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47 posts from October 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

SIXERS 114, HEAT 110: A shocking loss on the second night of the season

Reaction from Wednesday's upset...

“We didn’t execute well in the fourth quarter and they did and they got the crowd into the game and for a young team like that, that’s how you play with fire."

“We earned this. We came to play this game tonight. We did not come to compete and do the necessary things particularly from an effort, concentration standpoint to win the game and they outplayed us.”

“They jumped on us and we weren’t ready for it,” James said. “It was a game of runs and they took advantage of all our faults tonight … a lot shots and mistakes in the fourth including myself.”

“We went into the fourth quarter up nine points and scored 45 points in the third quarter, that’s usually a game that we win,” Haslem said. “We go back and look at the film and see what happened in the fourth and breakdowns and we’ll correct. It’s still the second game of the year and we still have a lot of room for improvement on both ends of the floor.”

—The Heat missed its first seven field goals.

—The 76ers made their first 11 field goals then missed 11 straight from 1:10 in the first quarter to 6:10 in the second quarter.

—The Heat set a court record for points in a quarter (45) in the third period.

—Sixers rookie Michael Carter-Williams set an NBA record for steals (nine) in his first game.

—Miami missed 10 straight field goals from 4:55 left in the fourth quarter to 10 seconds left in the fourth.

Who needs Andrew Wiggins?

#Heat guard Norris Cole on getting the best of #Bulls star Derrick Rose on opening night...

Norris Cole on crossing over Derrick Rose...

"I made a good move," Cole said. "It happens to everyone in basketball. I made a good move and made a shot. When you're playing hard defense against guards who are quick and shifty, things like that can happen. It has happened to everyone."

Cole, who was 5 of 7 from the field on opening night to go along with seven rebounds, has steadily increased his profile as a solid back-up point guard. His reputation as a defensive specialist was solidified last season on plays like his game-saving steal against Kyrie Irving (see below), and if his offensive game continues to improve he could be valuable asset for the Heat this season.

My list of top moments from the Heat's player-introduction video

Summary: They work out
Highlights include:
1. Post-apocalyptic world where everything burns, including basketballs.
2. Birdman's creepy face.
3. I stopped watching after that.

Heat 107, Bulls 95: Shane Battier's big night plus other stuff

Postgame stuff from the Heat ...

—Bench outscored Bulls reserves 42-26.

—Greg Oden and Roger Mason Jr. were inactive.

—Halftime lead of 21 points (54-33) was the largest against the Bulls in Miami in franchise history.

—Led by nine points from Shane Battier, the Heat outscored the Bulls, 37-18, in the second quarter, the highest scoring margin in a quarter against the Bulls since February 17, 2001.

—Miami outscored the Bulls 44-18 over the final 14:47 of the first half.

—Seven players in double-figures, led by LeBron James’ 17 points. Heat played one game last season in which leading scorer scored fewer than 20 points (April 15 at Cleveland).


—His eight assists give him 1,500 assists with the franchise (218 games). He is the fourth player in franchise history to reach    1,500 assists, joining franchise leader Dwyane Wade (4,052 assists), Tim Hardaway (2,867) and Bimbo Coles (1,961).

—It is his 496th consecutive game in which he has scored in double-figures, the longest active streak in the NBA and it extends his franchise record to 218 straight games. Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant has the second longest active streak (324 games).


—Blocked a Derrick Rose shot in the fourth quarter, the 668th blocked shot of his career (666 career games). He is just seven blocked shots shy of tying Dennis Johnson (675 blocked shots) for the most blocked shots in NBA history by a player 6-4 or shorter.

—569th career game together for Wade and Udonis Haslem, the most by any pair of teammates in franchise history.


—Looked pretty good for an 18-year veteran.

—Set his Heat-high with seven assists, (six coming in first half) when his total matched the Bulls total.

—Three three-pointers extended NBA record to 2,860 career three-pointers.


—Was 4 of 4 from three-point range.

—Scored off the dribble.

—Scored a opening night-high 14 points, eclipsing his previous high of 11 points, done twice with the Houston Rockets in 2006 and 2007.


—Set an opening game record with five steals, (all in the first half).        He shared the record (four, December 25, 2011 at Dallas) with Marcus Banks (four, October 29, 2008 at New York).

—Made one three-point field goal and has 497 made threes in his career. He will become the fourth player in franchise history to reach 500 made threes, joining franchise leader Tim Hardaway (806 made), Eddie Jones (712 made) and Glen Rice (708).


Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 7.05.15 AM

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Heat 2013 championship ring

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Phil Jackson on Chris Bosh: 'A one trick pony type guy' and other barbs directed at the #Heat

The great Sam Smith of Bulls.com caught up with Phil Jackson recently on the art of the three-peat. Jackson had some insightful stuff to say but he also took some shots at the Heat.

From Smith’s story:

 “They’ve still got to deal with (Dwyane) Wade’s knee and will LeBron (James) be able to clear people out with that off arm like he’s been able to do the last three years,” quipped Jackson offering his little tweak for his old buddy Riley and the Heat. “Can (Chris) Bosh sustain it, a one trick pony type guy. The bench now has changed with (Mike) Miller gone. (Ray) Allen is a year older. All those things.

“Still,” Jackson added, “They have the horses. They have a good chance.”

One-trick pony? I’m assuming Jackson is referring to Bosh’s skill as a jump shooter, but Heat coach Erik Spoelstra will tell you that Bosh is one of the most versatile players in the league.

Friday, October 25, 2013

In honor of the final preseason game, watch this video of an animated LeBron James celebrating Harlem Shake style all over the world

Courtesy of the amazing Azam. Follow him on Twitter @AMas92.

LeBron James tells The Herald that he no longer views Paul Pierce, or anyone else for that matter, as an individual rival.

LeBron James has said in the recent past that Paul Pierce is his No.1 rival in the NBA, but those days are apparently gone. James told The Miami Herald this week that “Paul was one of those rival guys, but I’ve been going against different guys the last few years.”

Of course, anyone who watched the Heat’s first preseason game against the Nets will know that Pierce doesn’t exactly view the rivalry between he and James in the same historical light. Pierce body checked James in the open court in the first quarter of the first preseason game between the Heat and Nets after James publicly suggested Pierce and Kevin Garnett were hypocrites. Pierce and Garnett criticized Ray Allen for leaving Boston only to leave Boston one year later, and James called them out on it. Allen left as a free agent while Garnett and Pierce were traded, but Garnett did waive a no-trade clause.

The Heat’s second preseason game against the Nets is tonight, but Pierce probably won’t have a chance to take another questionable shot against the back-to-back MVP. James indicated on Wednesday night that he’s not playing. The Heat begins the season on Tuesday against the Bulls.

So, who is James’ chief rival in the NBA at the moment? He isn’t viewing his career from that perspective anymore. There isn't another player at the moment on the same level as James, and he knows it. It's James and everyone else until further notice.

“It’s not just one guy,” James said. “I haven’t played against one individual for a long period of time — since basically it was me and Paul. Me and Paul, we had so many duels and almost every year we were going against Boston whether I was in Cleveland the last few years or Miami … So, I don’t know if there is one particular guy. There are some teams I believe are very competitive in both conferences, but it’s not just one guy.”

A team-oriented player above all else, James is focusing only on the Heat’s chief rivals this season, and that’s a deep list.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Breaking down the Heat's rotations and trends from its regular-season dress rehearsal

The Heat approached Wednesday's exhibition against the Pelicans as if it were a regular-season game. Here's what we learned about Erik Spoelstra's rotations, which likely will not change on Tuesday against the Bulls:

—The Heat opened the first and third quarters with the the same nine-man rotation that it used to win 27-straight games last season. Ray Allen and Birdman were the first players off the bench, followed by Norris Cole and Shane Battier.

—Spoelstra went small to begin the second and fourth quarters, featuring a three-guard lineup with Cole, Allen and Wade. Battier and Birdman rounded out the frontcourt.

—Greg Oden, who played four minutes in the second quarter, allowed Bosh to operate at power forward for a stretch. Bosh finished with seven assists, including the assist on Oden's dunk.

—I'm sure that the Pacers took note of the rotation featuring Bosh, Oden and LeBron in the frontcourt.

—Beasley spelled LeBron for 13 seconds at the end of the first quarter. Beasley didn't reenter the game until garbage time.

—The Heat was at its best in the fourth quarter without LeBron. Hey, it's the preseason.

—Wade carried the team without LeBron in the linup. He was 10 of 17 from the field.

Wade is playing really well. OK, we kind of already knew that, but Wednesday affirmed what we thought we already thought about our thoughts on Wade. Wade is entering the season like a Top 10 player.

—The Heat's conditioning was phenomenal for the preseason.

—Cole played point guard the entire fourth quarter and finished with one extra minute than Chalmers overall. Spoelstra went with either Cole or Chalmers in the game at all times.

Mario Chalmers—Dwyane Wade—LeBron James—Udonis Haslem—Chris Bosh

Chalmers—Ray Allen—LeBron—Birdman—Bosh

Norris Cole—Allen—LeBron—Shane Battier—Birdman

Cole—Allen—Michael Beasley—Battier—Birdman 



Chalmers—Allen—LeBron—Bosh—Greg Oden








Cole—Roger Mason Jr.—Allen—Battier—Bosh

Cole—Mason—James Jones—Michael Beasley—Joel Anthony

Complete post-game reaction of Greg Oden's debut from New Orleans Arena with quotes from EVERYONE (Ok, almost everyone)

Pat Riley radiated happiness for Greg Oden in the final minutes of the game. Standing in the corridor of the arena’s bowl, Riley told The Herald: “It was really great to see, his first game since 2009. It was just a really great confidence builder for him. I just got a text from Bill Duffy (sports agent), and that dunk in his first minute…perfect.”

Then Riley offered some perspective: “He’s not in shape yet but he’s getting there. We just have to keep him healthy.”

Greg Oden was still smiling in the post-game locker room at New Orleans Arena after his debut with the Heat on Wednesday.

“In December it will be four years, so four minutes is enough for me,” Oden said. “As long as I got out there and I walked off and I'm healthy that's all that matters.”

LeBron James led a brief but poignant post-game celebration for Oden, whose locker was next to James’ in the visiting locker room.

“I’m going to have to take a toast for him, man,” James said. “I ain’t no drinker but I might have to take a shot for him. It was an absolutely great moment.”

More from LeBron:

“I have no idea what my feeling would be like after being away from the game for three years, and it was like a proud moment. I was like so excited for him when he got out on the court and checked in and his first basket he gets a dunk. Can you write it any better? And obviously he’s not where he wants to be but the process is going great and I was extremely happy for him and I was so happy for him I was like a big brother seeing his little brother succeed again. It was great. It was a great moment.”

What’s next for Oden?

“Next step for me is coming in tomorrow and making sure everything is taken care of with my legs and making sure it gets back to where it feels good,” Oden said. “And then I'll be out there another game."

Shane Battier noted how quickly the team has accepted Oden as a “brother.”

“Greg hasn’t been a part of this team very long, but we consider him a brother and we all want it really badly for him,” Battier said. “He’s a really good teammate and he’s had really poor luck in his career, and for him to come out of semi-retirement and play four minutes tonight, it’s amazing stuff.

“And let’s not get ahead of ourselves. He still has a long way to go the road to recovery but as a teammate and a friend it was tremendous to see him out there tonight.”

Battier on Oden’s progression in practice:

“Obviously the speed of the game is probably the toughest thing to recoup after being gone for three years, but he’s picking it up and we don’t have a very simple system to pick up. It’s pretty complex, but he has done a pretty good job.”

Chris Bosh fed Oden the assist on his first basket, which fittingly was a dunk: “I can only imagine being away from basketball for a long time. I know he has wanted to play for a long time, but to finally get out there, he has handled everything well and we remind him daily that we’re going to need him. So, just to see him take that first step forward is huge.”

Bosh on Oden’s dunk: “It shows you how powerful and talented he is. His first field goal is a dunk.”

Bosh on Oden’s role: “He’s going to be in that five position where he just has to make quick reads and as time goes on it just takes trail and error, trail and error and I make sure I told him during camp, he was kind of hard on himself, I was like, ‘Look, you haven’t played in a very long time and we move fast. We move faster than usual, so don’t worry about that. There’s going to be a huge learning curve. Just stick with it and you’ll be fine.’ And he has taken everything in stride and he has done pretty well.”



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