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7 posts from August 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

What Would Force Riley To The Bench?

That's the most intriguing question posed this week during our Thursday live Heat chat. If Riley-Press I've said it once, I've suggested it a million times.

Take Pat Riley for his word.

And then take it with a grain of salt.

So where does that leave you? Confused, confounded and never quite comfortable. And that's exactly where Pat likes you to be, which is what has made him one of the most rugged, respected and resourceful executives in league history.

But I do take him at his word that his coaching days are over, when it comes to regular-season NBA coaching, that is. Would he step in and try to rescue this team - and salvage Micky Arison's $330 million investment in Wade, Bosh and LeBron - at the first or second sign of adversity?


And who would blame him? But that's neither the plan nor the preferred method of operation. Erik Spoelstra will get plenty of room to do his thing with this team. At least that appears to be the case.

Spoelstra can afford to lose a game or two or three. He could even survive a few doses of uncomfortable moments with LeBron James (Chris Bosh is a go-with-the-flow-guy in this equation, so no worries there).

But Spo can not afford to lose Dwyane Wade's support and confidence. Then, and likely only then, would Pat be forced off his perch in the president's suite at AmericanAirlines Arena and swoop to the bench.

As an aside, I return from vacation the day after Labor Day and will update the blog daily as we begin our countdown to Heat training camp, which opens with media day on Sept. 27. Until then, here's another sample dose of this week's live chat ...

Most Recently Answered Questions

Questions 1 - 15 of 1290 (Page 1 of 44)

Q: Don't you think in a couple years we are gonna have to shop for new role players because big z,j howard, mike miller, carlos arroyo and eddie house are at the end of there careers looking for one shot at a championship.Then were gonna be back at square one looking for more role players.

Answered 08/26/10 13:58:05 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: But as we saw this offseason, finding them - and getting them to come on the cheap to play with Wade, Bosh and James - won't be much of a problem. The role players beyond Haslem and Mike Miller, will likely change every year or two with this team. As long as the core is intact, the Heat should regroup and quickly.


Answered 08/26/10 13:56:01 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: All we can go by is what Pat Riley says. And he's made it clear that he has no intention to return to the bench to coach this team. He's fine where he is, guiding the franchise from the role of team president. Erik Spoelstra will be the coach ... until he's not. We'll see how strong those offseason stances are when - or if - adversity strikes this team. But there are no indications that Riley will swoop in and land on the bench. Having said that, if he does, Spoelstra likely won't stick around. He's too young, bright and respected in the league to be out of work for long.

Q: hi michael i been a heat fan for like ever now !! they need to get a speed push the ball pg asap and that can shoot where do they go too????

Answered 08/26/10 13:52:48 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: My vote? Dwyane Wade.

Q: I'm the biggest heat fan and i love us now but let say 4-5years from now wade will be 34/35.Even jordan top out at 36 n went down after. is it fair to say that we will have 2 era one as the superfriends and one as lebron team and do you think riley also maybe pitch that to lebron.in the way he still can lead a team are be look at as leading a team to a championship

Answered 08/26/10 13:52:23 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: Wade will be well into his 30s by the time his six-year contract expires. Bosh and LeBron will be right around 31. But I don't think anyone is thinking that far down the line just yet. There will be too much pressure to win now. If that group wins a title or three by then, the question will be whether to keep them together at the end of those deals or trade one of them while they still have some max value and start the reloading/rebuilding process. But that's a headache, of course, for another year.

Q: Hello Mr. Wallace. How come there's no coverage on NBA players such as Arroyo (who's with the Heat), Barea (Mavericks), and Balkman (with Nuggets) representing Puerto Rico in the upcoming 2010 FIBA World Championship? There seems to be a bias with the USA Team. After all, these players are NBA players who deserve the coverage because they are representing their country respectively. I'm just saying, when Carlos was with Utah and single-handedly managed the USA Team in 2004 (funny that team had Wade, Bosh, and Lebron as members I might add), the Jazz had excellent coverage, Orlando did the same for Carlos in 2006/07. What's up with the Miami Herald? Are these players not good enough for some media coverage? Thank you for what you do, keep it real!

Answered 08/26/10 13:49:28 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: You make great points. Obviously, the coverage will be slanted toward the U.S. team. But there's always room to check on the players who play for the market's NBA team.

Q: I don't know much about Da'Sean Butler, aside that he apparently has a lot of potential. If he made the roster this year, would he be able to crack the rotation once healthy? Or is that something that wouldn't happen until maybe next season?

Answered 08/26/10 13:46:46 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: From a talent standpoint, he's as complete a swingman, when healthy, as the Heat has on the roster aside from LeBron and Mike Miller. But he hasn't done anything at this level yet, obviously. I don't think he'd crack the rotation this season. I also think there's still some significant time left in his rehab from knee surgery.

Q: Wade gives his team as much as Lebron and Kobe does and is as Jordanesque as those two, except Wade's shorter than all of these players including Jordan. That means Wade does more with less. Given he didn't start in the 2008 olympics, he quietly took over games and was the teams leading scorer. Now I hear Wade isn't even in the top 3 players. He's now behind Carmelo and Durant and how the olympic team needs Durant, who's bricking a lot lately, and Derrick Rose more...how much better Lebron is though none of these players have won a championship. Only Kobe has and Kobe has always had more talented teams than Wade. My question is who's pushing this perspective in the media to doubt Wade's greatness? He's already won a gold medal as the lead scorer amongst the NBA's best, had higher shooting percentages than both Kobe and Lebron for multiple years, took home MVP honors in both the finals and the Allstar game, won a scoring title, and won a championship...To me, that sounds like a resume of a great player.

Answered 08/26/10 13:44:14 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: It is a resume of greatness. Keep in mind that these perspectives and opinions are just that. There are a lot of doubters and private agendas out there. Wade is a top 3 player in the league. I've got, based on sheer talent, Kobe, Wade and LeBron - in no certain order.

Q: What's the latest on Udonis Haslem's situation? Will he be able to play?

Answered 08/26/10 13:41:26 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: There is no latest at this point. The sides are negotiating, I'm sure. If this plays out as things currently stand, it will carry right into training camp and possibly the regular season - and a huge cloud would hang over the Heat. Having said that, all sides are probably hoping for a quicker resolution.

Q: Following the Spain - USA game Sunday, commentators suggested Rudy Fernandez (Spain's PG) is likely to be shipped out by Portland after all the fuss he is making. An ESPN analyst thinks he would be a good fit for the Heat given his low $1.2M salary. Agree?

Answered 08/26/10 13:39:49 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: As it stands now, based on league rules, the only players the Heat could send to Portland in such a deal would be Mario Chalmers and/or Dexter Pittman. Would I take Rudy back for those two guys? Certainly, especially if I could convince Wade to play point guard full time. The Heat has had discussions before with Portland this offseason. Not sure if that sort of deal would materialize at this point, though.

Q: I was a little surprised when the first rookie signed was Pittman and for two years. He didn't show real well in Vegas so are the Heat looking for someone with the size to bang on Shaq, Bynum, and Howard? Thanks.

Answered 08/26/10 13:37:12 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: I was surprised they signed him that fast as well. But that decision wasn't based on his play in Vegas. He signed a day or two after the team opened summer league play. That signing is based on potential impact. Pittman has surprising athleticism for a kid that size. He also eats up plenty of space and loves to bang. If nothing else, he'll body up against the big boys in the eastern conference .... eventually.

Q: Mr Wallace, how should Miami play against Celtics for the first game? How do you feel concerning the heat defense,for a lot have been said on this team potential on offense? Do you think they might take a look at Dampier as an upgrade for center?thanks a lot

Answered 08/26/10 13:35:25 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: If Dampier is available and the Heat can swing a move or two to make room for him, it can only help. I've said before that he's arguable better than any true center the Heat has on the roster right now. As far as playing style, Miami needs to get out on the open court and utilize the speed and athleticism of the Big 3. I'd like to see this team play more like Magic's Lakers back in the 1980s. Not just against Boston, but against everyone. I think you limit this team's effectiveness by playing half-court, isolation ball.

Q: Listening to all the national sports talk programs, I have heard so many ridiculous reasons as to why this Miami Heat Experiment will not work. The most absurd was the argument that the Big 3 will account for about 70 to 80 points a night, so where will the rest of the offense come from. What is the strangest reason you have heard as to why this team will not work?

Answered 08/26/10 13:32:39 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: Strangest thing I've heard? That karma will somehow come back and bite LeBron in the butt and derail the Heat. Doesn't get much stranger or crazier than that, does it?

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/qna/forum/heat_chat/index.html#ixzz0xjimNUV5

(For live news, notes and updates on the Heat, follow me on Twitter @ twitter.com/WallaceNBAHeat. To post a question or join our live Heat chat each Thursday from 1-2 p.m., click here.)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Roster Room For Zo? Always

Hot topics from this week's Heat live chat ... ZoFighting

Most Recently Answered Questions

Questions 1 - 15 of 1270 (Page 1 of 43)

Q: Hey Michael, I'm a huge Heat fan and as soon as Bron mentioned he was going to retire he's #23 i knew only possible cities were Chicago or Miami. But what do you think of a possible return to the sidelines by Alonzo Mourning? I know he's 40 years old now but 12-18 minutes a night is well enough for this cast? What do you think? Is February an option for return? Eddy B

Answered 08/19/10 14:05:26 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: I think Zo did some of his best work by joining the Heat's front-office recruiting team during free agency. He's also got a lot more on his plate than basketball, with all of his philanthropic work. Would it have been nice to see Timmy and Zo get the last two roster spots just to keep these guys focused on practices and on the road? Certainly. I've lobbied for it, both playfully and sort-of-seriously. But Zo insists his playing days are done. That won't, however, keep him from sneaking into a practice with his Heat guard and working out with these guys every now and then.

Q: It is time to quit hating and come to a realization that the Miami Heat are arguably the best team in the NBA. The THRINASTY is a bond created from drat day seven years ago, played together in the Olympics, and is a special relationship you will most likely never see in sports again. This is a unique situation where friendship, cap space, and family got this deal done. Riley and Wade thank you. Sit back and enjoy the show

Answered 08/19/10 14:02:26 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: Well said.

Q: hi michael very respectfully think that you do not respect the play of Carlos Arroyo on your final analysis or you have it playing in the rotation you know Carlos Arroyo has always had to shut his mouth to people like you who just think that the best players are those that are produced in the United States fortunately in recent years has shown that basketball has grown.

Answered 08/19/10 14:01:45 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: I've got no problem with Carlos. I respect what he brings to the table and wish him the best.

Q: Q: Does Carlos Arroyo have a chance this year? He did better than Chalmers last year and is good for the Latino fan base. This has nothing to do with any fan base; this is about championships. I suspect this season will start like last, with the starting job at point guard being Mario's to lose. But if Carlos has a strong showing at the World Championships with Puerto Rico, I would not be surprised if LeBron and Dwyane take note and perhaps make a note of it with Erik Spoelstra.you think of this

Answered 08/19/10 14:00:47 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: Arroyo just won't go away. Good for him. He's stubborn, and that's what the Heat needs at that position. He's not afraid to stand up and correct more established players on the team. And he doesn't make a lot of mistakes. That should keep him in the mix with the playing rotation. Unless politics get in the way.

Q: Charles was a great ball player, but now he is playing a new position and that is the loud mouth EX-Player. Charles I am a fan of yours and I am disappointed with you and your tunnel vision, you value your own opinion to much. you see thats all your talking is, an opinion. charles you are still ok with me even if it does not matter to you. charles do me a favor shut up get off Bron. every great player who has won the NBA title has had Great players playing with them..ie Magic, Mike, Bird, even you tried to hook up with the Dream. charles lets stop the Black on Black crime.. 

Answered 08/19/10 13:59:03 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: I, too, loved Barkley as a player and find him entertaining and engaging as an analyst. But this thing with LeBron seemed to go a bit too far.

Q: Hello, Michael Wallace, How will new Heat addition, Mike Miller fit in the Miami Heat's system of playing basketball on the court? Will Haslem return for his 7th season with the Heat? What do you think about the new big three of Lebron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade on the same Miami Heat team? take care.

Answered 08/19/10 13:57:11 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: Mike Miller could put up Reggie Miller type shooting numbers with this team. He might be the one who benefits most on this roster from the addition of LeBron and Bosh. There is no reason he shouldn't lead the league in three-point shooting and average about 6 assists and 5 rebounds to go with it. Miller always has been a shooter, but people don't give him enough credit for being a playmaker.

Q: Lebum is the only guy in the league that I hope gets an career ending injury...so I don't have to see the stupid faces that he makes..chalk in the air..I wish he would've taken his talents to Europe...enjoy the NBA's most hated player Miami! Come to think of it, the Heat are the Oakland Raiders of the NBA - Finally, Lebum said he's keeping track of all the negative stories and comments people have made - yeah right...he would have to get a computer with 1000 Gigabyte hard drive to store all the negative comments that fans, players, etc. have been saying. And whats he going to because of it? Stop choking in the playoffs - the opposite will happen - Lebum and his management dream team of morons/idiots will never get BIG advertising deals in the future because what BRAND wants to be endorsed by a VILLAIN...Lebum thought he could take 10 Million a year less with Miami and it wouldn't matter because of his endorsement deals...oops - I predict even NIKE drops him when they realize EVERYONE outside of Miami HATES LEBRON JAMES...I will be tossing my Nike B-ball in the trash and buying some Converse - anyone that pays Lebron James money ids getting boycotted by me...As a season ticket holder in LA - I have already given my tickets for Miami's game in LA away...I will not profit or support that BUM or his team...D.Wade and LeBum said the rest of the NBA should thank them for helping them sell tickets...EGO's are out of control - Sorry D.Wade no more T Mobile commercials for you either

Answered 08/19/10 13:54:52 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: Charles Barkley, is that you?

Q: What's going on Mike, I've heard your interview on the "Armando & The Amigo Show" and I must admit it was lively to say the least. The guys said that LeBron James would be a "punk" if he did not confront Sir Charles Barkley and I agree to a certain extent. A fight with Barkley has suspension and fine from the NBA written all over it. I know it's the right thing to do if we were on the streets but we're not on the streets anymore Mike. Lebron James is a walking multi-million dollar superstar and Sir Charles Barkley is a Hall of Famer. I highly doubt, LeBron meant that he was going to fight every single person who said something negative about him or the Heat. I'm a true LeBron James fan and I support him no matter what decision he made. I believe that he was just letting his true fans know that he is hearing all of the critics and that he won't let us down during the season. Besides he's not the only one to take mental notes. Michael Jordan took mental notes back in his day, so much so, that the media use to think that he was making them up just to get himself pumped up for the game. I'm not comparing LeBron to Jordan, personally I have always thought of LeBron more Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson than Michael Jordan. I've always thought of Dwyane Wade as more Jordan-esque than LeBron. What I'm trying to say is would LeBron still be considered a "punk" if he called up Sir Charles Barkley and they talked over their differences. Instead of coming to blows as if they were back on the streets because I state again we're not on the streets Mike. And LeBron isn't trying to jeopardize playing next season let alone his career.

Answered 08/19/10 13:53:25 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: Well said. But at this point, I don't think there's anything else LeBron needs to say - or tweet - that would get his point across better than going out and dominating dudes on the court. Barkley is paid to be controversial at this point. LeBron doesn't need to justify anything to Barkley. Just play ball, is all I'm saying.

Q: Do you see LeBron James playing the Magic Johnson role (point guard or point forward)on this team and averaging a triple double?

Answered 08/19/10 13:50:08 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: I don't know about AVERAGING a triple double. But I think his numbers will be close enough. They've always been impressive. I think he has a chance to be far more efficient in all aspects of the game. But not even the great Magic Johnson ever averaged a triple double. That hasn't happened since Oscar Robertson did it some 40 seasons ago.

Q: Who do you believe will be the leader of this Miami Heat team? And do you believe it will take long for their chemistry to develop? I think it will be co-lead by Dwyane Wade and LeBron James with no problems. And I think Wade and James will be on the same page early on with the rest of the team to follow towards the middle of the season. Besides Wade is quoted saying that he's played with LeBron more than he's played with his own teammates.

Answered 08/19/10 13:48:03 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: Wade will be the unquestioned leader of this team. LeBron might be the best all around player on the roster, but this is Wade's team. I've compared it before the to the Yankee dynamic with Jeter and A-Rod. The difference is that Wade is still in the prime of his career, whereas Joete is on the decline.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/qna/forum/heat_chat/index.html#ixzz0x4o8iUyK

(For live news, notes and updates on the Heat, follow me on Twitter @ twitter.com/WallaceNBAHeat. To post a question or join our live Heat chat each Thursday from 1-2 p.m., click here.)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Punk Move? Barkley from Beasley to 'Bron

Charles Barkley is at it again. He just can't keep his mouth closed.Barkley

When the always-controversial Round Mound of Rebound took on Michael Beasley and the Heat's supporting cast last season, by referring to Dwyane Wade as "Michael Jackson playing with a bunch of Titos," it was both funny and not overwhelmingly far from the truth.

We can all admit that now. Even Dwyane Wade, who would never put down his teammates in public, knew he needed a significant upgrade around him.

Those upgrades have arrived. And Barkley still can't find a way to shut up and contain himself when it comes to the Heat. After taking on Beasley last season, Barkley has stepped up in an attempt to take down LeBron James.

During an interview with a Dallas radio station, he referred to the way LeBron handled his departure from  Cleveland to Miami as a "punk move." He also insinuated that the Heat's free agency celebration, with all the fireworks, music, stage and rock concert atmosphere was a similar "punk move."

Barkley was simply answering a question. He didn't bring his agenda to the interview. But still, his latest assault came in response to LeBron posting on Twitter the other day that he was taking mental notes of all of the Heat haters. A few weeks ago, LeBron also tweeted that Miami is essentially Team Dillinger, in reference to the legendary bank robber who rose to become the most wanted fugitive in America.

From a media standpoint, this is remarkably entertaining fodder to cover. But it's also getting to be a bit childish and overblown on both ends. LeBron taking a vacation from Twitter at this point wouldn't be a bad idea at all. I know the Heat privately would want nothing more than that right about now.

LeBron-Heat Save the drama for the season. No need to be a Twitter tough guy right now. But Barkley also is insane for stooping to that level and referring to matters as "punk moves." Where I come from, those were fighting words. The only thing worse than being called a punk back on the playground was to be called a "sissy."

Remember that? These are both grown men engaging in childish antics. Barkley and James will go down as two of the top 5-to-10 small forwards to ever play the game. You wish they played in the same era, so that we could see this feud play out on the court.

I was a guest on 640 AM's "Armando & The Amigo Show" this morning and talked extensively about this whole Barkley-Bron media brawl. Click the audio link below to hear the segment. You won't be disappointed. The discussion was lively, strong and engaging.

After you listen to part or all of it (it was a 15-minute take), feel free to post your own thoughts, regardless of where you come down on this issue. In short, I believe Barkley is a hypocrite and LeBron is being a Twitter tough guy, which is sort of weak in my opinion.

Wallace on 640AM about Barkley vs. LeBron

What's your take?

(For live news, notes and updates on the Heat, follow me on Twitter @ twitter.com/WallaceNBAHeat. To post a question or join our live Heat chat each Thursday from 1-2 p.m., click here.)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

It's all preseason...

So the eight-game preseason schedule was released, with three home games on the sked, including a game against a Russian powerhouse team. All you need to know about the Heat's popularity is that six of the eight preseason games are going to be televised, when they hardly ever used to be. Two of those games are national TV...

But as usual, it's pre-season talk that's making all the news. Jeff Van Gundy's prediction that the Heat will effectively be the greatest team ever by breaking the regular season wins record and could win 33 or more in a row is still causing ripples.

Frankly, I think the Heat can win 73 if two things happen: First, LeBron and Wade have to want it to happen. If those two guys set the defensive tone, it'll make all but about 20 games a potential blowout. The second thing that has to happen is this team has to rebound as a group, because the lack of size and/or athleticism in the middle, depending on who's in there, will have to be made up somehow. I'm not really concerned about that because LeBron, Mike Miller, Dwyane and Bosh are among the best rebounders at their respective positions.

The 33 straight wins will be trickier, probably. You have to assume if the team loses only nine games, the bulk of the losses have to come against the Bulls, Magic, Celtics, Lakers and Thunder, probably on the road. There is no 33-game stretch of schedule without one of those road games on the schedule.

But if the haters carry on the way they have been, it might give these guys, specifically LeBron, the most incentive to win that he's ever had. So I wouldn't put anything past them. It might not be as important as a title, but it very well could be something this group would want to accomplish if the season starts off well.


Hot Takes on Miami Heat

What do Kwame Brown, DeSean Butler, Spoelstra's handling of the rotation and Heat hate all have in Spo-timeout common? We break them all down in the latest Heat live Q&A session.

Another week, another dose of dynamic questions from you guys regarding the Miami Heat.

Pretty soon, we'll start to see this team provide some answers. But until then, we try to give you as much info based on our insight and access from covering this team. Here's a sample of this week's chat, which wrapped up just a few minutes ago. Click on the link below to read the entire session from Thursday.

And then, jump into the fray next week with your own Heat takes and questions.

Most Recently Answered Questions

Questions 1 - 15 of 1244 (Page 1 of 42)

Q: Hey Michael, do you think Spoelstra will find enough minutes to go around to get these shooters involved in games. We have arguably the best core of 3 point shooters with Miller, J. Jones and E. House so I would like to see them get the minutes so that we can be an even deadlier squad. Another thing, do you see Coach Spo going maybe 10 deep into the rotation?...Thanks

Answered 08/12/10 14:06:05 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: The rotation always has been Spoelstra's biggest challenge. But now, he's got major talent at his disposal and won't have to do as much patchwork with the rotation. I'm almost certain that at least one of those three shooters will be on the court at all times. I'm not sure, however, that you'd want to take the rotation out to 10 players amid a quest for true continuity. I see eight or nine at most: Wade, LeBron, Bosh, Mike Miller, Haslem, Anthony, House, Chalmers and Big Z.

Q: Hey Michael, I would like to see Jerry Stackhouse be put into the equation. What do you think ? He said he would be a role player.

Answered 08/12/10 14:01:48 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: I'm sure Jerry Stackhouse would like to see himself thrown into the equation right now, too.

Q: Hi Mike, I just wanted to know how heat are going to win in the final round of the playoffs without a true center and a point guard? i mean they have 3 kings, but don't you think, they should have at least tried to get a center like Shaq or Jermaine or perhaps Brad Miller, Shaq signed for the minimum with boston, so i don't think money was that of a big issue. And again if they would have gone after raja bell or matt barnes, they would bought an insurance policy of keeping wade and lebron out of foul trouble, and defensive presence against kobe.

Answered 08/12/10 14:00:46 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: Those are all great points. But I think the Heat is confident in what it has. Sure, one more big body on the front line would be great, as would a true veteran point guard. But that's not the case right now. I still think there's more than enough on the Heat's roster to accomplish what it needs to get done. But keep in mind, Miami still has the flexibility to bring in one more player and can shift its current rotation to play a number of different styles. What if Wade is willing to move to PG now that he has more scoring help? And what if Bosh is willing to take on some center alongside Udonis Haslem at power forward? There is plenty still unsettled about this team's approach. But the options are numerous with what's already here.

Q: So apparently if LA and MIA meet up next June the Heat are doomed because of the Lakers' size, or at least that's the case according to guys like Larry Coon and other ignorant Laker fans. Andrew Bynum's advantage over Joel or Z is the overwhelming matchup that leads to Miami's demise (please pick up the sarcasm Mike). So my question to you- as people examine the matchup of Chalmers-Fisher, Wade-Kobe, Lebron-Ron, Pau-Bosh, and Bynum-Joel/Z, do they just assume that Lebron vs. Artest is really a wash? I realize the Lakers are extremely talented and there's more to it then player by player matchups, but are you honestly telling me that these "experts" prefer the advantage that Bynum gives you over someone like Joel or Z rather than the one that Lebron James gives you over Ron Artest? Call me foolish, but I'll take the LBJ>Ron advantage over the Bynum>Joel/Z advantage any day of the week. You?

Answered 08/12/10 13:57:01 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: I think these teams really offset one another in terms of those matchups. I think health/injuries will be a huge factor, as well as homecourt advantage, assuming these two teams advance to the Finals. As I said before, I'm not sure I'm ready to get too deep into the Xs and Os and matchups at this stage, because there's too much ball to be played. But I do think all signs point to that Lakers-Heat matchup in the Finals.

Q: I think if DeShaun Butler recovers from his torn ACL he would be a great pickup. He could have been a top ten pick without the injury. Also, Jon Scheyer should be signed. Smart, three point shooter, defender and can run the point. Your thoughts.

Answered 08/12/10 13:54:06 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: Those are two talented young players the Heat really hopes to see healthy one day real soon. Scheyer was knocked out of summer league with an eye injury and Butler is recovering from the knee injury. These two could end up on the Heat's roster in a year or two, once some of the low-cost veterans move on. But the timing might be the biggest factor this season.

Q: whats up Michael? I have a statement more than a question! Because this needs to be said! I hope that all HEAT FANS realize that we have a VERY SPECIAL GEM that comes around only so many years IN THE WORLD OF SPORTS!! And his name is DYWANE WADE !!!!! REALLY THINK ABOUT IT !!! THIS GUY NOT ONLY RESIGN WITH US, BUT IS MAKING LESS MONEY THAN LEBRON AND CHRIS BOSH. And its his team! And to the NBA world, they need to STOP HATING! And give PROPS to D-WADe! Because back in the day NO ONE would've done what D-WADE did for the MIAMI HEAT and their franchise! Jordan said he would've never called up Magic or Larry Bird to team up. Ask him if he would've took less money and shared the spotlight with those superstars? I'm almost certain that he and others wouldn't of !! If it was up to me, i would have a D-WADE APPRECIATION DAY!! Something for HIM and ONLY HIM !! Make not mistake about it!!! ITS STILL ABOUT DYWANE WADE!!!!! HEAT FANS support Lebron and Chris Bosh, but let D-Wade know that we LOVE him and its all about HIM!! LETS GO HEAT!!!!!!!!!!!

Answered 08/12/10 13:51:21 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: Statement delivered.

Q: James is an outstanding assist man. At Cleveland he was basically a point forward which on offense left the point guard as a liability. Unless the point guard is a shooter ie Allen Iverson. I think if they bought both to camp to see who would fit the supporting role better.

Answered 08/12/10 13:49:49 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: LeBron and Dwyane will both get plenty of opportunities to handle the ball as the de facto point guard. And yes, the most impressive part of LeBron's season last year came when he took over as the PG during that stretch in Cleveland when both Mo Williams and Delonte West were out with injuries. He basically averaged a triple double.

Q: How come the Miami heat does not want to sign Kwame Brown on the roster? I truly believe that the Miami Heat can win multiple championship by signing Kwame Brown . I know he is not very efficient at producing point but he does not need to. His specialty is defending and rebounding and that what the Miami Heat really need right now. Kwame is strong ,big, tough and mean. He just need the heat to give him the opportunity to show case his potential . He will ankle the Miami Heat defend and provide much need rebound which the Miami does not have. Nobody can touch the Miami Heat if Kwame Brown is a part of the Miami Heat roster.

Answered 08/12/10 13:44:30 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: The Wizards became a playoff team AFTER Kwame. The Lakers got back to winning titles AFTER Kwame. And Detroit hasn't done a doggone thing WITH Kwame. So don't overstate Kwame's impact on anyone's roster. Having said that, he is a space-eating 7-footer who can still be a defensive presence. Money is the factor here. Not interest. The Heat is clearly interested. But there's nothing more than the vets' minimum to offer.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/qna/forum/heat_chat/index.html#ixzz0wPsWgiHr

(For live news, notes and updates on the Heat, follow me on Twitter @ twitter.com/WallaceNBAHeat. To post a question or join our live Heat chat each Thursday from 1-2 p.m., click here.)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Five Must-See Heat Games

Chances are, if you haven't locked down tickets to Heat games by now, you're probably going to be on the Celtics Heat Wade outside looking in.

The demand is that great. The expectations are even greater. And one thing that Dwyane Wade said a month ago, sitting at that press conference alongside new teammates Chris Bosh and LeBron James, resonates as sharply now as it did when he uttered the words on July 9.

"So thank us now," Wade said in a shout-out to the Heat's upcoming opponents this season. "Because every place is going to sell out when we come to town."

For those detractors out there, hate on the Heat all you want. But you still want to hear every word that comes out of these guys' mouths.

Rail on their egos and confidence. But your rear end will most likely be planted in a seat in front of the TV set when Miami's three dozen national TV games are broadcast. In a lot of ways, this Miami Heat team has become one of the most polarizing elements in sports and is nestled right in there with the Dallas Cowboys, Barry Bonds, Michael Vick, Mike Tyson and Brett Favre.

You either love to root against them. Or you live to root for them.

But you can't - or won't - stop watching.

That's one reason why almost every story in every NBA city across the nation written about the schedule's release yesterday was led by the date that particular team gets to either host or face the Miami Heat.

"So thank us now," reminds Wade.

I've already circled five games before the turn of the calendar year that are either "Must See" if you can get there, or "Can't Miss" if you have to settle for a seat in front of the tube. They are ranked only by when they appear on the schedule.

No. 1 - Oct. 26 at Boston: Why? Because it's the season opener alone makes this a magical event for the start of the Wade, Bosh and James administration. But add in multiple other subplots, and this becomes arguably the second-most hyped season opener in franchise history. The only other opener that's in this discussion for the Heat was its first-ever game played at the start of its 1988 season. Now, there's the battle of the Big 3s, the O'Neals' factor (Shaq and Jermaine) and the fact that Miami gets a chance to face the team that dumped Dwyane Wade out of the playoffs in the first round last season.

No. 2 - Oct. 29 vs Orlando: Anytime you get players from one team bickering publicly with the Howard-UD coach and general manager of another team - and those teams happen to be in the same state - you know there's a little something extra here. If the Heat-Magic matchup wasn't truly a rivalry before (Orlando has won 14 of the last 17), clearly it is now. No doubt about it. Otis Smith and Stan Van Gundy sort of called out LeBron for his decision to bolt Cleveland. LeBron and Wade let it be known that they couldn't wait to get back on the court to provide an answer. Toss in Dwight Howard's stated refusal to answer questions about the Heat, J.J. Redick's side comments last month and Jeff Van Gundy's set-them-up-to-fail praise last week, and you know there will be a winner-take-all feel to every game they play.

No. 3. - Dec. 2 at Cleveland: LeBron has tried to go the extra mile - literally, with that Akron charity Bike-a-thon event last week - to make amends with northeast Ohio for his decision to leave the Cavaliers hanging high and dry. But no amount of goodwill can erase the fact that much of the state remains scorned behind his move to Miami. Count on extra security being on hand at this one. Count on an entire arena letting loose all of the venom it can muster to voice displeasure for James. And you can also probably count on the Heat going out there and handing the inferior Cavs a 20-point beating - on the second night of a back-to-back set, no less.

No. 4 - Dec. 17 at New York: After essentially tanking two seasons and tearing their roster to shreds just for the chance to land LeBron, the Knicks welcome the player they so desperately coveted and face the team that drove a dagger into their free agency plans. Pat Riley gets the last laugh after all against the Knicks, right? It will be a media zoo when this game takes place. James and Wade have had some of their better games against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Expect an Ali-Frazier type atmosphere at the Garden, although this basketball battle will hardly live up to that epic prize fight from the early 1970s. This could turn out to be one of the highest-scoring games of the 2010-11 season.

No. 5 - Dec. 25 at Los Angeles Lakers: Kobe. LeBron. Dwyane. The three best players in the game.  Lakers-Heat-Main Enough said. Although Boston and Orlando would argue otherwise, this could very well be a preview of the 2011 NBA Finals. This is the matchup the world wants to see. The NBA truly delivers a gift on Christmas with this game. How badly did the league want to feature this game on this date? It's the second game of a two-game trip for the Heat, which plays at Phoenix two days earlier. Miami is never sent that far to play fewer than four or five games. Can Miami's star power match L.A.'s championship experience and swagger? Can the Heat's dynamic wings offset the Lakers' massive size up front?

So much intrigue. So many questions. We'll learn a  lot about this team over the first two full months of the season.

Buckle up. It's going to be a crazy ride.

(For live news, notes and updates on the Heat, follow me on Twitter @ twitter.com/WallaceNBAHeat. To post a question or join our live Heat chat each Thursday from 1-2 p.m., click here.)

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Answer This: Why Not Heat-Lakers Final?

Any reason why the Heat and Lakers won't meet in the 2011 Finals? Is it too late for Allen Iverson? Should  Lakers-Heat-Main the Heat be concerned about Boston after the addition of yet another washed-up O'Neal? Will Dwyane Wade beat out LeBron James and Chris Bosh to win the Finals MVP?

Just a sample of another week of remarkable questions from you guys regarding the new-look Heat. It no longer amazes me the level of national and international interest this team has generated. The questions to our Heat's weekly Q&A are coming from all over the globe.

Keep them coming, and I'll keep addressing them - if not outright answering them. Either way, we're both along for what could be a wild and crazy thrill ride this season.

Here's a preview of this week's Q&A entry, which just wrapped up a few minutes ago ...

Most Recently Answered Questions

Questions 1 - 15 of 1218 (Page 1 of 42)

Q: With Eddie House in the fold now and a slew of Big Men, maybe it doesn't seem all that crazy to bring in a T-Mac or Iverson type. TMac because he has something to prove (that he's healthy and can still play...and that he's willing to be a role player)& A.I. because he wants a paycheck and probably never thought about his legacy until injuries, age and mileage forced him to. Why not go in to the HOF as an MVP, scoring champ and NBA Finals Champ? I really don't think the big three and/or the management regime will tolerate any locker room dissension--they'd just be gone if it didn't work, right?

Answered 08/05/10 13:58:53 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: The problem with both those guys is what you just mentioned. They feel they have something to prove to the league. And on this Heat team, there won't be that many minutes to go out there with an agenda. There might be many nights of DNP-CD's (did not play, coach's decision). And eventually, that could wear on this team. No need in taking any chances with chemistry on a team that has yet to jell.


Answered 08/05/10 13:57:03 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: I can't see him being Derron Williams, Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo or Steve Nash. So I guess my answer would be no. But he can be a very solid pro along the likes of Derek Fisher, Raymond Felton, etc.

Q: You probably get about a million of these a week, but I just want to go on record as saying I like you so much better than Shmira. Keep it up sir.

Answered 08/05/10 13:55:36 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: Hey, thanks. Much appreciated. Ira is an extremely hard-working beat writer who has covered the Heat since Day 1. Thankfully, there's enough room on this beat and in this town for the both of us to continue to give you guys solid Heat coverage.

Q: Can we send are center Dexter Pittman into the Euroleague with Jarvis Varnado??

Answered 08/05/10 13:54:06 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: Yes, but I can't see that happening with Dexter. I think he needs to be a big body to bang against in practice. He also can develop much better with the Heat than overseas at this point.

Q: First off, I wouldn't be that surprised if the Lakers didn't even make it back to the finals next June considering how many top-tier teams in the West have improved and how close they came to missing the Finals this past June with such a favorable bracket, but anyway, when people examine the MIA-LA matchup they always give a huge advantage to LA because of their size down low. Is this matchup problem being exaggerated though? Bynum isn't always in the game with Pau for one, and doesn't finish games with him down low. Also, isn't that what Z is for? Bosh-Z is equal in length to Pau-Bynum. I'm not saying they're equally talented, but a combo of Bosh and Z has to come close to neutralizing that alleged "huge" size advantage, right?

Answered 08/05/10 13:52:15 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: Size-wise, yes. But there are so many other factors in play there. These teams match up really well. Really, really well. That's what makes it so fun to imagine some 10 months in advance of it even having a chance to happen.

Q: did jon scheyer make the heat roster or not?

Answered 08/05/10 13:50:23 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: Not. At least not yet.

Q: hey mike why we get ju howard makes no sense why not go for rasual butler or j will over arroyo at least ha can hit the 3 point shot also u think the heat will pass the 72 win season of the bulls do u think riley will come down to coach he is got the respect to coach the big 3 i don't see that on spoelstra he has not prove anything and why is former greats like jordan and magic hating on lebron they didn't win on their own thanxs

Answered 08/05/10 13:50:09 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: Howard came in on the vets' minimum. Butler took more money to go back to the Clippers. J-Will never got beyond a flirtation. Arroyo is back and in the fold.

Q: Hi Mike. Come the time where the Heat plays the Cavs in Cleveland, first, it HAS to be on ESPN right? And what's more likely? An empty building to boycott Lebron? or a full house that will curse every Miami possession? I don't care how crappy the Cav's line up is or if there at the bottom of the standings. I'm watching that game!

Answered 08/05/10 13:48:33 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: Of course, that Dec. 2 visit to Cleveland is going to be on national TV. No other way to do it. And the building will be packed, no doubt about it.

Q: Why has Channel 6 so severely cut back on their sports coverage? On the night we were waiting to hear about Lebron coming to Miami, they didn't even have Joe Rose covering the story!! http://img827.imageshack.us/img827/6974/pissonfans.jpg I've been watching Channel 6 for thirty years and I'm disgusted. They even eliminated coverage by sportscasters and just have the news readers reading the minimal stories. At first, it was only on weekends but now it's during the week, too. Not much of a lead in to NBC Nightly News. I'm switching to Channel 4 which still has Jim Berry and Kim Bokamper.

Answered 08/05/10 13:47:42 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: OK. How did this one find my in-box?

Q: Do you think Dwyane Wade can still win the NBAs MVP award even if Lebron James and Chris Bosh are on HIS team? and if so how can he, what does he need to do, and how high are the chances/what is the percentage??

Answered 08/05/10 13:46:32 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: Man, we're getting waaaaayyyy ahead of ourselves on this one. I can't even put a percentage on them getting to the Finals, let alone who the MVP is going to be. Let's get to at least the season opener before we get to that one.

Q: first my heart goes out to HASLEM.we got backups for every position but wade's.why not a t-mac.he's a risk but he's a smart player with a big upside,little risk. 10 min to 15 min a game to help take a load off for wade.we need to save the big 3 from wearing down and make a run at the playoffs.

Answered 08/05/10 13:45:25 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: Technically, Eddie House or James Jones would be the backup at shooting guard for Dwyane. So there are bodies there at that position.

Q: Wade - Lebron - Bosh - Udonis - Chalmers is that the starting five? I knew Lebron had definitely selected Miami when he said he spoke with mom. Obviously he wanted her approval to leave Cleveland.

Answered 08/05/10 13:44:28 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: I think Udonis is coming off the bench. I'd put Joel Anthony in there at center. But again, we're still weeks, if not months, from that being anywhere near decided.

Q: Why Pat Beverly? Read he will never have the offensive and ball-handling skills needed in the pros.

Answered 08/05/10 13:43:31 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: To be honest, that signing sort of surprised me as well. Even on a partial guarantee contract. But it's hard to question Riley's moves this offseason. Dude has come up with all 7s all summer.

Q: I do understand d goal and d rhythm that d miami front office is trying to achieve but adding a player like Allen Ivenson and shaq will not cause any harm. So my question to you is ds, do u think is a good idea to add a player like A.I AND BIG DIESEL on d heat roaster?

Answered 08/05/10 13:42:30 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: No, and nope. Same as last week. ONly now, Shaq is off the board and is now in Boston.

Q: what are the chances of the miami heat winning the nba championship this season?

Answered 08/05/10 13:41:46 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: They certainly have the roster to get there. I think they at least have to get to the NBA Finals to avoid any "failure" discussion.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/qna/forum/heat_chat/index.html#ixzz0vkvlFifP

(For live news, notes and updates on the Heat, follow me on Twitter @ twitter.com/WallaceNBAHeat. To post a question or join our live Heat chat each Thursday from 1-2 p.m., click here.)



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