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38 posts from January 2013

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Twitter mailbag

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No question, Matt. Chris Andersen had three points and three rebounds in his first three minutes on the court. Ever seen Joel Anthony break out the Euro-step. Yeah, me neither. I asked Andersen about the move after the game and he was actually kinda of embarrassed he had to go to it. He said he'll be dunking those fast-break baskets when his legs become stronger. There's no doubt Andersen can work his way up to about 15 minutes a game. Joel Anthony can still be effective in short bursts if Andersen takes some of his minutes.

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Right on, troll.

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I addressed this in a previous blog post. Here's the link. CLICK ME! The short answer: I don't think Oden will be in Miami next season.

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Game of Thrones. The countdown is on. Planning a big watch party with Pittman for episode one of season three. Tyrion (Peter Dinklage, Heat fan) is my favorite character, Daenerys annoys me and [SPOILER ALERT] I'm already mourning the death of Grey Wind.

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Don't think so. The Heat is most likely set. The last transaction should be adding Andersen for the remainder of the season.

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A better question: Can we trade our hockey team for another MLS franchise? I've got this great idea of putting a soccer stadium in Flamingo Park. Yeah, that's right, South Beach. It's the best idea ever.

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Mike Miller. He could sit all season and it wouldn't matter. I assume you remember Game 5.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

LeBron motivated by Reggie Evans' comments; Evans ducks out of post-game

Before the game, LeBron James walked into the visiting locker room announcing his presence to everyone. “He here! He here!” James screamed in the third person.

After Heat 105, Nets 85 on Wednesday at Barclays Center, James was still talking. Turns out, the comments Nets forward Reggie Evans made about James and the Heat before the game struck a nerve.

Evans indicated on Wednesday morning that the merits of the Miami’s 2012 championship were somehow diminished because the Heat won the title during a lockout-shortened season. James didn’t like it.

“No one knows what it takes unless you’ve done it,” James said. “You can’t sit here and judge and talk about a team winning a championship unless you’ve been through it and actually done it. He hasn't done it.

“I’m not going to sit here and give Reggie Evans a lot of press because that’s what’s going to happen. I’m going to give him a lot of press and people going to talk about Reggie Evans for the next couple of days when he probably wouldn’t be talked about.”

But James couldn’t help himself. He still wanted to talk about Evans.

“You can’t just come out and say something like that against a champion…Let me look at his numbers,” James said.

He then theatrically looked down to a stat sheet resting on top of the bucket of ice soaking his feet and ankles.

“Hold on,” James said, “I’m looking at Reggie Evans’ numbers real quick. He had no offensive rebounds, so we did our number on him, and we got the win more importantly.”

James had 24 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in 34 minutes.

Evans, for his part, exited the Nets’ post-game locker room before reporters could ask him questions.

LeBron on Reggie Evans: 'Who?'

So, Nets forward Reggie Evans must have been feeling a little frisky on Wednesday morning. During Brooklyn's shootaround media availability, Evans told Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News that LeBron James is no different than Andray Blatche and Joe Johnson:

“Our team is defending the Miami Heat. If our team has to defend one person, LeBron isn’t going to score nothing.  …LeBron is no different from Joe Johnson or Andray Blatche. No different,” Brooklyn’s starting power forward said. “People need help (on defense). Some people don’t need help. Everybody has to be double-teamed, it doesn’t matter who you are. You just have to stop LeBron in transition.

“He’s quick in transition. If you look at Joe Johnson -- Joe Johnson has two or three people trying to stop him. Whoever is guarding him.”

The Nets, winners of eight straight games at home, are 13-4 since interim coach P.J. Carlesimo took over for Avery Johnson. A victory on Wednesday night against the Heat would tie the Nets for the third longest home-winning streak in franchise history. It would seem that Evans has made pulling it off a little more difficult. LeBron was already motivated for his first game in Brooklyn, but now he might drop 45 points in his debut at Barclays Center.

But Evans didn't just downplay James' ability on Wednesday morning. He also seemed to question the legitimacy of the Heat's championship last season. From Bondy's blog post:

The Heat is just another team and LeBron is just another player to Reggie Evans, who indicated Miami’s title run last season is diminished because the schedule was shortened.

“It doesn’t prove nothing,” Evans told the Daily News when asked what it would mean to beat the defending champs. “That was a lockout season.”

James was asked about Evans' remarks during the Heat's shootaround at Barclays Center.

"Who said it?" James said.

"Reggie Evans," answered a reporter.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Miami might not be the best fit for Oden

Agent Mike Conley Sr. confirmed to The Herald's Barry Jackson on Tuesday that center Greg Oden is expected to meet with Heat president Pat Riley some time in the next two weeks.

Oden, the No.1 pick in the 2007 draft, has played in just 82 games throughout his career due to chronic knee problems. He has had multiple knee surgeries and might never play professional basketball again. But, hey, the guy is 7-1, so the Heat apparently will due its due diligence in trying to determine if Oden still has a future in basketball.

But let's get a few things straight here. If Oden is healthy enough to attempt a comeback, it will not happen until next season. Oden's visit to Miami hasn't been finalized yet, but when he visits, the Heat is expected to only evaluate his knees. Oden isn't expected to be put through any kind of intense workout on the court.

Now, if the Heat determines Oden still has life in his legs, that still doesn't mean he'll be signing with the Heat next season. Other teams are interested and Oden might receive more playing time and feel more comfortable with a team like Cleveland.

And there is also the matter of money to consider. The Heat will have a mini mid-level exception next season, but, considering the heavy taxes about to kick in due to the new CBA, taking a chance on Oden might not be worth the investment. The mini mid-level is $3 million per season, but, when you throw in the cap tax, his contract would actually cost the Heat much more.

Barclays Center? LeBron is excited after all


So, it appears LeBron is, after all, excited to be playing at Barclays Center on Wednesday night. While LeBron didn't seem overly enthusiatic about breaking in Brooklyn's new arena on Tuesday morning, he clarified his feelings on Twitter later Tuesday evening.

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The Heat practiced at Georgetown University on Tuesday before departing for New York. During the media-availability session, reporters were looking for a really energetic and exciting response from LeBron James about Wednesday's game against the Nets. New arena! Brooklyn isn't New Jersey! Hooray!

Um, no.

James said he was excited about the atmosphere (only after being prodded for an answer) but added " I'm not losing sleep over it. It's not like yesterday."

The Heat visited the White House on Monday.

As for Barclays Center, which isn't as awe-inspiring as the White House but does feature a really cool oculus, James wasn't very impressed in 2010 and he apparently still isn't now. Go fig. His only concern (if you want to call it that) on Tuesday was getting used to the new arena's backdrop behind the stanchions.

"The basket is 10 feet and I know how to put the ball in the rim, so I'll be alright," James said.

Monday, January 28, 2013

President Obama to LeBron: 'It's your world, man.'

LeBron's impromptu words at the White House on Monday produced some classic video. First, President Obama tells LeBron, "It's your world, man," when LeBron asked if he was supposed to say anything. LeBron then thanks the President and calls him "coach." LeBron ended his thank you with a one-liner that will resonate for the rest of his career: "Mama, I made it."

Photo collection of the Heat's day at the White House

Culled from various Twitter and Instagram accounts from players and others ...


Chris Bosh photo bomb!


Battier practicing his best Bill Clinton.


And more Battier and the Clinton thumb.



Lebron surprise




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President Obama honors Miami Heat at White House

It's LeBron James' world, according to President Barack Obama.

The President honored the 2012 NBA championship Miami Heat with a ceremony at the White House on Monday in Washington. Obama, the nation's First Basketball Fan, had plenty of prepared notes but candidly went off script with old friends James and Dwyane Wade. During one exchanged, Obama was asked by James if he could say a few words.

"Hey," Obama said, "it's your world, man."

James stepped to the microphone behind the Presidential Seal and spoke poignantly of how humbled he was to be in the White House. He closed by saying, "Mama, I made it."

Obama called James' effort in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals "one of the greatest performances in basketball playoff history, dropping 45 points."

The President then added that James "had a scary look in his eye." Obama went on to call Wade "the heart and soul of this team," and noted that Wade led the Heat in blocks in the 2012 playoffs.

"And in the post-game press conferences," Obama said, "he dressed well enough to land himself in GQ magazine."

Wade brought his signature style to the White House as well. He wore a stylish gray suit highlighted by a pair of red, white and black dress shoes. Obama asked Wade to show off his shoes during his 10-minute meet-and-greet with the team in the Blue Room.

Obama gave Chris Bosh credit for returning from injury during the playoffs to play an important role. The President then had some fun with Mike Miller, who famously played injured throughout the entire postseason.

"Mike could barely walk," Obama said, "and he still hit seven three pointers in the final game. I still don't know how he did it."

President Obama honors the 2012 championship team.

Dwyane Wade's White House shoes.

Live stream of White House event

People have asked about a live stream of the Heat's visit to the White House. Here's the answer. The Washington Post will be running a live stream of the event beginning at 1:40 p.m. The Post was kind enough to provide me with an embedded code for the blog. Note: The live stream of the Heat's event begins exactly at 1:40 p.m. News not pertaining to the Heat will be on the live stream beforehand.

Heat begins road trip with inefficient effort in Boston


Losing to the Celtics at TD Garden is nothing new for the Heat — Miami has now lost its last 10 regular-season games in Boston — but let's consider the circumstances before filing this one away.

Sunday was Ray Allen's first game in Boston since signing with the Heat, so motivation shouldn't have been a problem. On top of that, the Celtics played without point guard Rajon Rondo, who learned he had a torn ACL before the game. And, let's not forget, the Celtics weren't playing very well entering the game. Boston's double overtime victory against the Heat was the Celtics first victory in seven games.

In other words, the Heat should be kicking itself after Sunday's loss.

Rebounding myths aside, the most consistent problem for the Heat in losses this season is turnover-to-assist ratio. It was horrendous on Sunday. The Heat had 21 turnovers and just 19 assists. Boston scored 19 points off of Heat giveaways. Dwyane Wade led the Heat with six turnovers. Chris Bosh had five. Mario Chalmers and LeBron James had three each.

Other observations:

—From the beginning of the game, it was obvious Chris Bosh was the Heat's most efficient offensive options. Bosh 5 of 6 from the field in the first quarter but attempted just six shots the rest of the game. Bosh was 2 of 3 from the field in the second half and both overtimes. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra called Sunday one of the Heat's most inefficient games of the season. Maybe the Heat should find some more shots for its most efficient shooter. Miami shot 40.6 percent from field (39 of 96). Bosh finished 7 of 12 from the field for 16 points. He also had 16 rebounds in perhaps the best game of his career against Kevin Garnett.

—Mario Chalmers was off his game. When Chalmers is playing well, the Heat is practically unbeatable. When Chalmers isn't playing well, the Heat has to compensate and that means more responsibilities for LeBron. Chalmers played three minutes in the fourth quarter and remained on the bench in both overtimes. He went scoreless (0 of 3 from the field) with three turnovers, two assists and four fouls in about 22 minutes.

—Rashard Lewis played more than nine minutes in the second quarter. Why, exactly? He didn't score and didn't contribute any rebounds or assists. What about Mike Miller? What about Chris Andersen? Is Andersen ever going to play meaningful minutes?

—Spoelstra went with the same five players—LeBron, Bosh, Wade, Shane Battier and Ray Allen—for the final 16 minutes of the game. LeBron played nearly 52 minutes. Bosh and Wade played more than 46 minutes. While Bosh attempted just three shots after the first half, James finished the game with 31 shot attempts. Wade missed his last seven shots of the game.

—Allen was 7 of 17 from the field in 38 minutes. It seemed like the Heat made Allen a priority. That's understandable, considering Allen's return to Boston, but the Allen forced some tough shots in overtime. He played the final 28 minutes of the game despite his limitations defensively. Allen was 2 of 8 from three-point range. Overall, the Heat was 5 of 23 (.217 percent) from three-point range.



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