Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Closing time

The luxury of having three true superstars may have never been as meaningul to the Heat than it did Tuesday in Game 4.

Dwyane Wade was surprisingly bad, despite having his late-night shooting session late Monday, LeBron James hit an ugly cold spell highlighted by an airball three-pointer, and the rest of the Heat wasn't shooting particularly well as the Bulls took an 11-point lead in the third quarter. Bron hips

But unlike Derrick Rose, who has little to no help when defense is as intense as it is in this series, Wade had teammates to carry him past this particularly horrendous showing.

Chris Bosh is proving emotions don't get the best of him, even in the most stressful of situations. He had 10 huge points in the fourth quarter and overtime combined, he got to the foul line 11 times for the game and he was the only member of the Big Three to shoot 50 percent (6 of 12). Despite being largely ignored in the first half (actually he had to adjust to a more aggressive Bulls defense), Bosh finished with 22.

And of course, James was spectacular down the stretch, scoring 13 of his 35 after the third quarter. Toss in the surprising performance from Mike Miller (12 points and nine rebounds in 26 minutes) and Wade had just enough support to make up for his unusual performance.... (Miller, btw, was a +36 on the night, which is ridiculous. According to, twenty other players have had a +36 or higher this season. Their teams won those games by an average of 40.4 points. Miller was +36 in an 8-point win.)

Just to emphasize the importance of such support, Rose had a largely awful night himself, needing 27 shots to score 23 points with just six assists, three rebounds and seven turnovers.

He didn't have the player next to him that was capable of making up for that. Luol Deng had a decent night with 20 points on 8 of 16 shooting, but he works largely off Rose. It's basically up to Rose to get Deng good looks.

Other telling numbers in this game: The Heat shot 38 free throws to Chicago's 22, prompting Tom Thibodeau to tweak the officials after the game, saying Rose didn't get enough calls.

The Heat only needed 12 assists for their 32 field goals, while the Bulls had 20 assists for their 35 field goals. Just goes to show how the Bulls need offensive execution just a bit more than Miami because LeBron and Wade and Bosh create so often for themselves.

Wade's four blocks were phenomenal, while LeBron's defense on Rose was critical. Just like his defense on Paul Pierce in Game 4 against Boston, it's what saved LeBron after a late turnover (offensive foul) in a critical game.





Thursday, May 19, 2011

Surprise party

Go ahead and choose which one of these elements from Wednesday's game was most surprising, because this game was full of shockers.
--Udonis Haslem's performance: It wasn't so much that UD was able to score 13 points with five UD red rebounds, two assists, a steal and a blocked shot. It was the way he did it, and the timeliness of it. And that he managed to play 23 minutes in two long bursts. 
He single-handedly revived the Heat in the first half, and he helped the Heat maintain a lead while the Chicago crowd was about to explode.
Haslem had a facial dunk over Keith Bogans and another transition dunk on Derrick Rose. But it might have been his two jumpers -- two crucial jumpers -- that were most difficult. He hadn't hit one of those since before the foot injury, and to hit a pair in those spots in the second half was downright gutsy.
--The rest of the rotation: Erik Spoelstra spent the first half trying out players like women try on new shoes. But by the second half, he realized what was working. UD, of course. But also Mike Miller, who played 18 minutes, essentially in place of Mario Chalmers. Miller and Haslem, who weren't fully in the rotation until Wednesday, were the only Heat bench players to play more than five minutes. Meanwhile, Mike Bibby played 35 minutes. That's Mike Bibby, 35 minutes!
--The rebounding numbers: The Heat hadn't outrebounded the Bulls in four tries, and in the last game were embarrassed on the boards. This game, with Joel Anthony only playing 22 minutes and Jamaal Magloire playing five minutes, the Heat outrebounded the Bulls 45-41.
LeBron James had 10, Dwyane Wade nine, Chris Bosh eight and Miller had seven in his 18 minutes. The Bulls still managed 17 offensive rebounds, but that's because they missed 54 shots.
--The Heat defense: The Bulls shot 34 percent from the field and scored all of four points in the final 8:44 of the game. And here's how those four points were scored: Taj Gibson had his shot blocked going up for a dunk, and was hanging on the rim as it bounced off the backboard and back through the rim. So, technically, it shouldn't have counted.
The next two points were also Gibson, and again he had his shot blocked, but this time Anthony accidentally tapped it into the Bulls basket with the side of his hand. So if not for a missed call and an own-goal, the Bulls don't score at all in the final 8:44. What was Charles Barkley saying about the Bulls having the best defense he's ever seen?
This Heat defense is pretty good itself.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Is it as simple as effort?

The first three meeting between these two teams came down to single possessions, basically, and this one was a blowout because of what looked like simple effort.

The Heat's bigs were outworked by the Bulls bigs, and the Bulls perimeter players were more disruptive defensively than were the Heat perimeter players.

So what's the solution? UD shrug

Well, other than just trying harder, the Heat might just be going to its go-to effort guy. That would be Udonis Haslem. It's difficult to expect extended segments of basketball from UD, but based on the fact that he played the final minutes of Sunday's game, you can pretty much infer that Erik Spoelstra's plan is to include Haslem into the rotation Wednesday.

Now, as much as the game came down to rebounding and poor performances from both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, it also didn't help much that Spo went to a combination that hasn't seen the floor in forever -- if ever. Playing Jamaal Magloire might have sounded like a good idea, giving Derrick Rose another big body to go through before getting to the rim. But Cat can't rotate nearly fast enough to affect the lightning-quick Rose, or move quickly enough to keep the Bulls bigs off the boards.

Now, going to Udonis could help, because again, effort is his game and even though he's smaller, he's a rebounder and can hang with Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer. But he is in no shape to do that for 30 minutes or more. But when Udonis can't do it, the Heat might need to stick to the smaller lineup when Joel Anthony is off the floor. Go with Chris Bosh at center and LeBron at the four. The Heat is quicker that way and can be disruptive defensively. And when LeBron is asked to rebound, he normally responds very well. It would be up to Bosh and LeBron to hit the boards and keep the Bulls off the offensive boards in that scenario, but that's not too much to ask of those guys.

If effort is the simple answer, then Game 1 was essentially a wake-up call for the Heat. If the issues go much deeper than that, then it will be evident again in Game 2. You can say that the Heat's offense looked awful against the Bulls, but then again, that's not the first time that's happened. The Heat offense has a way of recovering, starting with LeBron and Wade playing more like themselves.

We'll see if that all comes together.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Big three go small

Can't help but love the fact that Erik Spoelstra is dropping down a size and using the small lineup regularly again. Doug Collins said the other night that LeBron James' best position is power forward. Now, while that's hardly true all the time, because he's a better rebounder and defender against guys his own size or smaller, he does become more difficult to defend off the dribble when he's at that position.

But more than that, when the Heat goes small, it feels like the offense is just more potent, especially now that the guys know each other well, and with Chris Bosh playing aggressively, and with Mike Bibby out there knocking down threes at nearly 50 percent efficiency. Bron powder

It's going to so well, that you'd even like to see Spo play that lineup against bigger teams and force them to match up with it.

Obviously, the Big Three had it going against the Rockets. And the Rockets do allow their opponents to put up big numbers. But it does look like these guys are having their best games together just before the playoffs, which must be comforting for Heat fans to see.

Dwyane Wade looks fairly unstoppable, particularly late in games. And Bosh's offensive aggressiveness appears to be transferring to the defensive end as well, as he's actually trying to contest most shots near the basket.

It wouldn't surprise me at all if this team runs the table the rest of the way, because Spo says he doesn't intend on resting his starters, and because other than a home game against the Celtics and a late game in Atlanta, there aren't any difficult ones on the schedule. That would very likely wrap up a No. 2 seed, which means Boston in the second round and homecourt advantage.

Finally, shout out to Dan LeBatard for writing something I've been thinking for weeks now. The whole Derrick-Rose-for-MVP thing has gotten out of control. He is the best player on the best team in the East, so of course he deserves strong consideration. But just because a few people on TV believe he's the MVP, it's as if no one else is left in the hunt. How many Bulls highlights have you seen with the anchor just flat-out calling him MVP throughout the highlight? That would be every Bulls clip in the past six weeks.

It's ridiculous, especially when you consider that Dwight Howard has a strong, if not stronger, case, and guys like LeBron, D-Wade, Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki are all right there with him.

The thing about it is, when you're writing for a South Florida publication, you're automatically viewed as bias. I wish someone from, I don't know, the Midwest would have the nerve to actually question Rose's status as favorite.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ummm.... Hmmm

Really? 1 for 18? Really?!?

There aren't many games where a single player can take the blame for a loss, but this might just be one of them. No, the Heat wasn't perfect. Far from it. The littany of mistakes, which we'll get into momentarily, though, were only made more magnified because Chris Bosh was as off as any player of his magnitude has been in decades. Decades.

If you've ever been in that spot, it's such a head game. You're a shooter, so you normally want to be open. But when you've missed that many open ones, you almost are dreading catching the ball and finding yourself open. Because you know the right thing to do is to shoot it, because you have to assume you're good enough to make the next one. But you've already thought about it more than you normally do, and at that point you've ruined it for yourself. You're almost praying a defender closes hard so you have an excuse to do something other than shoot it.

Bosh yell You could see after about 1 of 10 that Bosh was in his own head. To his defense -- very brief and weak defense as it may be -- he did get clonked in the nose early on, and he didn't exactly get many designed opportunities near the rim, which probably would've helped after about, oh, I don't know, 1 of 12, maybe?

So, there it is. A performance that might never be repeated in the NBA for the next 20 years cost the Heat a win, and yet it was still a tie game in the final minute.

Not to overstate this loss, but it only strengthened a perception across the country that Derrick Rose is becoming the runaway MVP. But, again, if Bosh makes two jumpers and the Heat wins, you're looking at Rose's line (26 points on 24 shots, five rebounds, six assists, four turnovers, zero steals and a plus-minus of minus-2 in 37 minutes) and thinking, "Eh."

Then you'd see LeBron James' line, on the road no less, (12 of 21 for 29 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, two turnovers, two steals and one block and a plus-3) and you'd think, "Well, maybe he is still MVP." Or you'd even think Dwyane Wade (34 points, eight rebounds) might be ahead of Rose. But because the result allowed Rose to look like the hero with a late jumper and a dish to Luol Deng, and now there might be no way for James to recover.

Now to the list of errors down the stretch. At least the highlighted ones...

-Might as well just start with the pass Eddie House threw to Wade's back on what could've been a fast break opportunity. The turnover resulted a Deng three-point play that put the Heat down seven. That play was indicative of the Heat's play off the bench. Two points. Two.

For all the talk about the Celtics being "hurt" in that game against the Heat because they were missing a bench player, basically, the Heat didn't and won't get much slack for being without Mike Miller. Other than possibly hitting an open shot, Miller definitely would've helped the Heat on the board. The Bulls clobbered Miami in that area, 53-39.

-After falling behind 85-84, the Heat's next two shots were a James three-pointer from the corner, which wasn't even an open shot, and a Bosh 18 footer, which was open, but come on. That's possibly the spot you want him to at least try to drive and draw a foul.

-With the game tied at 89-89, Wade made a huge mistake by helping off Deng to try to get to Rose. Two reasons that was just a bad play. First, James was in front of Rose still, and Erick Dampier was also coming from underneath the basket to make the shot tougher. All Wade did by helping was give Rose a bail-out option. Second, the LAST thing you want to do in a tie game in the final seconds is give up a three-pointer. Even if Rose makes that shot, all you need is a deuce to tie it back up. Now that you've given up a three, you're almost forced to attempt a three on the next possession. Or at least extremely tempted to put up a three.

-Which brings us to the final poor decision of the night (just a reminder: none of these final plays matter if Bosh's historically awful 1for 18 night is just a terrible 4 for 18 night). James' rushed three-pointer, off the dribble, with a defender in his face is exactly the opposite of what this team has been preaching all season. Trust, for one. And smart choices, as well. Sure, no one other than Mario Chalmers was helping Wade and James, but at least run a play to let something open up. That was the definition of hero basketball, and it ended appropriately.

Just one loss. And if this was a playoff game, the Heat would almost be able to say to themselves "that'll never happen again in this series." But it's an agonizing loss given the stats and the now 0-5 record against your direct competition atop the Eastern Conference.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Quick change

Funny how quickly things can turn around. First 21 wins out of 22 games, then a three-game losing streak with superstars crumbling with sprained ankles.

The final moments of Saturday's game against the Bulls was so reminiscent of the last few years, with Dwyane Wade needing to carry the load just to stay close, then an awful offense rebound allowed leading to a huge score from the opponent, then a discombobulated final possession.

There's one way to look at it that I'm pretty sure any Heat fan will accept: If this is as bad as it's going to get in terms of injuries, then that's perfectly OK. Bosh j

LeBron James should be back in time to face the Hawks on Tuesday at home, while Chris Bosh, who sprained his ankle Saturday, should, at the very least, return in time for the following game against the Raptors on the 22nd. If there's nothing more significant than that, the Heat will go on another tear pretty soon thereafter.

Rather than dwell on the losing streak, let's examine this whole Mario Chalmers debate. It's promising to see him playing with confidence and being aggressive and everything else. But sometimes his aggressiveness leads to turnovers, missed shots or outright frustrating moments.

That was certainly the case against the Bulls, when he missed eight of his 12 shots, had three turnovers to just three assists and the Heat was outscored by five while he was on the floor.

Meanwhile, Eddie House, who struggled defending Derrick Rose (but who doesn't?), was 3 of 3 from distance, and the Heat outscored the Bulls by 14 when he was on the floor. For that matter, Mike Miller, had a plus/minus of plus-16 in his 26 minutes. Just starting to wonder if Chalmers' newfound confidence might not be the greatest thing for this team, especially late in games.

It will definitely help when LeBron is playing again, but it might not hurt if Erik Spoelstra started experimenting with lineups that maybe include Miller as a version of a point-forward, or with House in there at the point guard spot instead of Chalmers.

Or the Heat can win 10 straight again and never have to worry about it.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Comeback ability

Yet another way you can tell a team is championship caliber is when it can make comebacks like this one Saturday night, and make it look reasonably easy.

There never was any concern, it felt like, even as the Heat was down 20 points in the first half. It was simply a matter of switching back to the style the team had been playing so well before the Houston game (that was a shootout win, not a Heat defensive win).

So the Heat kept the Warriors to 12 points in the third, and you knew then that it was over. Yes, it builds bad habits if you believe you can do that any time you want, but it's unavoidable in an 82-game season. Remember the Heat's 25-point comeback win against the Celtics in 2006? That was almost the mentality of that team because of Shaq, turn it on when necessary. And we all know how that season turned out.

This team doesn't have that luxury yet, but it's good to know it's there when necessary.

While it's great to see Dorell Wright play well for the Warriors, it's too easy to say he couldn't done that here. First, he wouldn't be getting the minutes. And second, even though he does just about everything Mike Miller does, but is younger and more athletic, Wright would've had a totally different mindset had he come back here. He would have been, yet again, restrained, in his mind. And that wouldn't necessarily allow him to play as freely as he is in Golden State. It might not have been the best thing for the Heat that he's playing this well out there, but it's the best thing for Dorell that he ended up elsewhere, particularly in that system.

As for LeBron' James' comments about the MVP possibilities going "out the window" once he and Dwyane Wade decided to play together, it's hard not to agree with him. Bron 3

Even if this team wins 60-plus games, has the best record in the league and James averages in the neighborhood of 24 points, seven rebounds and eight assists, there's still going to be a strong argument for someone else. Whether it's Kevin Durant because his scoring would be higher and his help less talented, or Dwight Howard because of his defensive presence, or Dirk Nowitzki if he comes back healthy and leads the Mavericks to 60 wins. Not saying it's fair, but it's sort of the nature of the voting process. The idea that LeBron has too much help will hurt him if it's even a close race -- especially if there are multiple legitimate candidates (don't want to leave out Amare Stoudemire, Derrick Rose and Kobe Bryant).

That thought process may change, though, if the Heat has an absolutely monster second half, and LeBron appears to be the primary catalyst. In that respect, it's good this conversation started now, so it can be in the minds of voters as the season progresses, as opposed to completely dismissing the possibility, the way LeBron believes they have already.

Now, the curveball in this whole thing, of course, is Dwyane. If he has many more 40-point nights and distances himself in the scoring category from LeBron, then he'll make a case for himself, but more likely ruin the chances for both of them. It doesn't make much sense, but it's all about perception anyway.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

How The Heat's East Shakes Out

With less than three weeks remaining before the start of Heat training camp, one of the focuses today was Bulls Heat Main on where Miami will finish in a much stronger Eastern Conference mix.

I've got the Heat finishing atop the standings when all 82 are played. I'm not sure that 72 victories are in store for this team, though. The Heat will have quite a fight on its hands to challenge the Bulls record set during the 1996 season. That Tuesday night game in Milwaukee in February is no longer the gimme it might have been. That Friday tilt in Charlotte, as we've seen in the past, is much tougher than it used to be.

The bottom-feeders in the East are no longer chump-change. New Jersey won't be flirting with disaster this time around. And even the depleted Cleveland and Toronto squads will be highly motivated, albeit far less talented, when the Heat rolls into town.

Having said all of that, I was asked during today's live Heat chat how I saw the East breaking down. Honestly, I haven't yet given it much thought. When the Heat was a middle-of-the-pack team the past two seasons, it was sort of necessary to see where it might fall in the conference pecking order well in advance of the start of the season.

But with this team expected to be no lower than second in the conference, it doesn't matter as much what takes place below the top three or four teams in the East race. But for the record, I've got Miami ending up first with somewhere between 64 and 68 victories. From there, it's Boston, Orlando and Chicago.

Beyond that, it's anyone's guess. Here's the best of the best of today's Heat chat.

Most Recently Answered Questions

Questions 1 - 15 of 1331 (Page 1 of 45)

Q: We all know Anderson Varejao thrived in Cleveland playing alongside Lebron, getting a rich contract along the way. Who among those currently in the roster do you think/see would mesh well with Lebron in the same manner this season? Who fits that "high-energy" bench player mold?

Answered 09/09/10 14:07:22 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: It would have to be a guy like Udonis Haslem. The Heat has several bodies at the power forward and center spot, but there's not a lot of youth, energy and athleticism at those spots. So the choices are limited. But this type of roster and these type of double-team-commanding players would seem to benefit a step-out-shooting, rebound-hauling presence like Haslem the most among those in the mix.

Q: We can go back and forth on this but the reality is that the heat are presently hurting in the point guard/center position. While am not taking away d heat arsenal on other position, I will like to advise the miami front office to still take a second look on A.I and patiently await d Erick Dampiers waiver from the bobcat. Am even surprise that d heat is not signing one of their own "SILER" he was more of an enforcer and defensive oriented than PITTMAN.

Answered 09/09/10 14:03:34 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: I think the Heat is fairly confident in manning the point guard and center spots by committee. You'd like to be able to morph Eddie, Mario and Carlos into one guy. The same can be said of Jamaal, Joel and Big Z. But that's not a luxury the Heat has. When you load up with stars the way Miami has, you have to sacrifice elsewhere. But you need some supporting cast guys to rise to the challenge and play better than expected.

Q: Hey micheal what is your opinion on tattoos in the NBA and do u have one.Also Lebron has a tradition of getting a new tattoo before the post season every year I think he should get a crown on the back of his neck on top of his name James so that would make the king James even cooler

Answered 09/09/10 14:00:47 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: No, I don't have any tattoos. Never really seriously considered getting one. They don't tend to show up too well on us chocolate-ly-blessed guys:)My only concern what these guys are going to feel like when they turn 60 or 70 and are still inked up like that.

Q: Hi Mike, In Kobe's recent interview, he said that he would never do what Lebron did, leaving his team to go play with another superstar (although his trade request a few years ago seems to contradict that). My question is, do you think that Kobe would have swallowed his ego enough to do what Wade did, sacrificing salary, spotlight, stats and credit for winning, by recruiting talents the caliber of Lebron and Bosh? My gut says no, especially with what happened when he played with Shaq. What do you think?

Answered 09/09/10 13:57:44 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: I think the Kobe we see now is a bit different from the Kobe that fell into that ego war with Shaq. Of course, it took Kobe a few years to answer his critics in terms of being able to win one without Shap. I didn't see Kobe's interview you're talking about. But if that is indeed the context of his statements, then it is a bit hypocritical. I would give Kobe a slight pass, though, because I don't think he would have demanded a trade if the Lakers posted the best record in the league and got as far as Cleveland did the last two years. In that event, I believe Kobe would demand that the Lakers do something to bring in more help.

Q: Hey Mike, i know the Heat are missing a big piece at center. But we do have big Z, along with joel anthony who i think is one of the best shot blocking center's in the league. But i wouldn't sleep on dexter pittman either. Do you think the Heat even with the big 3 and a solid supporting cast, couldn't win a title within the next 2 years?

Answered 09/09/10 13:54:48 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: If they don't, it would be considered by many, including this team, as a failure. I'm not among those who say the Heat has to win it all in Year 1. But I think they have to have some hardware to show for all of this hype, hoopla and expectations by Year 2.

Q: What is the spill over effect when a team like this is put together? Specifically, what change or effect does it have on local writers covering the Heat, or even guys like Eric Reid and Tony F? Because I have notice that people tend to remember not just players on multiple championship teams, but also writers and commentators.

Answered 09/09/10 13:53:34 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: Great question. Those of us who are around the team daily, both home and on the road, will have a chance to chronicle the type of stories that might only come around once or twice in a career. With more attention paid to this team, it also increases the exposure a lot of us can receive beyond the local level. In many ways, we'll simply find ourselves holding on for the ride.

Q: Hey Mike, can I have your HONEST opinion? 2011 NBA playoffs Seeds 1 - 8. (I Have: 1. Miami 2. Boston 3. Orlando 4. Milwaukee 5. Chicago 6. Atlanta 7. Charlotte 8. Washington)

Answered 09/09/10 13:51:21 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: I think the top three are locks. I'd move Chicago up to fourth, Atlanta to fifth, Milwaukee to sixth, Charlotte to seventh and I can see New York, New Jersey, Detroit, Indiana and Cleveland fighting for that final spot. I feel like I'm forgetting someone. But that's how I see it.

Q: do you see the heat signing any other players before the start of the season?

Answered 09/09/10 13:49:06 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: Riley might be inclined eventually to invite a veteran or two such as an Iverson, Stackhouse, Larry Hughes or Flip Murray if there is a shortage of guards because of lingering injuries. But I don't see Pat rushing to do anything like that at this point unless it becomes necessary.

Read more:

(For live news, notes and updates on the Heat, follow me on Twitter @ To post a question or join our live Heat chat each Thursday from 1-2 p.m., click here.)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Answers to Thursday's Heat Q&A

Q: I think Bosh is more than likely somewhere else with a better sign and trade opportunity as opposed to the Heat. If that is the case, I personally would prefer a Boozer/Joe Johnson combination than just getting Amare or Amare with Johnson. What do you think? Also, do we have the cap space, or can we attain it through a Beasley trade, to get a Brendan Haywood, Earl Barron, or bring JO back at a discounted rate to be our center?

Answered 06/17/10 14:33:27 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: I'd take Haywood, but I'd rather keep Beasley than let him walk for a reunion with either Earl Barron or Jermaine O'Neal. And I'm with you on the Boozer, Johnson pairing, although you'd then certainly need a center presence, which, I guess, would bring J.O. into the equation again.

Q: Great work Mike. Look into your crystal ball and tell me who you see Lebron, Bosh, Stoudemire, J.Johnson, and Boozer signing with?

Answered 06/17/10 14:31:32 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: Not sure I can afford crystal in this economy. But I'll look into the knockoff I got from the Opa-Locka flea market last week and tell you that ... LeBron will be back in Cleveland. Stoudemire will be in Miami or Chicago. Bosh will be in Chicago or Miami. Joe Johnson will be in New York. And Boozer will join Johnson in New York. But don't put too much stock in that ball. It was $2 bucks and doesn't have a return policy.

Q: Is Ricky Williams Smoking Ganja again? Or, just Mr. Ross? They both are predicting the Dolphins are going to the Super Bowl next season. Do you think the Dolphins are capable of playing in the Super Bowl next season?

Answered 06/17/10 14:28:24 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: You've reached the wrong Q&A. Press "0" for Jeff Darlington, Dolphins beat writer.

Q: Hi Michael, if Lebron and Wade team up and say Bosh decides to go for LAL who would be a better choice Boozer, Amare (most like not since he wants max contract) and I think Scola is available? Tnx.

Answered 06/17/10 14:27:13 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: In that scenario, I'd have to go with Boozer because he'd be cheaper and plus he's a better spot-up shooter than Amare. Playing alongside attack-the-basket players such as LeBron and Wade would create plenty of open looks for kick-out, mid-range jumpers. That's Boozer's game, in addition to his rebounding.

Q: hey mike when july 1 is here how long do u think it will take before the fireworks begin and in your expert opinion what do u think is a realistic scenario for the heat also if we can't build the team with sign and trade and we have to sign free agent directly which will prevent us to go over the 56 millions cap this year isn't it better to keep beasley for one more years and see how it works around 2 stars and then go all out in the next free agency when mr arisson will be able to go over the cap and finish to build a championship team cause i don't know how much over the lakers and celtics are but it doesn't looks like u can make it to the final round with a cheap salary team by the way when was the last time that a team won the champs and stayed under salary cap rule if it ever happen ? thank you for your time

Answered 06/17/10 14:25:37 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: I really wish I had the answers. But I don't. I have educated and slightly-informed opinions. But Pat Riley is better than just about anyone in the league at keeping things close to the vest, despite being in on just about every available player. My guess is that Miami will end up with either Bosh or Stoudemire, make a strong play for Gay, look for a veteran pg in a trade, use at least two of its four draft picks to fill out roster spots and convince a proven league vet or two to come on board for a shot to contend in the East and unseat Boston and a weakened Orlando/Cleveland/Atlanta for a shot at the Finals.

Q: Just read somewhere that not only is Amare here but Rudy Gay is here with him working out this summer. Can you envision the Heat signing Amare and sign-and-trading Beasley/Cook for Gay? I think Gay, Wade, and Amare would be a great core if the Heat cannot land LBJ/Bosh.

Answered 06/17/10 14:22:56 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: That certainly would be the most explosive 2, 3, 4 trio in the league in my opinion. But I'm not sure the Grizzlies will allow Gay to walk this summer. If Gay doesn't want to be there, which I'm told he doesn't and wants out, he might have to take the one-year qualifying offer and then wait for unrestricted free agency next year - or a trade at the Feb. deadline.

Q: Good day mate! At least Amare was honest that he is NOT signing any contract that is not a maximum deal. 1st question is do you think he deserves one? Because I don't think so, I'd rather have Boozer if Amare's asking for a max. 2nd question is do you believe what these max-contract deserving FA's (LbJ, Bosh, etc.) whenever they say that winning is the most important thing and getting that max isn't that important to them? Do you really believe they would sign anything under the max?

Answered 06/17/10 14:20:30 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: I don't think any of the top five free agents (LeBron, Wade, Bosh, Stoudemire, Dirk) is signing for anything less than the max. I think there are only about 7 max slots available throughout the league at this point. Boozer, Johnson, Gay - those guys might have to settle for less than the max, even though there might be money out there.

Q: It seems as if Bosh to Miami is gaining some steam since he and D-Wade had dinner together. At the end of free agency, do you think Wade convinces Bosh and Johnson to join the Heat? If they do, would be a be top 2 team in the east?

Answered 06/17/10 14:17:21 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: I'm not sure I'd go that far just because they had dinner together. Heck, Wade attended a tennis tournament with Star Jones a couple years back, but that didn't mean they kicked off a commitment. I believe the Heat would face more competition and difficulties getting Bosh than they would Stoudemire. As far as Johnson is concerned, it's just a matter of how much he's willing to win and at what cost in terms of a less-than-max salary from Miami.

Q: So the New York Times published a article saying that Ray Allen wants to come to miami. It says that he knows Chris Bosh will sign too. So all the cap space for Ray Allen, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade? Is it really worth it to spend it on them? What would be the line up? Would dwayne wade switch to point guard?

Answered 06/17/10 14:14:31 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: It was the New York Daily News that published the rumor as part of a weekly NBA gossip column. Here's a tip. Only believe 1 percent of half of the rumors you hear about NBA free agency.

Q: will stoudemire go with the heat

Answered 06/17/10 14:12:12 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: The fact that Amare is here now working out, has established an offseason residence here and went as far as to get those MRIs at a clinic that just happened to service other Heat players certainly leads one to believe that something is in the works come July 1.

Q: trade Beasley,Jones,Cook with #1 pick to the pacers for Roy Hibbert and T J Ford. Then trade Ford to the warriors for Correy Maggette. Sign Steve Blake as the point guard. Starting 5: Blake,Wade,Maggette,Bosh,Hibbert bench: Chalmers,Raja Bell,Henry,Haslem,Jerome Jordan,Joel Anthony,other draft picks Or Trade Beasley,Jones,Cook and #1 pick to the hornets for Darren Collison and Okafor. Resign Wright. Starting 5: Collison,Wade,D Wright,Bosh,Okafor bench:Chalmers,Raja Bell,Henry,Haslem,Jerome Jordan,Joel Anthony,other draft picks Mike..

Answered 06/17/10 14:10:43 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: There you go. Spin again.

Q: Hi Pat-riley! i know that you have been busy to try to improve our team this summer. but my point view is : whoever at the power foward ,rudy gay at small forward,wade,whoever at the point guard or mario charmers and the center spot draft pick or O'Neil. reserve at the bench wright,haslem,patrick,draft pick at center,richardson,beasley or another draft pick.

Answered 06/17/10 14:09:45 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: You've got the wrong email if you're trying to reach Pat with another roster request. Try [email protected]

Q: Hey Mike, another question, is there any chance or way that Riley can bring Ricky Rubio here? I tend to think that he's not going to play in Minnesota and Minnesota is not going crazy for him, so can Riley work out a trade? If so, can he get him out of his European contract to get him here? I guess I'm asking if a) can this be done, and b) do you think it is a good PG option? Rubio looks like he's got good vision, can get the ball in the post and has a nice shot/range if Wade kicks out to him. What do you think?

Answered 06/17/10 14:07:22 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: I won't be sold on Rubio until I see him getting it done in the NBA, against superior athleticism and quickness on a night in and night out basis. That's not to disrespect what he's doing overseas, but I need to see more than a few highlights. I believe Riley would rather go with a more proven vet at the point guard position. Even though J-Will and Payton drove Riley crazy with their attitudes and actions at times, there was a trust factor there that hasn't existed at that position since the championship team disbanded.

Q: After resigning Wade and Bosh trade Beasley,Cook,Jones to hornets for Collison and Okafor. Keep Collison and seeing as the pacers are interested in Okafor trade Okafor for Hibbert and Troy Murphy. Imagine having Murphy to backup Bosh. starting 5:Collison,Wade,D Wright,Bosh,Hibbert bench:Chalmers,Raja Bell,Gordan Hayward,Murphy,Jerome Jordan,Joel Anthony,other draft picks Mike...

Answered 06/17/10 14:04:39 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: I like. I like. But the question you have to ask is this: why would New Orleans need Beasley, Cook and Jones when they have David West, James Posey and Peja filling those exact same roles already?

Q: Hi Michael, hope u'r welle this week, as usual, under the florida sun... i have two questions for you today... first one : what choice would you do if you were in charge in the organisation, for the draft(choices which for you, would have the best sense)? second question: admitting bosh wants to come and Pat riley wants bosh to wear a heat jersey... it looks like a S&T is not so easy to do... so what is your thought about a three or four team deal to get every one happy?thanks for all...and take care. "bonjour de la france!"

Answered 06/17/10 14:03:07 by Miami Heat Beat Reporter

A: If I'm Miami, I simply take the best player available, regardless of position, with the NO. 18 pick. The Heat has needs at every position, considering only two players are under guaranteed contract right now moving forward. Depth was an issue with this team the past few seasons. Having said that, I'd go with a Big with the first-round pick, either Whiteside or solomon kid from Florida State.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Postgame Breakdown: Heat 103, Bulls 74

CHICAGO - The feeling was much different in the United Center's visitors locker room six weeks ago.Bulls-Heat-Main

Back then, the Heat was just coming off a 95-91 loss to the Bulls, a setback that extended Miami's losing streak to five consecutive games. It was the longest drought the Heat has had all season.

Emotions were raw. Feelings were hurt. Questions were asked. Doubt was dominant.

"It doesn't seem that long ago that I was walking down this hall and we had just dropped a game here and went to 24-27," coach Erik Spoelstra recalled Thursday night. "Some people had jumped off the bandwagon."

That was the lowest of the low for the Heat this season. Now, Miami is riding a bit higher. Much higher, actually, after Thursday's 103-74 destruction of the Bulls.

The Heat was so lethal early that all it needed was 19 minutes to build a 30-point lead, one it carried into the halftime break. This was never a contest after Miami's initial onslaught. The Heat (38-34) has won nine of its past 12 games and moved to 2-0 on a critical three-game road trip that ends Friday in Milwaukee.

D. WADE'S DOINGS: Wade has struggled mightily in his previous homecomings. But he decided to take the pressure off himself early in this one. "You always want to play well in front of your hometown, family and friends," Wade said. "But tonight wasn't about that. I stopped thinking about that. This was about team." So Wade took on the role of facilitator and carved up the Bulls' defense with nine first-half assists to go with eight points. The Heat was so precise early that it only needed 12 points, 10 assists and 29 minutes from Wade, who barely broke a sweat this time.

TURNING POINT: There really was no turning point. It was more like a blitz. The Heat raced to a 31-19 Bulls-Heat-Second lead in the first quarter and pushed the lead to 30 midway through the second quarter. Miami's 63-33 halftime lead was the second-largest first-half edge in franchise history.

WINNING/LOSING EDGE: The Heat shot 60 percent in the first half. The Bulls couldn't even muster half of that percentage in shooting just 27.9 percent in the first half. Game over. Done.

HEAD-SCRATCHER: Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson delivered the humorous lines as expected during TNT's special court-side announcement of Thursday's game. The line about Jermaine O'Neal finding the hot tub time machine was classic. So was Barkley's insistence upon keeping the mic in front of his own mouth when he did the first-half interview with Spoelstra. He didn't know to even slide the mic over to Spo when it was Spo's turn to speak. But I'm not sure how I feel about that line from Barkley in the second half, when he said the Bulls were struggling like black people in the 1960s. I know it was meant in fun. But some things you just can't compare. There's a reason most people no longer compare sporting battles to war or make references to someone having an unstoppable night as that person blowing up "like the World Trade Centers." Barkley is 99 percent entertaining on things he says. There is no TNT show without him. But there is the rare time when he might want to think about what he says before he blurts it out.

KEY CONTRIBUTION: Jermaine O'Neal is pricing himself out of the Heat's potential pay range this Bulls-Heat-JO summer with these type of performances. On Thursday, he got 24 points in 24 minutes. He also had two blocks, three assists and four rebounds. O'Neal said this is the best he has felt since the middle of his tenure in Indiana, when he was a perennial All-Star. He's finishing the season much better than it started. It will be interesting to see if he can carry this momentum down the stretch and into the playoffs. O'Neal has made 20 of his last 30 shots and is the timely defensive anchor the Heat needs.

NEXT UP: Heat at Milwaukee Bucks, 8:30 p.m. Friday - Bradley Center.

(For live news, notes and updates on the Heat, follow me on Twitter @ To post a question or join our live Heat chat each Thursday from 1-2 p.m., click here.)



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