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2 posts from March 2007

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Help wanted

I've been out for a while, hence the lack of entries. But I should be back for the long haul now, so you'll see plenty more.

Got done watching the disaster in Toronto, and this team hardly looks familiar to me. Riley got exactly what he asked for when he said during the win streak, "Until people start playing us differently, we're going to keep playing this way." Now just feeding Shaq and running a pick-and-roll isn't working that easily, in part because the defense isn't keeping up its end of the bargain like before.
And now Shaq is getting a little ticked at his perimeter players, who are launching threes too often when the offense is struggling.

"Hell yeah, way too much," Shaq said when asked if his team is shooting too many threes. "Our problem is, when we're off shooting, we just keep shooting. We've got to mix it up sometimes. Go to the hole."

I guess Shaq doesn't really understand that whole shooters mentality of "the next one's gonna go in." But it's true. Without Dwyane, there's not enough penetration.

But I wonder who the best first-round matchup would be for the Heat. I'm guessing a 3-6 matchup with the Wizards would be easiest. But I'm still not convinced the Raptors would be that tough, primarily because they're a jump shooting team, outside of Bosh, who also doesn't get as much inside as it would seem. Chicago would be tough, but a good test if the Heat plans on getting very far.

Saw Kapono shooting around before the game Wednesday, and he looks good. Not just his ankle, which looked strong, but he might be the best shooter I've ever seen. I used to think that about Chris Mullin.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Where will they end up?

Anybody see this coming?
If you said yes, you're lying.
But now that we see that "stepping up" is not just a cliche around the Heat, where do you figure the Heat will end up in the playoff seedings?

Looking at the last 21 games on the schedule, I'm thinking 15-6 is an attainable goal for this team, as long as there are no more injuries. That would put the Heat at 47-35.
That sound good enough to win the division?
Looking at the Wizards schedule, which includes a five-game West Coast swing, I'm guessing a 13-9 finish seems about right.
That would make them 47-35, too.
If the Heat wins the next two meetings against the Wizards, that would give Miami the tiebreaker and give the Heat the division. It would also mean that every game down the stretch would be meaningful for Miami, which can't hurt.
It also might mean a first-round matchup with the Wizards, who could realistically be a six seed with 47 wins (Toronto gets the four, Chicago or Cleveland the five) and face the third-seeded Heat.
In fact, that's what I'm predicting. Lock it up.



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