48 posts from October 2012
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
THE BEST OF LAST NIGHT (RING EDITION): What was that mysterious and magical power that allowed the glowing bracelets on every fan's wrist to blink in rhythm to each other and the music? Sorcery!
THE BEST OF LAST NIGHT (GAME EDITION): Ray Allen’s 19 points
You could tell Allen was nervous before the game and didn't quite know how to approach the inevitable awkward moments. He attempted to exchanged handshakes and pleasantries with former teammate Kevin Garnett but Garnett wanted none of it. The cold-shoulder approach probably wasn't the best idea. Allen internalized his feelings well and scored 19 points off the bench. He shook three fingers in celebration of his first three-pointer and then went on to score 11 points in his first 12 minutes of action.
Allen's 19 points ranks him second among first-year reserves in debut games in franchise history. Only Willie Burton (25 points) has had a bigger opening night off the bench.
WORST OF THE NIGHT: Rajon Rondo's foul Completely unnecessary, his flagrant-1 on Dwyane Wade with mere seconds left in the game added more drama and backstory to this already tasty rivalry. Rondo clearly let his emotions get the best of him. At one point, Celtics coach Doc Rivers had to pull Rondo off the court because he wouldn't stop jawing at Wade as the Heat's shooting guard stepped to the line for his free throws.
NUMBER OF THE NIGHT: 8
That's the number of turnovers the Heat committed after averaging about 20 a game in its final preseason games. Mario Chalmers had 11 assists to just one turnover. LeBron James didn't commit a turnover and neither did fellow starter Shane Battier. Wade had the bulk of the giveaways (four).
LINE OF THE NIGHT: Wade led the Heat in scoring (29 points) but I'm going with Chris Bosh. He scored seven straight points after the Celtics cut the Heat's lead to four points and also delivered a key block and three rebounds during that run. For the night, Bosh was 8 of 15 from the field and 3 of 4 from the line for 15 points. He also had 10 rebounds (first double-double), three blocks and an assist. He committed one turnover, picked up three fouls and missed his only attempt from three-point range.
PLAY OF THE NIGHT:
Allen’s first three-pointer
The arena exploded when Allen knocked down his first triple.
NIGHTLY ANALYSIS: The Heat had 46 points in the paint, which close to the nightly goal of 50…Boston outrebounded the Heat 41-36 but the Heat’s low number of turnovers (eight compared to Boston’s 15) added possessions…Miami had 25 assists. Twenty assists per night is the goal Spoelstra has set for his offense…Miami’s 32 free-throw attempts was an indication of a healthy offense…The Heat shot .544 from the field compared to .520 for Boston. Both teams shot well from three-point distance as well. The Heat was 8 of 16 while Boston was 6 of 13…Miami had 32 points off the bench. Boston had 29.
NIGHTLY CONCERN: Not much to complain about but Boston did outscore the Heat 27-12 in fast-break points. Heat committed 20 fouls in the hard-fought game. Celtics had 23 personal fouls.
Dwyane Wade on Rajon Rondo’s flagrant foul with 16.9 seconds left: "It was a punk play. He clothes-lined me with two hands."
Shane Battier on the win: “It was very encouraging. It was 120 points but we felt we left points out there. Obviously our transition defense wasn’t very good and we fouled them way too much but all in all that’s the tempo that we want to play.”
LeBron James on Ray Allen’s debut: “It’s a gift for us. To have a Hall of Famer coming off the bench, it’s a treat for us and just shows the sacrifice that guys make to be a part of this team.”
ABOUT THE OTHER GUYS
The Heat is obviously a step above everyone in the East but the Celtics are an impressive team. Boston’s bench is deep. Rookie Jared Sullinger will contribute immediately. Jason Terry, Leandro Barbosa and Jeff Green are excellent players to have coming off the bench. The Heat and Celtics play three more times in the regular season. It’s going to be a fun series.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Today's reading list:
LeBron James is humbled by his success, Palm Beach Post.
Ray Allen, Celtics need to cease fire, ESPN.com.
Eyeing a repeat, Heat fight 'disease of more', ESPN.com.
Rondo is the best point guard in Celtics history, says Tiny Archibald, Boston Globe.
Michael Beasely hopes to find a home in Phoenix, YahooSports.
Burning questions of the 2012-2013 season, SI.com.
What's gotten into the T-Wolves and their newfound defensive success? I credit Andrei Kirilenko, but read for yourself, Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Sixers coach Doug Collins hates analytics, Philadelphia Inquirer.
Monday, October 29, 2012
Big game tomorrow. A lot of "noise." A lot of "storylines." (To quote my favorite Spoisms.) Here's the best from practice on Monday about Ray Allen's first game against the Celtics as a member of Boston's hated rival. Miami has knocked the Celtics out of the playoffs two years in a row.
"I think you guys think I have some animosity towards [Boston]. I don't."
“I’m happy for them that they won but at the same time they beat me and put us out." (Ray Allen pronoun guide—them/they:Heat; me/us: Celtics.)
"We want to do it for [Allen], in a sense."
"The only thing we can do as teammates is just show him how much we appreciate him being here and that he made the right decision and that he feels that comfort for us."
"It means a lot going up against your old team. I was there two years ago in Cleveland and I wanted to win that game. As his teammates, we got to try to help him do that but it’s no more added pressure on any of us. We just got to go out and play."
"Once he gets that first win out of the way, the emotions will be put the side and then we can just play ball."
ERIK SPOELSTRA ... on all the "noise."
"Welcome to the Miami Heat. Welcome to our world. I don’t think there’s any better introduction than all this for Ray…but it’s also not his first rodeo."
"I’m not happy with him because he left but I still think he’s a great guy. And, eventually, we’ll all get over it.”
"I’m going to play the game and get the hell up out of there. Period. Play."
"It's just another basketball game. It's already going to be a heated rivalry because it's two team that have been battling for the last three or four years. So ... that' what it is."
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Rapper Meek Mill is LeBron's new long-lost best friend and he's coming to "that Heat game on da wood" to show off his new shoes. I'm trying to break into the rap game, so my plan is to slip him a demo tape at halftime.
I have no effing clue what Mr. Mill is talking about when he says "on da wood" but it sounds pretty dendrological. LeBron listens to Mr. Mill before games, but who doesn't?
LeBron James had plenty to say on Saturday night when the James Harden deal went down and, of course, he wasn't alone. It seemed like everyone in the NBA had a take, reaction or funny comment about the trade. Here's a rundown of the highlights:
(Note: OKC traded James Harden and others to the Houston Rockets for Kevin Martin and others and assets on Saturday. I've read everyone's insta-opinions on the trade — Who won? We must know now! — but I still have no clue which side got the better of the deal. I let you know in a few years.)
Like most of us, LeBron was in shock when news broke of the trade.
Kevin Durant had a lot to say about the deal.
Nick Collison tipped a 40 for his homie.
Kendall Marshall snickered, resumed watching Notre Dame's ascension into the heavens and released the mute button on his iPods favorite playlist—Nickelback, Coldpay, The Monkeys and My Other Favs. Note: Marshall went to the same high school as half my family. The place just pumps out Notre Dame fans. It's sickening.
Jeremy Lin lit a few candles in his room in remembrance of teammates he played with for a few days.
Chandler Parsons coulda been great headline writer.
Landry Fields coulda been a so-so comedian.
Many were incredulous. Others skeptical. Still more dumbstruck.
Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips was just downright chapfallen, disconsolate and a danger to himself...a day before the deal even went pubic.
The Lakers tried to remain composed.
Our good buddy Daequan apparenty celebrated his last night in OKC in style. I remember those crazy nights when I was a kid. You wake up in stooper in some ditch with sun beating down on your face and you're like, "Dear God! Thank you! I'm alive!" Maybe I'm misinterpreting that.
Like me, Deron Williams is getting old. Slept through the whole damn thing.