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Heat players and coach Erik Spoelstra offer best poker faces on Bynum news

NEW YORK — If the Heat is surprised or concerned about the Pacers adding even more size to their lineup with the addition of Andrew Bynum, the defending back-to-back champions didn’t show it on Saturday.

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade shrugged when asked about Bynum joining the Heat’s main rival in the East, and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said his team was more worried right now about fixing its own problems than contemplating how Indiana might have gotten better. Bynum, the former star center with the Los Angeles Lakers, signed with the Pacers on Saturday for the veteran’s minimum. He will back up All-Star center Roy Hibbert.

“I don’t know what their perspective is,” Spoelstra said of the Pacers. “We’re just focused on us right now. I’m sure it makes for compelling storylines. He fits their style in terms of being big and physical in the paint, but from our standpoint that doesn’t affect us.”

But it could in the playoffs.

The addition of Bynum gives the Pacers another element of size to throw at the Heat during a seven-game series. The Pacers entered Saturday three games ahead of the Heat in the standings and have put a top priority on winning home-court advantage for the playoffs. The Heat routed the Pacers at AmericanAirlines Arena in Game 7 of the 2013 Eastern Conference finals. The Heat has won the East three years in a row.

“We didn’t have much of a reaction at all,” James said of the Bynum news. “We talked about it this morning…and guys said they seen it and that’s it. We didn’t have a conversation about it.”

Earlier this season, the Cavaliers suspended Bynum indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the team before dealing him to Chicago. The Bulls then released Bynum, making him a free agent.

There was speculation that the Heat had interest in Bynum after trading Joel Anthony, but several sources familiar with the Heat’s front office told the Miami Herald that there were concerns Bynum might have disrupted the Heat’s locker-room chemistry. The Pacers front office apparently had no such concerns.

"We are obviously happy to have him join our team," Pacers president Larry Bird said in a statement. "He gives us added size, he is a skilled big man and he has championship experience. With the minutes he gets, he should be a valuable addition."

Bynum’s released statement seemed to take a slight shot at the Heat.

"It really wasn't a hard decision, I think it's the right fit for me and, in all honesty, I think we've got the best chance of winning," Bynum said. "It will be great to back up Roy and I'll do whatever I can to help this team."

Comments

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Bynum is a punk and looks to head hunt and hurt someone. I will never forget what he did to JJ Barea when JJ played for Dallas.
I hope the HEAT realize Bynum will attempt to close line someone. I hope Haslem or somebody kicks him hard right in his knee. What a waste of talent. The Lakers as terrible as they are did not want him back. He's garbage!!!

Heat won game 4 an 6 at Indy in the 2012 playoffs, and also won in indy last yr in the playoffs on the road. Pacers keep talkin about having 1 seed is their goal but heats goal is a championship. Indy a bit cocky this year and would b classic if they lost in 2nd round to brooklyn or someone like that.......East finals in 2011 bulls had home court. Okc had home court in finals of 2012..........Doesnt matter

My goodness, Goodman, you really are not good for this beat. I ONLY click on your links because they're about the Heat. I wish there was another way to read Heat info in the Herald. A 'slight shot at the Heat'? Yeah and the other 28 teams. Stop reaching, bro.

Good, solid win...Knicks went down fighting. Nice to see a live Wade with LBJ, Battier, Anderson, & Cole playing well.

Agreed...Pacers are a cocky bunch. Believing is one thing...but I'm just not digging their punky style. Think the Bynum deal has more to do with keeping him away from Heat vs anything more he could bring to Pacers.

Anybody watch that Syracuse/Duke game ? Didn't really care who won...but Duke got screwed by refs most of the game...it was comical how bad it was.

Pacers fans are gloating about signing a player
that 29 other teams passed on, # 1 being The Heat.
As for Bynum, He went for the $$$ money,
not the game.

As I predicted. Spo finally went with a shortened rotation and look at what happened. We win by 20.

Must of just been the 4th quarter rotations, cause the Heat were only up 6 going into the fourth.

I have to assume the Herald isn't bothering getting a halfway decent beat writer because they know they'd eventually lose him to ESPN.

This is just horrible analysis and absurd fan boy video game nonsense. The Heat never wanted Bynum, they have a bigger MLE to offer and would have signed him if they thought he could help.

NBA teams aren't video games, lineups and chemistry matter.

I thought Indy had great Team Chemistry. Oh well, they just kissed that goodbye. Heat all Day!

Thank you Payton Manning for the Choke job. I not M.C. Kane Dog but my pockets are full.

Well folks...the G.O. project is evolving. Forget the stat sheet...how many balls did he get his hands on whether on rebounds or deflections plus shot mis-directions or shot avoidance all together ? I counted many & I've yet to see his man beat him down-court. Bynum could never do what G.O. is doing. You can see his game is so much more than standing down low. He gives Spo & Heat another dimension especially for Bosh playing the 4. So Heat can go small, play 1 big or 2 bigs while resting either Bosh or Birdman. That's BIG ! Get on the G.O. train ya'll !

Also...dang nice to see DWade playing well again. Those times when he appears to be just toying with his opponent are vintage. Just hope the rehab routine on this road trip works better than last time.

Reports of DWade's death are greatly exaggerated.

30/10/5 - not a bad outing.

Cavs SG, Jarret Jack, had 12/3/8 in his last outing....hmmm, and LBJ is bolting MIA for the Cavs to play with a better SG? Doubt it.

Didn't see the Pistons game, but Cole and Chalmers both had 5 fouls and I see a host of technical handed out. Was it one incident or just general chippiness?

I'm aboard the GO train, as I believe the rest of the Heat nation is as well. Depth at every position is a plus.

I'll be in place for tomorrow's game v the Clip.

The SLOW approach for Oden is kinda getting old. He seems to make IMMEDIATE impact i.e. deflections, altered shots, rebounds, taking up space, etc.

SPO....please consider him a Rotation Player ASAP !!!
What the *#^$ are you waiting for ?

1 more thing....Norris Cole seems to be a Heat Lead KILLER. 1st 2 mins of Piston game = 2 bad turnovers and a 3PT shot foul. Heat Lead VAPORIZED. Please watch Heat score when he enters game and when he leaves....The over-confidence he has seems to be a bad trend this year.

Unbelievably WRONG ! Cole did have a terrible game vs Pistons. Dude...he's having his best season. His positive games far outnumber the others.

E-Ball...refs were calling several on complaining Pistons whereas the Chalmers tech was a chippy double tech between him & a Piston.

Indiana got BETTER by adding Bynum? I would disagree. I argue that they actually got worse. I would also argue that it IS time to start getting Oden more minutes though. It is time to prep him for the playoffs. However, I will admit that I am not a basketball pro... nor a coach.

Thanks RP

Other than being a little more confidant in his 3pt shot than I am, I've got zero problems with Coles' game. He fits perfectly with this Heat team.

Nice win last night. Would of been better if CP3 played so we could played a contender at full strength. But we will take the win.

Very nice win - against a playoff team - on the road.

I guess everybody is waiting for us to lose a game on this road trip before we start analyzing the problem.

I'm stoked we won!!!

Birdman Birdman is the reason we can take our time with GO getting ready. He's playing great. GO is at least a two year plan, I think Birdman signed a one year deal.

Does Joseph Goodman still run this blog????

Lebron is asked to guard effectively all 5 positions. Then takes on the brunt of activating the offense....while the other team schemes 24/7 to negate his game. This is practically year 4 with this Heat scenario. But yet the NBA has not recognized him with the DPOY. Last year it was Gasol (am still dumbfounded) and now most likely Hibbert this year...whose name was hyped from week one. So someone please tell me how an uncoordinated guy with limited mobility & overall skills even be mentioned in the same sentence as Lebron ? Granted Hibbert's size & of course that stupid verticality rule has made him more effective...but to me they should flush that damn thing down the toilet if Lebron isn't honored with it. For Hibbert it'll be called the Sochi award !

^^^

Love it!!

RP is Right on Point with that.

Wow!!! That was an absolutely unacceptable performance against the Jazz!!! What the hell was that??? Lebron was nowhere to be found!!!??? I don't know what to say. Just stunned.

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