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10 posts from November 2014

Monday, November 17, 2014

With a team suddenly limited by injuries, #Heat coach Erik Spoelstra finds himself relying on Mario Chalmers

HEAT (5-5) at NETS (4-5), 7:30 p.m., Barclays Center, Sun Sports/FM 104.3, AM 790 and WAQI 710 AM (Spanish)

LINE: Nets by 6 1/2 (Opened at 5 1/2.)

OFFICIALS: Derrick Stafford, Josh Tiven and James Williams

WHY WATCH: To see if the Heat can overcome all these injuries. Dwyane Wade (hamstring) and Josh McRoberts (foot) are both out and now Luol Deng is questionable with an injured wrist. 

SPO-SPEAK: "We're not making any excuses for injuries or guys in and out of the lineup. That's this league. What we talked about today at shootaround, welcome to the NBA. Every team is dealing with it. If they're not dealing with it now, then they're dealing with it at some point. So, it's how you manage that and how you respond. Are you getting better or getting worse?"

IS MARIO CHALMERS A STARTER OR BACKUP? "You have to get to know your team, and we need Rio to be out there, so I'm trying to balance him to do both. He needs to play 35 minutes plus. He needs to start the game, but he also needs to be our back-up [shooting guard]. Welcome to our team." 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

About last night ...


Poor defense has plagued the Heat during its two-game losing skid. The Pacers out-rebounded the Heat 53-28 on Wednesday on and Friday the Heat's defense allowed the Hawks to shoot 56 percent from the field.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra...

ON THE LOSS: "There were a handful of times when we were able to impose our will. It takes a tremendous amount of effort, multiple efforts and activity to be able to defend offensive teams like this. We certainly felt with Dwyane [Wade] out that we scored enough to give ourselves a chance to win, but we never got to the defensive disposition and mind-set that you need to win against a team like this in their building."

ON CHRIS ANDERSEN'S LIMITED MINUTES: "I actually had the intension to play him in the first half, but I went with [Udonis Haslem]. It looked a little bit out there, but Bird will be out there Sunday." 

WHY DID JAMES ENNIS START: "To keep Mario [Chalmers] in the second unit, and to stabilize that unit. Instead, he played 40 minutes."

Chris Bosh ...

ON THE POOR FIRST QUARTER: "We're not getting off to good starts defensively, whether it's the coverages or the man-to-man defenses, they're blowing by us, we're not helping each other or we have no weak-side defense. It just wasn't there for the last two games."

"Eventually we're going to have to turn the corner. This is our ninth game, and we have to start showing ourselves that we know what we're doing out there."

ON THE GAME: "How many points did we score? [103] That's enough points to win, and I feel strongly about that. That's enough points to win, and we have to play better defense. That's what it all comes down to. Our shot selections was poor in the beginning of the game and we eventually got going and figured out how to play together...and after that, we've got to make a stand — 103 points, I'll take that every game. If we want to average 103 points for the rest of the season then that's great, but we can't give up 116 or 120. We've got to play some defense."

Friday, November 14, 2014

Important updates about tonight's game, #Heat (5-3) at #Hawks (4-3)

HEAT (5-3) at HAWKS (4-3), 7:30 p.m., Sun Sports

LINE: Hawks by 4. Opened at Hawks by 3, but then dropped before to Hawks by 2 before Dwyane Wade ruled himself out for the game.

OFFICIALS: Tom Washington, David Jones, JT Orr

OF NOTE: Wade announced he would miss the game after Friday morning's shootaround at Georgia Tech. Wade said he injured his left hamstring at the beginning of the Heat's loss to the Pacers on Wednesday. Wade could be out a while as a precaution. He missed nine games at the end of the 2013-14 season due to a sore hamstring.

WHY WATCH: The Hawks have won three in a row while the Heat is trying to boucne back from its 75-point performance against the No Name Pacers on Wednesday. Both the Heat and Hawks now feature similar offensive styles predicated on ball movement and Friday night's matchup will be the first of four meetings between the two division opponents this season.

SPO-SPEAK: “It’s not always going to work out smoothly, ball moving, everyone in great rhythm like it was in Dallas. There are games you’re going to have to develop some team and collective grit and figure out how to win. And those can be very gratifying at the end, particularly when you don’t play great.”

LINEUP SPECULATION: With Wade out of the lineup, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is faced with his first major lineup decision of the regular season. He could go a number of ways, including starting Shannon Brown, Mario Chalmers or even rookie Jame Ennis at shooting guard. Another possibility could be Norris Cole coming off the bench and Chalmers starting alongside Shabazz Napier. That seems unlikely, but Napier will likely get more minutes one way or another over the next week or so.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

About last night ...


The Pacers turned ugly into art and embarrassed the Heat 81-75 on Wednesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. Miami was out-rebounded 53-28. It was the lowest scoring total for the Heat on its home court since the 2009-10 season.

In addition to the rebounding problems, the Heat went 8 of 18 from the free-throw line. The Pacers won despite shooting 37.5 percent from the field and recording more turnovers (16) than assists (13).

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra...

ON THE REBOUNDING: “I’ll have to get to the film, but certainly more block outs and we have to be a gang-rebound team. It can’t be just a one individual and that certainly hurt us tonight. We’re all well aware of that.”

ON THE MISSED FREE THROWS: “These are those types of games that you would really like to see your team to find a way to grind it out when you’re not necessarily in a great rhythm. It’s a defensive game. It’s a grind out game and you like to find a way to win ugly at the end. Whatever, just make some plays. We had some foul trouble. We had some free throw opportunities that we came up short but we still had enough plays to make that we didn’t.”

Heat center Chris Bosh went 3 of 13 for nine points and had two rebounds. He tipped his hat to Pacers center Roy Hibbert after the game.

“Nothing was going my way tonight," Bosh said. “I can’t say that we should’ve had this one because we didn’t play well. We missed free-throws. We didn’t move the ball. We didn’t play well enough to win. We can’t do that and then expect to dig ourselves out of a hole. We’re not that good. We have to play a full game.”

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Stuff about tonight's game: Pacers (2-6) at Heat (5-2)

PACERS (2-6) AT HEAT (5-2), 7:30 p.m., Sun Sports, ESPN

LINE: Heat by 8 1/2 (Opened at 10.)

OFFICIALS: Scott Foster, Eric Lewis, Eli Roe

WHY WATCH: The Pacers are bruised and broken to begin the season, but tonight's nationally televised game is still the first matchup between the Heat and Pacers since last season's Eastern Conference finals.

SPO-SPEAK: “It’s still Indiana, so you know they’re going to bring it defensively,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “They’re not going to allow you to have easy opportunities on the paint. You’re going to have to work your offense with force, with poise and the ball is going to have to move. The more shortcuts you try to take, the more it plays right into their hands.”

ON THE 5-2 START: “It’s not even about that right now,” Spoelstra said. “It’s about our habits. Are we coming in to work to get better? And the guys have been great. They have a real lunch pail, hardhat mentality to come in here and work and work the process to try to get better.
“You’re seeing some of the improvement, but we have a long way to go, particularly on the defensive end. And there is no shortcut to it. You just have to put in the time. You have to put in the sweat equity.”

Sunday, November 09, 2014

#Heat guard Dwyane Wade opens up about #LeBron James and the struggling #Cavaliers

Dwyane Wade has played in every game this season and he'll be in the starting lineup on Sunday night here in Dallas. He's feeling good, his body has responded well to the beginning of the season and his team has a better record than his good buddy LeBron James up in Cleveland.

In other words, it's a good time to weigh in on the NBA's biggest story to start the season, the early struggles of those very same Cavaliers and LeBron's role on the team. Any advice Wade would give LeBron at this point in the season?

“He has all the tools he needs,” Wade said. “We’ve been through it together where we ran into struggles as a team. You’re going to do that in the season whether it’s in the beginning of the season, or sometimes in the middle or sometimes at the end. He’s a four-time MVP. He’s a two-time champion. I’m sure he’ll figure it out as a leader."

The Heat is 4-2 entering Sunday's game against the Mavericks and the Cavaliers are 2-3 with a home game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night. In a sense, both the Heat and Cavaliers are starting from scratch this season, so the situations are similar just with far less media pressure in Miami.

"We’re six games in for some teams and less for others, so it’s so premature to be worrying about guys struggling or guys playing well," Wade said. "We’re yet to see how it’s really going to shake out.”

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Here's that full video clip of Michael Beasley trying to eat a basketball in China.

Kinda makes me sad.


Wednesday, November 05, 2014

#LeBron James is channeling his inner Erik Spoelstra in Cleveland (Let's run through the #Spoisms checklist)

LeBron James is sounding a lot like Heat coach Erik Spoelstra these days, and NBA insiders familiar with the Heat’s locker-room culture have been taking notice.

James and the Cleveland Cavaliers dropped below .500 on Tuesday with a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, and afterwards James began reeling off a list of classic Spoelstra catchphrases and go-to nuggets of wisdom about team development. The unique and repetitive jargon or “coach speak” — known as “Spoisms” — has become one of Spoelstra’s most endearing trademarks.

“It's going to be a process,” James said at Portland’s Moda Center after the loss to the Trail Blazers. “I keep on harping on that word, but it's the truth. I've been there before and understand it. But you do have to go through it even though you don't like to go through it."

Or, as Spoelstra might say, the Cavaliers just need to “respect the process,” and avoid listening to “outside noise” because those distractions are just “someone else’s truth.”

James scored just 11 points in Portland, including two points over the final three quarters of the game. He never scored 11 or fewer points in a regular-season game with the Heat and the last time he has scored just two points over a three-quarter stretch was his rookie year, according to ESPN.

While James only attempted four shots in the second half, teammates Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters combined to go 6 of 29 from the field for the game.

"There's a lot of bad habits — a lot of bad habits have been built up over the last couple of years, and when you play that style of basketball it takes a lot to get it up out of you," James said. "But I'm here to help and that's what it's about."

Irving and Waiters might just need to “sacrifice” more for the team, as Spoelstra is inclined to repeat … ad nauseam.

"Everyone wants to win, I would hope," James said. "Would you rather play selfish basketball and lose, or play unselfish basketball and sacrifice and win? So you pick it."

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

With corporate logos on the way, Josh McRoberts is just ahead of his time with the jersey-ripping thing

Heat forward Josh McRoberts is still an unknown quantity with his new team, but that doesn't mean he hasn't already made an impression on fans. In his first home game since coming back from offseason toe surgery, McRoberts wasted no time in cultivating his appeal when he ripped his jersey down the middle like Hulk Hogan.

The destruction of McRoberts' jersey looked intentional — like a baseball player breaking a bat over his knee — but on Monday the former Bobcats man said that wasn't the case.

"It looked crazy," McRoberts said. "It looked like I was trying to rip it apart. I usually just pull on it and hold onto the top of it...When it started to go, it just went and it made it look like I was ripping it even more. But it wasn't cool."

So, it doesn't sound McRoberts is going to make the jersey-ripping thing part of the nightly show, and that's too bad. Just think of all the marketing and sponsorship opportunities...OK, I can't think of any off hand, but when the Heat and other NBA teams slap corporate logos on their jerseys in a few years, players who rip those things in half will be cult heroes.

"They make them a little bit different every year," McRoberts said. "I'll let you decide what different means."

Luol Deng compares offensive philosophies for #Heat and #Bulls

A long-time player for the Chicago Bulls and now a starter for the Miami Heat, forward Luol Deng has played for two of the best coaches in the Eastern Conference. On Tuesday, he offered some insightful commentary on the difference between the Bulls’ offensive philosophy under coach Tom Thibodeau and the offensive principles that Heat coach Erik Spoelstra uses:

“Here our guards are more pick-and-roll and trying to find the open guy and the next guy is making a play and it’s becoming contagious. In Chicago we slowed the game down, we got stops and we slowed it down and tried to get the best shot possible that we could get. We stuck to the plays. Here it’s more of reads. You read the game, and guys have a high IQ and they’re just making plays after plays and making each other better.”

Deng has fit in well with his new team through the first three games of the season. He's averaging 15.0 points per game while shooting 57.6 percent from the floor.



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