeas didn't save the Heat -- not in the game I watched. "Spark"? Yes. Though you could also credit Villanueva & Piston turnovers throughout (23 total) for "sparking" Miami's momentum.

Else, the "real" Heat story was Bosh, Miami Manimal, again. Bosh scoring (12-16), Bosh attacking, Bosh defending (2 swats + buku stops). And timely 3pt makes by Jones to maintain Heat leads despite Miami getting outworked on the boards & in the paint.

But let's not ruin today's media meme: Michael Cinderfella Beasley Saves Miami.

Because, more than ever, it's crap like this that guarantees NO 3peat, NO Finals appearance & NO appearance in or emergence from the Eastern Conference Finals.

The circus has arrived & it ain't going away.

Bah humbug.

"EIGHT minutes, until garbage time, when [he] got a few SECONDS more to make it '9'..."

p.s. Not hating on Joe or any other media for their angle. The Beasley saga, however & whenever it ends, is compelling stuff for the same reason carwrecks compel rubbernecking. Joe & co wouldn't be doing their jobs if they *didn't* cover it.

Conversely, fans like me have our own agendas. My sole agenda: 3peat. I happen to believe Beasley, the Beasley Circus & its effect are counterproductive, adverse-not-obverse, to that goal. Wade, Haslem, Chalmers, the media + legions of Heat fans disagree.

And that's fine too.


With you taheati.

3peat - 4 in a row - 5 - 6 - 7 let's keep this thing rolling.

Hopefully this is all preseason/training camp diversions. Cut the rosters in a few days, and if MB isn't one of the 15 strong, I'm happier than Stalin in present day America.

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