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38 posts from December 2013

Monday, December 30, 2013

Transcript from Dwyane Wade's pregame about infant son


WADE: I’m in the public eye, so obviously that’s a part of it. It comes with the territory. But, it’s kind of … as I’ve always done my whole life … is always focus on what’s most important to me and my family, and that’s being a great father. I’ve always tried to show my importance in my kids’ lives and it doesn’t change now. So, me and my lady and my family have continued to move forward and I think that’s evident with the ring and the proposal that I gave her with our lives. 

But, yeah, I had a time a part in our break, in our pain and our hurt, a blessing came out of it in my life, having a son that was born healthy. So, I’m moving on.


WADE: Very young. About a month old or so.


WADE: Yeah, I’ve got a chance to see him. You know me. I’m involved in my kids’ lives. When my kids were living at home with me, or wasn’t living at home with me, I tried to do everything I could to see them. Obviously I got custody of them for different reasons, but nothing changes with my life. Like I’ve said, this is something that my family knows and my now fiancée worked through when we got back together, and understood that we wanted to continue our lives together and continue supporting our family and we’re going to do that. That’s what I’ve always done.


WADE: It would compromise it if I wasn’t a father first. I’m always going to be a father first. That doesn’t change. If you decide to when you can be a father, that’s when it compromises. But, like I said, this is something, obviously, private for my family that we will continue to deal with a family but we have a blessing to the bloodline, to the Wade bloodline. And from that standpoint, it doesn’t, to me, state anything differently from what I’ve always shown.

Previewing Heat vs. Nuggets; Latest on Birdman and LeBron; Clarity on Ray Allen's injury

WHEN/WHERE: 9 p.m., Pepsi Center, Denver

TV/RADIO: Sun Sports/AM 790, FM 104.3 and AM 710 (Spanish)

SERIES: Heat leads 27-25. Heat swept the Nuggets last season  and is 10-16 all-time in Denver.

LINE: Pick'em.


Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 9.36.54 AM    Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 9.37.51 AM    Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 9.38.27 AM

RECORDS/STANDINGS: Heat (23-7)/Second in the East, 1.5 game back of the Pacers; First in the Southeast, 6.0 games ahead of the Hawks///Nuggets (14-15)/10th in West, Fourth in the Northwest Division, 10.0 games back of Oklahoma City.

TRENDS/HEAT: 9-5 on the road; 8-2 in last 10; Win on Saturday 108-107 at Portland; 8-1 against West; 3-0 against Northwest Division

TRENDS/NUGGETS: 7-6 at home; 3-7 in last 10; Lost six in a row; 7-2 against East; 2-0 against Southeast Division

INJURY REPORT/HEAT: Greg Oden out (knee rehab), LeBron James doubtful (strained right groin muscle), Chris Andersen probable (back tightness), Ray Allen probable (right knee tendonitis), Dwyane Wade probable (knee rest).

INJURY REPORT/NUGGETS: Darrell Arthur (right quadriceps contusion) game-time decision; Kenneth Faried (left ankle sprain) probable; Danilo Gallinari (left knee ACL tear) out; Javale McGee (left tibia stress fracture) out.

OF NOTE: LeBron James missed Saturday's game against Portland after straining his right groin muscle on Friday against Sacramento. Sunday is James' 29th birthday...This is Chris Andersen's first game in Denver after being amnestied on 2012. Andersen missed the Heat's last two games with back tightness but is expected to play...The Heat previously listed Ray Allen's injury as "general soreness." It has now been changed to right knee tendonitis. Rashard Lewis leads the NBA in steals-to-turnover ratio (1.68)...The Heat is 2-1 on its current four-game road trip...The Nuggets owned a 10-game home winning streak against the Heat at the Pepsi Center since 2002-03 before losing at home last season.

TASTY STAT OF THE DAY: Chris Bosh has shot at least .500 from the field in each of his last 10 games. On Saturday, he scored a season-high 37 points againt the Trail Blazers and made a game-winning three-pointer.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Heat's Birdman ready for 'exciting' and 'emotional' return to Denver; Expects to play against Nuggets

Chris Andersen, who has missed the Heat's last two games with back tightness, expects to play in Denver on Monday. It will be Andersen's first game in Denver since being amnestied by the Nuggets in July of 2012.

“It’s going to be exciting, it’s going to be emotional, but I’ve got a game to play,” Andersen told The Herald on Saturday in Portland. The Heat defeated the Trail Blazers 108-107 with Andersen and LeBron James out with injuries. James, who strained his right groin muscle, is doubtful for Monday's game.

Andersen played the majority of his career in Denver and was a fan favorite during his two stints with the team, but his departure from the Nuggets was one of the most trying times of Andersen’s life. He was excused from the team during the 2012 playoffs after police investigated Andersen’s home for Internet crimes. The investigation ultimately exonerated Andersen of any wrongdoing, and it was later revealed that Andersen was the victim of an elaborate Internet scam.

Still, the months that Andersen spent away from basketball were excruciating, and it wasn't until January 2013 that Andersen began the third act of his career. The Heat initially signed Andersen to a 10-day contract to see if he could help the team, but it was apparent after Birdman's first practice that he was the missing piece the team needed. Andersen then became an unlikely star during the Heat's playoff run.

Out of loyalty to the team that gave him a chance, Andersen signed a one-year deal with the Heat in the offseason for the veteran's minimum. He then attended LeBron's wedding in San Diego this summer.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Preview of Heat at Trail Blazers with latest injury report and massive movement to betting line


WHEN/WHERE: 10 p.m., Moda Center, Portland

TV/RADIO: Sun Sports/AM 790, FM 104.3 and AM 710 (Spanish)

SERIES: Trail Blazers lead 33-16. Heat and Trail Blazers split, 1-1, last season. Heat is 3-1 in Portland in his last four visits.

LINE: Opened at Portland by 1. Trail Blazers now favored by 5.


Rodney Mott, 71...Brian Forte, 45...Derek Richardson, 63

Screen Shot 2013-12-28 at 1.04.26 PM    Screen Shot 2013-12-28 at 1.04.51 PM    Screen Shot 2013-12-28 at 1.05.17 PM

RECORDS/STANDINGS: Heat (22-7)/Second in the East, 1.5 game back of the Pacers; First in the Southeast, 6.0 games ahead of the Hawks///Trail Blazers (24-5)/Tied for first in the West/Oklahoma City, Tied for first in Northwest Division with Oklahoma City.

TRENDS/HEAT: 8-5 on the road; 8-2 in last 10; Lost on Friday 108-103 at Sacramento; 7-1 against West; 2-0 against Northwest Division

TRENDS/TRAIL BLAZERS: 12-2 at home; 8-2 in last 10; Won two in a row; 12-0 against East; first game against team in the Southeast Division

INJURY REPORT/HEAT: Greg Oden out (knee rehab), LeBron James (strained right groin muscle) questionable, Chris Andersen questionable (back tightness), Ray Allen (general soreness) probable, Dwyane Wade (knee rest) probable.

INJURY REPORT/TRAIL BLAZERS: CJ McCollum (fractured left foot) out.   

OF NOTE: The Heat's overtime loss to the Kings came at a price. LeBron James strained his right groin and tweaked his left ankle. He also suffered a minor injury to his left hand. Still, I'd be surprised if James sat against the Trail Blazers. He has become good friends with Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard and James always likes to play against the league's top young talents...Dwyane Wade is expected to play after resting Friday...The Heat's 19-game winning streak against teams in the Western Conference ended on Friday...Five of the last seven meetings between the Trail Blazers and Heat have been decided by nine points or fewer...Head coach Erik Spoelstra attended Portland’s Jesuit High School and played basketball at the University of Portland...The Trail Blazers have scored at least 100 points in 16 straight games, the longest streak in the NBA since Toronto went 20 straight games from Jan. 6-Feb. 20, 2010...The movement to the betting line isn't necessarily and indication that James will not play. The team looked sluggish against the Kings, which would suggest Miami has lost interest with this road trip.

Great shot of LeBron's windmill dunk

The Heat lost to the Kings 108-103 in overtime, but the final score didn't detract from the game's best highlight. It started in transition when Mario Chalmers made a steal in transition and then threw pass over his head to LeBron James. James did the rest.

Screen Shot 2013-12-28 at 12.22.33 PM

Here's a video of the play: 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Heat at Kings: Previewing tonight's game


WHEN/WHERE 10 p.m., Sleep Train Arena

TV/RADIO: Sun Sports/AM 790, FM 104.3 and AM 710 (Spanish)

SERIES: Heat leads 34-16.

LINE: Heat by 7 1/2.

Bill Kennedy, 55; Eric Dalen, 37; John Globe, 30

Screen Shot 2013-12-27 at 12.00.08 PM Screen Shot 2013-12-27 at 12.00.28 PM Screen Shot 2013-12-27 at 12.00.44 PM

RECORDS/STANDINGS: Heat (22-6)/Second in the East, 1.0 game back of the Pacers; First in the Southeast, 6.5 games ahead of the Hawks///Kings (8-19)/14th in the East, 15 games back of the Trail Blazers; Fifth in the Pacific, 10 games back of the Clippers.

TRENDS/HEAT: 8-4 on the road; 8-2 in last 10; won six straight; 4-0 against Pacific Division

TRENDS/KINGS: 5-11 at home; 4-6 in last 10; lost one; 1-4 against the Southeast Division

INJURY REPORT/HEAT: Greg Oden out (knee rehab) and Chris Andersen questionable (back tightness). Dwyane Wade (knee) is also questionable.

INJURY REPORT/KINGS: Carl Landry out (left hip flexor)

OF NOTE: Mario Chalmers returns to Sacramento after setting the arena record for three-pointers last season. He had 10 three-pointers against the Kings in what many thought would be the Heat’s final game in Sacramento. At the time, the team’s owners were trying to sell the franchise to an investment group in Seattle...The Heat defeated the Kings 122-103 during its recent home stand...The Heat is off to its best start in franchise history and has won six games in row...During the six-game winning streak, Miami has shot 54.8 percent from the field and recorded 45 dunks...Overall, the Heat has the best field-goal percentage in the league (51.4 percent). The Spurs are second, shooting 48.4 percent. The Heat has won 19 consecutive games against teams in the Western Conference...The Heat has won its last 10 against the Kings, including four straight in Sacramento...Miami has won its last eight games against Sacramento by double figures...DeMarcus Cousins, who leads the Kings in scoring (22.5 ppg) and rebounding (10.8 rpg), has scored 20 or more points in 11 of the last 13 games he has played in.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Spoelstra hopes to work Beasley back into the lineup after Christmas snub

Michael Beasley returned from his hamstring injury on Monday against the Hawks and played well enough to be inserted into the Heat’s overtime lineup. He scored 10 points in 20 minutes, had seven rebounds and made important free throws in the overtime period.

His successful return didn’t earn him playing time on Christmas, though.

The bright lights and national spotlight were reserved for bench players Rashard Lewis and Udonis Haslem. They both played while Beasley watched from the bench.

“I’m going to have to figure that out,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of working Beasley into the lineup. “I didn’t want to force it. We had our normal rotation and the group that was going in the second quarter really sparked us and that’s when I planned to put him in the game.

“But we have a lot of time and I’ll spend a lot of time in deep thought on what we can do.”

After a dip in production in November and early December, Chris Bosh is shooting over 57 percent in Heat's last six games

LOS ANGELES — Dwyane Wade’s math wasn’t far off.

Following the Heat’s holiday victory against the Lakers, Wade noted in the post-game locker room that Chris Bosh “had 13 shots at halftime, and he’s averaging 12” per game. Wade was being generous.

Entering Wednesday’s game, Bosh was actually averaging 10.5 attempts from the field while he plodded through his annual early season course of adapting to an offense featuring two of the best shot makers in the league. This has always been the difficult task assigned to Bosh with the Heat, and his ability to riff and freestyle off of James and Wade and still remain a significant offensive force has long been undervalued.

Now settled into the flow of the offense once again, Bosh spoke of a commitment to maintaining his offensive output last week and that pledge played out in the second quarter against the Lakers.

Bosh started the game 0 of 6 from the field. Earlier in the season, such a string of misses might have curbed Bosh’s aggressiveness. Undeterred on Christmas, Bosh kept finding rifts in the Lakers defense and, finally, got some shots to fall in the second quarter. He finished the game 9 of 12 from the field for 23 points.

LeBron James credited Bosh’s surge in offense to his commitment to rebounding. He had 11 rebounds against the Lakers.

“He was rebounding and that gets him going,” James said. “That activates him.”

Said Bosh of the adjustment between the first and second quarters: “There were no speeches. There were no big-time changes or anything. I just went with the flow of he game and just stayed wit it.

“I thought about where my spots would be. I got a couple good shots in the first quarter, just missed them. After that I just made an effort to get to the basket a little more and I worked out for me.”

After beginning the season averaging 18.5 points through the first six games, Bosh’s numbers dipped drastically through November and the beginning of December. By the 19th game of the season, a victory at the Timberwolves’ Pepsi Center, Bosh’s points-per-game average had dipped below 14. He scored eight points against Minnesota despite Kevin Love missing the game.

Since then, Bosh has scored in double figures in every game, and he has only shot below .500 once. He is now averaging 15.1 points per game.

During the Heat’s six-game winning streak, Bosh is shooting 57.1 percent from the field while attempting an average of 14 shots per game. And the majority of his shots have come from close range.

In the last six games, Bosh is 33 of 45 from (73.3 percent) on shots within five feet of the basket. During that stretch, Bosh is 12 of 24 (50 percent) from 15-19 feet. That kind of offensive mix has been by design.

“There’s no question that his aggressiveness can be a catalyst to our energy,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of Bosh. “He has really started being more aggressive in getting to the rim, making himself available for those catches deep for layups, dunks, put backs — all that stuff that he has been doing the last few games.
“It just sparks our guys. Everyone knows what to do from there.”

Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni whistling a different tune about Erik Spoelstra and Heat than former Lakers coach Phil Jackson

Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni praised Heat coach Erik Spoelstra for his innovative approach to basketball on Wednesday.

“Erik is an unbelievable coach,” D’Antoni said. “He has played to everyone’s strengths and he’s not afraid to go against conventional wisdom sometimes. Even when they started off bad he kept pushing the envelope a little bit, kept spreading the floor a little bit more.

“When people said you can’t win going small, he did. He won. When people said you can’t win two times going small, he did. He won. People keep saying he can’t do this and he can’t do that and he keeps doing it and he keeps pushing them.”

D’Antoni, of course, mastered a form of small ball with coaching Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns. There are plenty of parallels between D’Antoni’s Phoenix teams and Spoelstra’s current vision of the Heat.

“It’s not the schemes,” D’Antoni said. “It’s hard to scout because you don’t know what they’re doing. I don’t even know if they know what they’re doing, but that’s how you play basketball.

“They know how to play basketball, and you watch them and everything they do is a flow. It’s beautiful to watch and it’s fun.”

How times have changed. Not too long ago, a former coach of the Lakers lobbed heavy criticism at the Heat. Phil Jackson on the Heat from March 2011:

“Their basketball is very much in standing with Xbox games, or whatever those games are when you play one-on-one,” Jackson said. “Basketball is not a one-on-one game. It's a team game.”

Miami Heat has 45 dunks in its last six games

LOS ANGELES -- The Heat’s extended dunk-a-thon during its five-game home stand continued out West on Wednesday against the shorthanded Lakers. Led by LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, the Heat had nine dunks to bring its dunk total to 45 over the last six games.

Overall, the Heat scored 58 points in the paint and had 29 assists. Those are benchmarks for a healthy offense.

“Right now we’re really getting to our identity,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We’re really being aggressive, the ball is moving. We’re getting to the game that we envisioned.”

The Heat generated 36 dunks during its five-game home stand before flying to Los Angeles. Against the Lakers, Miami had five dunks in the first quarter alone, including a driving dunk byMario Chalmers and the first of two show-stopping alley-oops from Wade to James.

“The process of us trying to get better, we’re right on point,” James said. “We had a couple bumps, but for the most part we have taken more steps forward than steps back and I’m excited about that.”





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