Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Chris Bosh weirded out by lockout; Shaq talks some smack

The Associated Press caught up to Chris Bosh on Tuesday at the Miami-Rutgers game. Here's what he said:

Bosh"It's still kind of weird not playing, because I've always played in November. So it's feeling real out of place and I still can't see it. But I think we're all aware of what could possibly happen. We don't see it happening like that, but what can you do?"

What can you do? Seriously, Chris? You can AGREE TO A DEAL! The rent is TOO DAMN HIGH! I like  WRITING IN ALL-CAPS to emphasize a point.

Also from Bosh:

"If you look at the free agents coming up in the same situations, with Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Deron Williams, they can control their own fate," Bosh said. "They have the power to control that and I think that's a great thing. In any job you want freedom to negotiate. With us doing what we did and Carmelo (Anthony) going to the Knicks, I think that has a lot to do with it. Hopefully we can keep that and guys can come and go and make the deal that's best for them and their family."

One important thing Bosh wasn't asked on Tuesday: If he had a comeback for Shaq after being dissed in the future Hall of Famers' book. Shaq thinks Bosh is overrated. (Book excerpt first reported by the Palm Beach Post.)

“Some guys come into the league without a ton of props, so there’s not a whole lot of pressure on them. Then they sign a big deal and all of a sudden they’re thrown into the spotlight. Chris Bosh is like that. He’s getting all this attention, so he starts believing he’s really good. C’mon now. We know better. He’s a player who can put up some numbers, but he’s not an elite player. He was in Toronto eight years and they were never a factor, never a playoff team. Don’t get with those other two guys and start pounding your chest. I ain’t buying it, and I’m not the only one.”

Shaq, as you've probably gathered already, has always had a warm spot in his heart for Bosh. He once called him the "RuPaul of big men." Also, there's a rumor floating around the league that Shaq will have a nightly Bosh joke on TBS -- "Just Bosh'n around" -- when he joins the broadcast after the lockout.

To paraphrase, here's what Bosh thinks about when he thinks about Shaq:

1298308770_169080795_1-FREE-CAMPER-For-Your-Deer-Lease-Crews-TX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-joe

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Book just tip of iceberg for Shaq

Of course, it's not just basketball we're missing during this lockout. We're also being deprived of Shaquille O'Neal on TNT talking about basketball and, more specifically, Shaq talking about everyone who plays the game.

2031shaq_GShaq will join Charles Barkley and Co. on TNT when the lockout finally ends. Yes, it'll be TV gold. In the meantime, Shaq has written a book! It's called Shaq uncut something-or-other. The title isn't important. Here's what he said about LeBron when the two played in Cleveland:

Our coach, Mike Brown, was a nice guy, but he had to live on edge because nobody was supposed to be confrontational with LeBron. Nobody wanted him to leave Cleveland, so he was allowed to do whatever he wanted to do. I remember one day in a film session LeBron didn’t get back on defense after a missed shot. Mike Brown didn’t say anything about it. He went to the next clip and it was Mo Williams not getting back and Mike was saying, ‘Yo, Mo, we can’t have that. You’ve got to hustle a little more.’ So Delonte West is sitting there and he’s seen enough and he stands up and says, ‘Hold up, now. You can’t be pussyfooting around like that. Everyone has to be accountable for what they do, not just some us.’ Mike Brown said, ‘I know, Delonte. I know.’ Mike knew Delonte was right.

OK, a few things. I'm not doubting this happened. We've heard stories like this before about LeBron and his supposed arrested-development years. But, come on, pretty sure he played a little more defense than Shaq and Delonte in Cleveland.

Shaq later writes how he thought LeBron was "kind of out of it" in Game 5 against Dallas. Well, that's one way to put it. Pretty sure Barkley would have described it a little differently.

Anyway, if you're a basketball fan, Shaq is about to be in your face all the time. His book is just the tip of the iceberg. Shaq is going to dominate basketball media just like he dominated the game.

-joe

Friday, May 06, 2011

Game 3 importance

Seriously wish people would stop trying to call Game 3 in Boston a must-win type game for the Heat.

Of course, the Heat WANTS to perform well in Boston and put a stranglehold on the series with a win. Of course the Heat WANTS to avoid losing in Boston for the 11th straight time. Of course the Heat WANTS to keep the Celtics from gaining any sense of confidence in this series.

But the Heat doesn't HAVE to win Saturday's game in Boston, or Monday's game in Boston, or even Game 6 in Boston.

And let's just say, hypothetically, the Heat loses Game 3 on Saturday. Based on how the team has played the Celtics the last three times they've played, wouldn't it seem perfectly reasonable to believe the Heat could win the next game, Game 4, despite coming off a loss? Even if the Celtics blew out the Heat in Game 3, the Heat has too much recent history to feed off in order to rebound from that kind of loss.

This whole concept doesn't just exist in this series. It's even more prevalent in the Lakers-Mavericks series. Somehow, because the Mavericks lost a 2-0 lead in the Finals five years ago, and because the Lakers are the Lakers, all of a sudden it's the Lakers who are in great position despite trailing by two games and going into Dallas. Again, even if the Lakers somehow pull out Game 3, that doesn't mean the Mavs won't win Game 4.

Miller-pierce The Mavericks did everything possible to bring back those feelings of collapse when they lost a huge lead to the Blazers in Game 4 of that first-round series. And what did they do after that? They won two games fairly convincingly. And the Blazers weren't arguing amongst themselves the way the Lakers are right now.

That's not to say that the Celtics and Lakers can't come back and tie these series over the next few days. But to suggest that Game 3 is THE critical contest for either the Heat or Mavericks, or that the team that's down 0-2 is still in good position, is utterly ridiculous. Just look at the history of teams that go up 2-0.

Now, to the actual game. If Shaquille O'Neal plays, it might just throw off the Celtics even more. If he starts, that's potentially dangerous because the beginning of games hasn't been Boston's problem. If he comes off the bench, he'll be playing with guys like Delonte West and Jeff Green who aren't used to playing alongside him or getting him involved.

Should be interesting to see how Doc Rivers plays this. But here's guessing that Glen Davis finds a way to be much more of a factor in this game, because he's just flat better at home, particularly in the postseason.

As for the Heat, Mike Miller and Mike Bibby finally made shots in Game 2. If Miller stays part of this rotation and contributes, it could be a significant factor.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Physical reaction

We can already see the Heat's going to have to be very careful to avoid a "payback" sort of scenario from the officials in Tuesday's Game 2 against the Celtics.

Even before the league changed James Jones' foul on Paul Pierce to a flagrant 1, there was plenty of discussion as to whether Pierce deserved to be ejected, or if both of the fouls against Pierce (Dwyane Pierce-wade Wade had the other) should've been called flagrants.

And now that the league made that distinction, there's even more of a sense that the Celtics got the wrong end of it in Game 1. So it might just be human nature for the officials in Game 2 to be watch Heat players more closely and possibly to even favor the Celtics if any skirmishes break out or especially physical plays occur.

Basically, the Heat players have to be mindful of that possibility and play hard but not get overly physical or let their emotions get the best of them. Because after Pierce got the quick boot, there will likely be very little hesitation to hand out techs in this game either. Wade especially needs to watch himself, because it's widely assumed he got away with one Sunday.

That said, the Heat probably needs to attack the basket a little more and create contact. Because the team can't rely on hitting as many outside jumpers as it did in Game 1. Wade will likely go to his mid-range game as long as he's in rhythm, which is normally how he puts up big scoring nights. But LeBron James might want to consider driving a bit more, even if he knows the Celtics will be waiting for him. A shot fake every once in a while wouldn't hurt, because he'll need to get to the line to make up for the fact that Boston just refuses to let him score around the basket.

Wouldn't be entirely surprised to see Udonis Haslem at least in uniform Tuesday, even if he doesn't play. He's itching to play, and he says he's not feeling any lingering effects from his surgically repaired left foot the day after practicing.

"Definitely I could be part of this series, and without being as athletic and not even having my timing, just the physical aspect that I could bring to the game would probably help us a little bit," Haslem said Monday.

Shaquille O'Neal might return Tuesday also, but we've heard that song and dance from the Celtics for almost three weeks now. If Shaq does play, it'll be difficult to activate Udonis and have both Jamaal Magloire and Erick Dampier on the inactive list. That would likely mean a visit to the inactive list for Juwan Howard. Rondo slump

If Shaq does play, it only opens up another passing option for Rajon Rondo, who played some of his best basketball of the year when he had Shaq in there. Even without Shaq, look for Rondo to play an aggressive and smart game start to finish. He might have been trying too hard to start Sunday's game. But had he not been in foul trouble, he still probably would've finished with a triple-double.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Keys to C's

If there's an obvious area of improvement available for the Heat against the Celtics, it's the play of Dwyane Wade. His numbers, as we'll all know quite well by Sunday, against Boston this season include 12.8 points and 28.1 percent shooting in four games. Even in his "best" game against the C's, he was only 4 of 12 from the field and had eight assists.

Wade explains his lack of production by saying he has different responsibilities than he did against the Celtics last year, when he was asked to score as often as possible. He says he has to stick with Ray Allen more, which takes away from his offense. And that he has to be a facilitator rather than an attacker so he doesn't lose Ray in transition. And that he has to rebound more often.

Here's the problem with that explanation. Ray had 20 in the Heat's first meeting with Miami. Then he dropped 35 on Miami in the second meeting. If Wade was supposed to keep up with Ray, he certainly wasn't doing a great job with that. Wade hot hand

Meanwhile, Dwyane averaged just 3.8 rebounds against Boston, which is less than his season average.

So as much as he wants to explain away his struggles against this team, it doesn't fully explain why he can't shoot a lick against Boston all of a sudden.

Chances are Dwyane's going to return to more of his usual self in this series. He just needs to make sure that when he attacks the basket something good comes out of it -- either a high-perentage shot or a trip to the free throw line. That way Ray can't leak out in transition and burn the Heat. That's much easier said than done.

The other option for Dwyane is to work his mid-range game. That way even if he misses, it gives him time to recover defensively. And if you remember back to last year's playoffs against Boston, Dwyane's outside game was working quite well. He even nailed threes at a good rate (who can forget the moment he was talking to his hot hand?).

If the Heat's going to succeed in this series, the team's going to need a productive Wade. So he's going to have to find that balance: play aggressive offense while still keeping a mindful eye on Allen.

Wade can pretty much do anything he sets his mind to on a basketball court. So I fully expect him to find a way to put up his average offensive numbers while still doing a decent job on Ray Allen.

There's more than just Dwyane, of course. If we assume LeBron James can put up similar numbers to his regular season averages against Boston (28.8, 6.5, 6.5) and that Wade can recover, then the Heat might not need huge performances from Chris Bosh. But as the Celtics see it, Bosh is the difference between the Heat winning easily and forcing a close game. Kevin Garnett said when Bosh has a big game, the Heat blow out teams.

Well, Bosh hasn't had a huge game against the Celtics yet. His best was a 24 and 10 game on Feb. 10, which was a three-point Heat loss. But Bosh has been efficient shooting the ball against Boston. Despite his 3 of 11 showing on opening night, Bosh has shot 55 percent against KG and the Celtics. The Heat might want to see if Bosh can keep that up and feed him early and often against Garnett and Glen Davis.

Garnett and Davis are probably the Celtics' best help defenders, along with Rajon Rondo. So if you face up Bosh against one of them, it keeps them from being that effective help defender. If Bosh can put up 24 and 10 in any game in this series, chances are the Heat's winning that game, because this team is playing differently than it was on Feb. 10.

Rondo defense Erik Spoelstra says he's sticking with the starting lineup that includes Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Mike Bibby. While those two were problematic against the Sixers, it might not be that much of an issue in this series. For starters, the threat of Bibby's three-pointer is what's important. Let's assume his shooting won't stay as bad as it was against Philly. If he hits his first shot or two, it'll force Rondo to stay home rather than play center field and help his teammates defensively. That's ALL Rondo did when Carlos Arroyo was in there for Miami early in the season. And chances are he won't truly respect Mario Chalmers unless he's hot from outside. Bibby might be Miami's best chance to force Rondo to stay home.

Of course, that means Bibby's going to have to defend Rondo on the other end. But given that the Heat usually play off Rondo, it means Bibby's not going to have to actually "stick" to Rondo.

As for Big Z, as long as Jermaine O'Neal is out on the floor, Z is perfectly capable of making an impact. Jermaine isn't quick or explosive anymore, so that's not a mismatch in Boston's favor. And Z can work the offensive boards as well.

Finally, there's the Shaquille O'Neal factor. No one knows what kind of condition he'll be in if he does play. But if I'm Miami, I'd want Shaq to try to play. He'll be out of rhythm offensively, and he'll be a liability defensively.

What he'll do best is be a screener for Allen and Pierce, and he's obviously tough to get around. And Shaq will also be the beneficiary of Rondo's penetration, because he'll get some easy baskets. But there's still a good chance Shaq will be entirely out of rhythm, and there's always the chance he'll hurt himself again. Doubtful he'll be a big factor if he does even play.

Oh, and here's guessing you won't see Mike Miller at all unless the new rotation fails miserably. As for Udonis Haslem, if he does come back in this series, it'll probably be late in the series. Otherwise, the Heat might need to get past Boston for Haslem to get back into the fold.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Welcome-back Sunday

Seemed like everybody was coming back to action on Sunday. Mike Miller was back in action, which was promising because there seemed to be some concern surrounding his knee injury. Mario Chalmers came back a little earlier than expected from his sprained knee. And even in Boston, Shaquille O'Neal came back, at least temporarily, for the Celtics. Miller point

Against the Nets, Chalmers played significant minutes, and Eddie House went back to playing none. Guessing that's going to be Erik Spoelstra's full-time plan for Mario, leaving Mike Bibby as the starter, which makes sense given that he's shooting almost 50 percent from three and committing less than a turnover a game since coming to Miami.

As for Shaq, he went out after a few minutes against the Pistons in Boston, and it didn't look good. He was running, stumbled, then looked back to see if he tripped over something. There was nothing there. He then limped off the court, into the tunnel, where he collapsed onto the team trainer. It looked like an Achilles injury, but the Celtics broadcast called it a strained calf. It looked way more serious than that. Even if it is a "strain," the chances of him coming back in good shape for the playoffs appear slim. And that would leave Jermaine O'Neal as the only healthy center they have (btw, the Heat hasn't gotten the best of the Tory Murphy-Mike Bibby decisions so far). Jermaine looks out of shape, and that team won't be the same without something better in the middle. It'll be a Glen Davis-Kevin Garnett-heavy frontcourt should those circumstances stay the same. More offense, but less defense.

As for the Heat, it's encouraging to see the team really attacking the basket, especially LeBron James, who isn't settling for jumpers much of late. He certainly wasn't against the Nets. And it appears James Jones has found his stroke again, which can make for a deadly combo when he and Bibby are on the floor together.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Down the stretch...

Another example of how Dwyane Wade might just be the better first option down the strech of close games.

On most nights when Wade has it going, it means he's getting to the basket and getting fouled. Occasionally he'll come up with a strong outside shooting performance, but for the most part, he's using his quickness to get the rim when the games are in the balance. Wade layup

That's exactly what he did Friday night against the Sixers, practically getting to the rim at will against a Sixers team that wasn't sure what to guard and the help defense rarely found Wade.

As if we needed anymore proof, LeBron James had a couple possessions late, when it looked like the Heat had the game locked up, and ended up with a "mismatch" against Elton Brand after a Sixers switch. Nothing came out of those possessions, and suddenly the Sixers were within five points again.

This isn't an indictment of James in any way, but he's prone to shooting jumpers more often, and he doesn't necessarily have a go-to move late in games, while Wade has that sick right-to-left crossover and is just better at getting to the rim. Late in games, that's what you want.

LeBron is going to get his numbers, and there are going to be plenty of times when his explosive scoring is going to keep the game from ever getting close. But when it comes down to it, this team is better suited with the ball in Wade's hands.

With that, apparently, having been figured out, it might be time to look at the final 10 games and consider where the Heat will stand come April 17.

The Celtics keep struggling, now holding just a half-game lead over the Heat for second place, with a game between the two still to come.

The Celtics also have the far tougher shcedule left, with games against the Spurs, Hawks, Bulls and Knicks also remaining on the schedule, three of those coming away from Boston.

The Heat, meanwhile, have 10 winnable games left, with the biggest challenges probably coming from the Celtics and probably the red-hot Rockets on Sunday, both home games.

Should the Heat and C's swap positions before the playoffs, it could set up for a better situation than playing the Celtics in the conference finals. That's because the C's might still not have everything together by the second round of the playoffs, especially if Shaquille O'Neal doesn't come back until April, and also if he doesn't ever return to full strength.

And I also wouldn't assume the Bulls automatically get past the Magic in a potential second-round meeting. The Bulls are 2-1 against Orlando this season with one more game to come, but the Magic are the experienced playoff team and could easily stun the Bulls with a couple of good shooting nights.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Bibby-Murphy-Arroyo

So how big a deal is this Heat acquisition of Mike Bibby, who you presume would be the team's starting point guard once he's ready?

Well, most people want to call it a minor upgrade over Mario Chalmers.

That's fair. It's not as if Bibby is the same guard he was five years ago, or even the same guy who averaged 16 and five in his first year in Atlanta.

However, the difference between Bibby and Chalmers remains significant enough that it can greatly affect the outcomes of games the Heat plays against the better teams in the league.

If you look at the Heat, the most important things a point guard can do to help is shoot the three well and not turn the ball over.

Well, in both those areas, Bibby is significantly better than Chalmers. Since Chalmers began starting this season, his assist-to-turnover ratio is 2.13 to 1, whereas Bibby's in his time with Atlanta this year is 2.87 to 1. And last season, his ratio was 3.4 to 1, which is very good for 80 starts on a playoff team. Bibby scream

This season with Atlanta, Bibby knocked down threes at a 44 percent clip, career-wise has shot 38 percent from three and last year in the playoffs was 54 percent from distance. Chalmers is at 36 percent for the year, 35 percent for his career, and he's right around that career mark (34.5 percent) since being named a starter.

Why are those differences so important? Well, for starters, the three-point number is a very big difference, and can easily mean the difference between a close game and a comfortable margin.

But overall, those numbers can translate into victories. Consider that the Heat's last six losses, all of them against winning teams, have come by an average of 4.0 points, and none of them have been by more than five points. By avoiding a turnover or two in those games, and making an extra shot or two, you easily could be talking about the Heat losing none of those games, or at least winning a few of them.

And in that case, we're not talking about the sky falling around this team.

Not to mention that, with that trust, the Heat can start a play late in games with Bibby rather than LeBron James or Dwyane Wade, therefore making both of them an option off the ball. That takes pressure off Wade or James to both create and finish when it matters most. That's not even taking into account that Chalmers has been better this year coming off the bench anyway.

As for the defensive side of the ball, yes, Chalmers is theoretically the better defender. But for every good play he makes, he also will commit a senseless foul or gamble for a steal and cost the team overall. Bibby at least knows his limitations. And as long as he understands the Heat's defensive system, he won't be a liability on that end while on the floor.

As for Troy Murphy, yes, that would've also been a big get for Miami, but only if he didn't mind playing some center and banging with bigger guys. Because at the PF spot, Chris Bosh will be taking up 36 to 40 of those minutes. With the Celtics, Murphy can play a tad more minutes at PF, because backup Glen Davis essentially moves to center at times anyway, and was going to be doing that a lot now that Kendrick Perkins is gone. But once Shaquille O'Neal is healthy, the Celtics are going to have to decide whether they want to stay big, meaning O'Neal on the floor heavy minutes, or go to a lineup that includes some combination of Murphy, Davis and Kevin Garnett on the floor. Theoretically, that would favor the Heat come playoff time because Miami can use a smaller lineup itself and still compete inside (that's assuming Udonis Haslem is healthy and can play 20-plus minutes by then). Of course, that would require limiting Davis, who's one of the newest Heat killers in the league.

The point is, Murphy makes the Celtics deeper and gives them a stretch-four, but that team will have to make sacrifices if it wants to make him a big-minute regular. The Heat, on the other hand, fills a need with Bibby without making any significant sacrifices.

As for Carlos Arroyo being cut, it would seem like an unfair/unprecedented act to cut the man who was once the starting point guard. But Arroyo has a history of falling out of favor with teams, whether it's because of his play or for being tough to deal with.

Could the team have cut Jamaal Magloire? Yes, but chances are the Magic would've picked him up for some depth at center. Could the team have cut Juwan Howard? Yes, but he shares an agent with Bibby, and knowing one of his own would get cut could've nudged Bibby in another direction.

Overall, the team had less reasons not to cut Arroyo, so that's where they went with it.

 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Happy Crazy Trade Day

Wow.

Two possible reasons for such a wild and crazy trade deadline week: First, a handful of teams are preparing to rebuild while anticipating new CBA rules that will make the draft a lot more important and will make the salary cap a lot more restrictive. Second, the Western Conference looked wide open both at the top, because the Lakers are not unbeatable and the Spurs haven't proven to be playoff unbeatable with this particular group, and at the bottom because the Jazz and Nuggets just lost superstars.

Maybe it's just a huge coincidence and a lot of teams just got trade happy. Either way, it was interesting to see some of the moves that were made.

The most intriguing?

Well, that has to be the moves the Celtics made. They got rid of Kendrink Perkins, who, even on one Kendrick leg is probably the best center on that roster. Sure, Shaquille O'Neal looked like he fit in quite well when he was playing regularly, but he's not the defensive presence that Perk is, and that's all the C's really need from their center. They lost backup point guard Nate Robinson in the deal, too, which doesn't leave them with much of anything behind Rajon Rondo, unless they're predicting that Delonte West can come back and be that point guard type.

The issue here is that neither Nenad Krstic is a viable center in the Eastern Conference, nor is a gimpy Shaq or Jermaine O'Neal going to be the answer, it wouldn't appear. Now, the Celtics are probably going to be on the lookout for waived players, but there won't appear to be any true centers of quality in that mix, unless they thing Troy Murphy can play there (he'll probably be bought out by the Warriors). And if that's the case, they'll have to pry him away from the Heat first.

There were a few other interesting moves.

The Blazers picking up Gerald Wallace is one of them. With LaMarcus Aldridge playing like the best power forward in basketball of late, and the return of a limited Brandon Roy, the Blazers are thinking Gerald-wallace one quality addition might put them over the top to have them competing with the Lakers, Spurs and Thunder. Is Wallace the guy? Maybe, but the team is still in need of help up front now that they moved Joel Przybilla. That's because Marcus Camby is not exactly the healthiest of players.

The Thunder are considering themselves real contenders now that they have Perkins in the middle. It's hard to argue with them, as long as Perkins is healthy enough to provide that defensive presence inside. With him and Serge "monkey in the mouth" Ibaka, it'll be hard to score on that team if those guys blend well.

Of the pre-deadline day deals that didn't involve a superstar, it looked like Kirk Hinrich going to the Hawks was the best move. Hinrich can defend the best guards in the league, and he particularly annoys Dwyane Wade. Joe Johnson is also strong enough to bother either Wade or LeBron James, so look out for the Hawks in the playoffs.

And finally, at a time when the sports world was complaining about the players having too much power and not showing enough loyalty in the NBA, the league smacked right back and reminded us that teams can still be coldblooded.

Marquis Daniels, who's recovering from a spinal injury and might be out the entire season and is currently in rehab in Sacramento, was traded to the Kings for cash. Cash.

Baron Davis, who was mocked by the Clippers owner and was finally playing with vigor and making a home out of his hometown Clippers, was moved to the worst team in the league, the Cavaliers. Perkins, who just rehabbed a nasty knee injury all offseason for another shot to win the championship after he felt like he was the missing piece for the Celtics in last year's Game 7 against the Lakers, gets moved while his other knee is acting up.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Will he or won't he?

Apparently the question of whether LeBron will do the pregame powder thing before Thursday night's game in Cleveland is becoming a point of great interest.

There will be so many parts about the game that will be intriguing to watch (will his ex-teammates be kind to him? Will the fans break those "be nice" rules? Will his Heat teammates help carry the load enough to make LeBron look good?)

But, apparently, the intrigue starts at the very beginning. Even Shaq has an interest in thePowder toss powder thing.

"I'm a silly fan," O'Neal told the AP. "I'm anxious to see if he's going to do that powder thing.

"We have bets that he doesn't do it." 

LeBron was asked about it Tuesday.

"The powder? I probably will," James said. "That's just a ritual for myself, a routine that I've always done, I've done on the road. I don't know. We'll see. I may change. I don't know."

Not sure why it's that big a deal. I know it became his tradition in Cleveland, but it's not Cleveland's tradition, it's LeBron. It left when he left. I say he sticks with it, otherwise the Clevelanders win.

Wade said he should do it.

"I wouldn't expect him to do anything different," Wade said. "He's done it for every game he's played. So why change it just for one game? If he doesn't throw it up, I'll throw it up for him."

I like that idea. Maybe LeBron stands next to Dwyane, gets ready to throw it up, then looks over to Dwyane and lets him do it.

That might be even cooler. Of course, it'll turn Dwyane into public enemy No. 2, but everyone in Cleveland hates everything about the Heat anyway, so what's the harm.


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