« March 2014 | Main | May 2014 »

26 posts from April 2014

Monday, April 28, 2014

Heat players show support for Clippers and Bob McAdoo remembers his Buffalo Braves days with Dr. Jack Ramsay

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In a show of solidarity with the Los Angeles Clippers, the Heat’s players turned their warm-up tops inside out during the pregame lay-up line of Monday’s playoff game against the Charlotte Bobcats.

The NBA has been dragged into a controversy during the postseason due to racially insensitive comments allegedly made by Clippers owner Donald Sterling. NBA commissioner Adam Silver is holding a news conference at 2 p.m. on Tuesday to address the matter. On Sunday, the Clippers’ players turned their warm-ups inside out before Game 4 of its first-round playoff series against the Golden State Warriors.

“This is obviously a very difficult and sensitive time for all of us, and the toughest thing is your heart goes out to the players and staff and the organization that is still dealing with this in L.A.,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Both Dwyane Wade and LeBron James said the distraction caused by the controversy has affected the Clippers on the court. The Clippers lost to the Warriors 118-97 on Sunday.

“This is the time of the year as players we all love,” Wade said. “It’s the playoffs, and you need to play this game with a free mind and open hearts and they’re not able to do that right now. It’s a very difficult situation to be in for them, being right in the midst of it. Obviously, it’s something we all are affected by.”

Said James: “I don’t care what anybody says. I believe it was all in their minds, and you try to focus on the game, but that wasn’t the Clippers team that I’m accustomed to watching. I think a lot of that had to do with it...We are in support of the Clippers.”

James said players around the league are “in suspense” to see what Silver says during his Tuesday news conference.

“We believe in the NBA and we believe in Adam Silver and justice should be served,” James said.


Heat assistant coach and Hall of Fame player Bob McAdoo was heartbroken on Monday morning to learn of the passing of Dr. Jack Ramsay. McAdoo played for Ramsay in Buffalo and Ramsay introduced McAdoo years later when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

“When I got elected, he was the first person I thought about, and he gave me a fabulous tribute, and when I heard about it this morning I was just so sad for him because Jack was…he gave me my start in my career, and jumpstarted my career in Buffalo,” McAdoo said.

McAdoo called Ramsay “professional as professional as you could get” and said Ramsay’s attention to physical fitness was innovated for that era of the NBA.

“When we were in Buffalo he brought a stretching guru in and nobody was doing that,” McAdoo said. “I was the most flexible I had ever been because Jack was into the physical fitness, and that’s probably why we were so successful in Buffalo.

“We could get the ball up and down the court. We talk about the Lakers and Showtime but we had Showtime in Buffalo with Dr. Jack. It was very fun playing with him.”


Growing up in Portland, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra first met Ramsay when he was eight years old. Spoelstra attended Ramsay’s summer basketball camps as a child. Years later as a young coach, Spoelstra leaned on Ramsay for advice.

“Dr. Jack has been an incredible inspiration for me,” Spoelstra said. “He has an incredible legacy in this game of basketball and it’s really strange how things work out. I come from two basketball families—the Portland Trail Blazers and the Miami Heat — and I grew up with Coach Ramsay and that legacy there and then the legacy he had with the Heat as an announcer.

“But it was amazing to see how many people he continued to effect in such a beautiful way. He garnered so much respect from coaches and players and new generations of players and coaches. His legacy is incredible — Hall of Fame — but as a man it is bigger than that.”

Video and backstory of Heat's "Dr. Jack Ramsay" play from Game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals


In 2010, Dr. Jack Ramsay drew up a side-out-of-bounds play for Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, which Spoelstra then incorporated into the Heat's playbook. The Heat used the play in the fourth quarter of Game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals and ran it to perfection. Shane Battier led Dwyane Wade with a perfect bounce pass in the paint and Wade scored a layup off of his curling run. The field goal gave the Heat a 90-85 lead with 2:56 left in the game.

Ramsay used that same play while coaching the Portland Trail Blazers to the NBA championship in 1977. The Heat calls the play "Ramsay."

"It’s a play that I’ve used from time to time after timeouts and we’ve affectionately called it 'Ramsay,'" Spoelstra said. "And it was one of the biggest plays in Game 7 last year coming out of a timeout."

Spoelstra, a native of Portland, was eight years old when he first met Ramsay. Spoelstra attended Ramsay's basketball camp each summer and developed his appreciation for physical fitness in large part because of Ramsay. Ramsay passed away on Monday. He was 89.



Sunday, April 27, 2014

Three stats on the #Heat every fan of basketball should know so please click this link

LeBron James now has 21 30-point, 10-rebound, five-assist playoff games, breaking an NBA record shared by Elgin Baylor, per the Elias Sports Bureau. James’ averages through three games of the playoffs: 29.7 points, 8.9 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 3.0 turnovers. He is shooting 56.9 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range. James is also averaging 10.7 free-throw attempts per season.

— The Heat committed just seven turnovers in Game 3. Since 2011, the Heat is 15-4 in the postseason when committing 10 or fewer turnovers in games, according to Elias.

“We understand that stat,” point guard Norris Cole said. “We know that stat. We love that stat.”

Chris Bosh is shooting 72.7 percent (8 of 11) from three-point range in the first three games of the playoffs, but he downplayed that stat on Sunday.

“I’m wide open,” Bosh said. “I’m usually standing still. I’m not really moving too much on the shots, so I kind of expect it to go in. I’m kind of a perfectionist when it comes to jump shooting, so I’m happy for the consistency.”

Bosh has evolved into such a consistent three-point threat since he won his first championship in 2012 that when he steps out beyond the arc now it is no longer a novelty. Bosh was 15 of 37 from three-point range for 40.5 percent in the 2013 playoffs. In his first run to the championship with the Heat in the 2012 postseason, Bosh was 7 of 13 from three-point-range.

“I’ll continue to space the floor, but at the same time … attack the rim and get to the line,” Bosh said. “I try to make the defense hesitant to double LeBron and Dwyane down there in the post, and if they do double them, then we got to make them pay. I just try to have a heavy arsenal of moves to be able to go to at any given moment.”

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Complete transcript of LeBron's response on Donald Sterling. So powerful. So raw. (Read to very last sentence)



What are your thoughts on Donald Sterling’s comments?

“If the reports are true, it’s unacceptable. It’s unacceptable in our league. It doesn’t matter if you’re white, black, Hispanic, whatever, all across the races. It’s unacceptable and as a commissioner in our league, they have to make a stand, and they have to be very aggressive with it. I don’t know what it’s going to be, but you just can’t have that in our league. We’re the model citizens of all sports around the world and because we’re the most recognizable, I mean, it figures. You see us all the time, you see our logos, you see our players, and for an owner to come out and say the things that he said, it’s very disrespectful, it’s very appalling and one of my best friends and dear friends plays on his team in Chris Paul and I haven’t had an opportunity to talk to him but I can only imagine what’s going through his head.”


How difficult would it be to play with that hanging over…

“I don’t know. I kind of waivered back and forth whether I would actually sit out. If our owner would come out and say the things that he said, I would really have to sit down with my teammates, talk to my family because at the end of the day, our family, and our teammates are way more important than that. Basketball is huge, obviously the playoffs have been unbelievable, and I hate the fact that something like this has to come out when the playoffs have been unbelievable and the game of basketball continues to grow, but there is no room for Donald Sterling in our league. There is no room for him.”

Does it make you angry?

“I’m not angry. Just disappointed more than anything. There is only 30 owners and 400-plus of us. For a player, I just think…I put my…I can only imagine if a player came out and said something of that stature what would happen to us as players. So, I believe in Adam [Silver], I believe in the NBA and they have to do something and do something very fast and quickly before this really gets out of hand. Like I said, there is no room for Donald Sterling in our league, man. There it is.”

Up 2-0 in its series with the #Bobcats, the #Heat expects an even more physical Game 3

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The hard foul by Charlotte forward Josh McRoberts on LeBron James at the end of Game 2 compelled Heat coach Erik Spoelstra to defend his star player on Friday, but the Heat expects the series to get even more physical on Saturday.

“I think it’s going to get taken up a couple more levels,” Chris Bosh said on Saturday morning after the Heat’s shootaround at Charlotte’s Time Warner Cable Arena. “They’re going to be hyped tonight. They’ve been working all season for this, to have an opportunity to play a playoff game in front of their home crowd.”

Game 3 of the first-round playoff series between the Heat and Bobcats begins at 7 p.m. The Heat leads the best-of-7 series 2-0, and Miami is the only team in a wild beginning to the NBA playoffs to retain home-court advantage through two games.

Saturday is the Bobcats’ first home playoff game since 2010. The franchise has never won a playoff game. The Charlotte Hornets, which moved to New Orleans in 2002, went 2-2 at home during the 2001-02 playoffs.

“It’s always tough playing on the road,” Bosh said. “That extra energy is something you have to really play against, but hopefully we can take it and use it to our advantage and come out of here with a win tonight.”

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said a more consistent effort will be needed out of the Heat to win away from AmericanAirlines Arena. The Heat led by 14 points in the fourth quarter of Game 2, but the Bobcats had a chance to tie the game twice in the final 70 seconds.

“We had some great basketball on both ends of the court, and then we had some sloppy basketball that opens up the door,” Spoelstra said. “When you crack the door, you never know what’s going to happen.”

That cracked door also led to McRoberts’ hard foul on James in the final minute of the game. The Heat led by three points when James drove the basket with 50 seconds left. McRoberts met James in the air with an elbow to the throat and was called for a common foul. The NBA later upgraded the foul to a Flagrant-2 and fined McRoberts $20,000.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Chalmers likely to play in Game 2 but will be a game-time decision; Bobcats' Jefferson says he's playing

Heat point guard Mario Chalmers participated in a portion of the Heat’s shootaround on Wednesday at AmericanAirlines Arena, but his status remained uncertain for Game 2 of the Heat and Bobcats’ first-round playoff series.

Chalmers bruised his leg early in Game 1, but finished the game. He played 25 minutes in the Heat’s 99-88 victory. Tipoff for Game 2 is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday at AmericanAirlines Arena.

“We’re trying to keep him off his feet as much as possible with a little more treatment,” Spoelstra said. “We’ll see how he feels tonight once he loosens it up.”

Chalmers is expected to play, but if the Heat’s trainers and coaches hold him out as a precaution, then either guards Norris Cole or Toney Douglas will be inserted into the starting rotation.

With Cole entrenched as the second unit’s point guard, it’s likely Douglas would be the first option off the bench to replace Chalmers. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra made it a point during the regular season to keep his second unit intact.

“We’re a key to the team’s success,” Cole said of the second unit off the bench. “Making sure that that next wave that comes in the game is consistent and gives us a boost.”

— Bobcats center Al Jefferson said he plans to play in Game 2 despite tearing his plantar fascia in the first quarter of Game 1. Jefferson was immobilized in a protective boot on Wednesday morning at AmericanAirlines Arena during the Bobcats’ shootaround.

Friday, April 18, 2014

As the Heat prepares for the Bobcats, Dwyane Wade's health has the team upbeat

For the first time since preseason training, all 15 players on the Heat’s roster practiced together on Friday at AmericanAirlines Arena in preparation for Sunday’s playoff opener against the Charlotte Bobcats.

“It was like old times,” forward Chris Bosh said. “It was awesome.”

Preserving the health of its players was the top priority for the Heat this season. Shooting guard Dwyane Wade entered the 2013 playoffs with a knee injury, but prescribed rest this season and a procedure last summer has helped control his chronic tendonitis. Wade missed 28 games this season, including nine in a row in April.

“It was definitely worth it,” Heat center Udonis Haslem said. “Obviously we understand the impact that he brings to the game when he’s healthy, so you want a healthy Dwyane Wade in the playoffs when it counts the most.”

Said Wade: “That’s why they pay us the big buck — for this time of year.”

The Heat is 15-0 against the Bobcats since the 2010-11 season, but Wade is expecting a difficult first-round test.

“This is not the Charlotte Bobcats that everyone thinks of when you hear the name,” he said.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

LeBron leads in jersey sales; Heat most popular in team merchandise

It would appear people are buying all those many variations of Heat jerseys, and especially the ones that say James on the back (or King James, which appeared on the highly popular nickname jerseys).

For the second straight period, LeBron James led the NBA in jersey sales. Kevin Durant moved ahead of Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose. Dwyane Wade was seventh on the list.

More surprising, perhaps, than LeBron leading in jersey sales, are sales figures that place popularity of Heat merchandise above all other teams. Lists are based off of sales figures at nbastore.com.

Best-selling jersey

1. LeBron James, Miami Heat
2. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
3. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
4. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
5. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
6. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
7. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
8. Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
9. Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
10. James Harden, Houston Rockets
11. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
12. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
13. Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics
14. Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
15. Paul George, Indiana Pacers

Most popular team merchandise

1. Miami Heat
2. Los Angeles Lakers
3. Chicago Bulls
4. Oklahoma City Thunder
5. New York Knicks
6. Boston Celtics
7. Brooklyn Nets
8. Golden State Warriors
9. San Antonio Spurs
10. Los Angeles Clippers

Heat's complete first-round playoff schedule

The Heat and Bobcats will begin their first-round playoff series at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, and then will not play again until Wednesday, April 23.

After the first two games of the series in Miami, the Heat will travel to Charlotte for Games 3 and 4. Game 3 will be played at Charlotte's Time Warner at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Game 4 is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday.

Here's the complete first round schedule:

Sunday: vs. Bobcats, 3:30 p.m. AmericanAirlines Arena
Wednesday, April 23: vs. Bobcats, 7 p.m. AmericanAirlines Arena
Saturday, April 26: at Charlotte Bobcats, 7 p.m., Time Warner Cable Arena
Monday, April 28: at Charlotte Bobcats, 7 p.m., Time Warner Cable Arena
Wednesday, April 30: vs. Bobcats, TBD, AmericanAirlines Arena***
Friday, May 2: at Charlotte Bobcats, TBD, Time Warner Cable Arena***
Sunday, April 4: vs. Charlotte Bobcats, TBD, AmericanAirlines Arena***

***if necessary

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

FINAL GAMER: With 82 in the books, Wade called it a "grueling" regular season while Spoelstra called the Bobcats a 'worthy' first-round opponent

And now begins the second season.

The Heat limped and tripped and rested and yawned its way through a regular season that came to a thankful end on Wednesday at AmericanAirlines Arena. Dwyane Wade called it the most “grueling” schedule the Heat has faced since 2010, and that’s saying something, considering Wade sat out 28 of those games.

A throwaway 100-87 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers stood as the final measure of the final tune-up before the Heat begins preparations for its first-round opponent, the Charlotte Bobcats. The last time the Heat traveled to Charlotte for a playoff game (2001), the Queen City was still on its first NBA franchise, the Charlotte Hornets. That group moved to New Orleans, and now Charlotte’s latest professional basketball team is owned by Michael Jordan.

An odd rivalry has always simmered near the surface between and Jordan and James, which might stand as the most interesting component of this first-round matchup. After all, since James arrived in Miami, the Heat hasn’t lost to Jordan’s Bobcats. The first game of series is schedule for 3:30 p.m. on Sunday at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Potentially awaiting the Heat in the second round is the winner of a first-round series between the No.3-seeded Toronto Raptors and the No.6-seeded Brooklyn Nets. For obvious reasons, a series between the Heat and either one of those teams would be appealing.

Heat forward Chris Bosh used to play for the Raptors, and he has already noted how “insane” Toronto’s Air Canada Centre would be for a series against the Heat. A second-round matchup between the Heat and Brooklyn would create plenty of buzz.

The Heat, which finished the season with 54 wins and 28 losses, rested James, Chris Bosh, Chris Andersen, Mario Chalmers and Rashard Lewis for game No.82 and coach Erik Spoelstra started Dwyane Wade with Toney Douglas, James Jones, Shane Battier and Udonis Haslem. Of that group, only Wade and Haslem are expected to contribute significant minutes to start the playoffs.

James and Bosh rested the Heat’s final two games of the regular season and will have a full week of down time before the playoffs.

“I can’t say I was necessarily thinking that or planning that 10 days ago with how the season was going…but the way it turned out, sure, I feel good that they’re both able to get a couple days off,” Spoelstra said.

Wade played in his third game since returning from a hamstring injury suffered on March 26. He finished with a team-high 16 points in 23 minutes. All things considered, Wade said the Heat had a successful regular season.

“We’ve had a lot of different moving parts this year, and a lot of things that have been really different, obviously, with me missing games and other guys missing games …and our schedule was a little more grueling than it was the last couple years, a little bit more challenging from that standpoint,” Wade said. “I wouldn’t look at it and say we were bored with the NBA season at all. We did a pretty decent job with what we had.”

Michael Beasley, who played what could have been his final regular-season game with the Heat, left in the third quarter with an apparent ankle injury. He finished with eight points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field.

And then there was the significance of Shane Battier’s start. Battier has hinted that this will be the final season of his career. If so, he played in 977 games over a 13-year career with 705 starts. He needed 36 minutes on Wednesday to reach a milestone of 30,000 minutes for his career. He played nearly 40 minutes and finished with nine points, going 3 of 4 from three-point range.

Greg Oden returned from back spasms and a stomach illness to play in his first game since March 26. He logged 14 minutes and had two points and five rebounds. He hasn’t conditioned much since injuring his back.

“I haven’t been able to do too much crazy pounding just because we didn’t want to do anything to make sure it didn’t flare up any more,” Oden said. “We did as much as we could to keep it at a good distance. We will see. That’s all I can say.



Powered by TypePad