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What do the Heat have to do to win a championship this year? (1 comment)

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Heat Fan

Miami Heat Preseason Report 2014 posted by Heat Fan

Miami Heat managed to reach the finals in the 2013-14 season but could not match the explosive play of San Antonio Spurs. For the fourth straight year, Miami has reached the finals, but keeping the focus mentally and physically to win the title seemed to be lacking. Secondly, the Spurs had a much better play, and even if Miami had done their best, they could not have beaten the Spurs. LeBron James played excellently, but he seemed to be falling short on the defense compared to his earlier games. Chris Bosh had to make up for the defense shortfall, and bigger role given to Greg Oden did not play out.

For 2014-2015 season, Miami Heat had a good chance to win the title, but now since they have lost LeBron James, their chances have gone down drastically. The team had to overpay Chris Bosh to keep at least two of their star players in the team. Pat Riley seems to have made all the right moves for the team to have a good chance for a top four playoff in the Eastern division. If Bosh remains healthy and Dwayne Wade keeps to his former performance, the team could pose a good challenge to the Cavaliers and LeBron.

Luol Deng who is an excellent starter has replaced James, and veteran Danny Granger seems to have been bought in for a reason. Miami Heat has also managed to acquire Josh McRoberts from Charlotte, and in the draft, the team managed to snag Shabazz Napier to improve point guard. Other acquisitions at reasonable amounts included Udonis Haslem, Dwayne Wade, and Mario Chalmers. Wade now seems to be the key player in the team, who could make a difference. If he remains healthy and displays good leadership skills, Miami Heat could again have a chance at the finals.

Continue reading "Miami Heat Preseason Report 2014"


NBA News

Make Money Betting on the 2013 NBA Playoffs posted by NBA News

The 2013 NBA Playoffs is upon us. As the regular season has closed, the real battle begins. The Miami Heat, lead by the reigning MVP Lebron James, is out to repeat as the NBA champions. The Heat have been very impressive in the regular season, boasting of the best record and even stringing 27 straight wins- the second most in the entire history of the NBA. The Miami Heat are considered  as the odds-on favorite to win the NBA title again.

However, 15 other teams are dead-set on preventing this from happening. Leading the list of contenders to the throne held by the Miami Heat are last year’s Finals losers, the Oklahoma City Thunder. Led by three-time scoring champion Kevin Durant, the Thunder are hungry for a return trip to the finals and possibly exact revenge for the stinging 1-4 loss they absorbed at the hands of the Heat.

There are other teams that are eager to challenge the supremacy of the Miami Heat. Among them are the New York Knicks, a rejuvenated franchise led by this year’s scoring champion Carmelo Anthony. Backstopped by an aging but very defense-oriented team, the Knicks are hungry for recognition. Also out to stop the repeat bid of the Heat are the San Antonio Spurs, a four-time champion led by the consistent Tim Duncan, a two-time MVP and considered as the best player of his generation. The Spurs have been very consistent in the regular season for many years but have been thwarted by upstart teams like the Thunder in recent playoffs.

For NBA fanatics, the NBA playoffs is the real deal. This is the time of the year when the best players show up. This is the time when legends are made, when the likes of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Kareem Abdul Jabbar showed  up during their time to capture glory and gold.

Continue reading "Make Money Betting on the 2013 NBA Playoffs"


Richard Kagan

Bulls Top Heat in OT 96-86 posted by Richard Kagan

The best team won tonight's clash of the titans in the NBA.  The Miami Heat have two great players in DWade, and Lebron James, and guys who fill in the roles.  Oh, Chris Bosch is pretty good too.  As good as he is, he is not a game changer.  Tonight, with a sub-par game from Derrick Rose, who couldn't hit a shot all game, and wound up with 3 points and 8 assists, the other Bulls played great.  The "Bench mob" was marvelous.  Kyle Korver was on fire from downtown, hitting some treys from Lake Michigan.  Taj Gibson played with hustle and fire, making key plays down the stretch, and CJ Watson hit a shot to tie it at 84-84 with two seconds in the game.  His three pointer with DWade on him like a sponge, went through the net, sending the sold-out crowd to a crescendo. 

The Bulls are likely to finish ahead of Miami for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.  Don't discount the Heat, Wade is incredible on offense and defense.  Lebron does it too, but he missed a FT to leave the door open for a lucky shot from Watson to tie the game.  The Bulls took over in OT, outscoring the Heat, 12-2.  Tonight I saw a terrific Bulls team playing vs. some terrific players.  In this game, the whole team was greater than any one player.   Chicago was able to win despite a bad shooting night from Derrick Rose and great games from James and Wade.  It's not the playoffs, should the Bulls and Heat meet then, it will be a war for sure.

Continue reading "Bulls Top Heat in OT 96-86"


Richard Kagan

Bulls Beat Miami, 106-102 posted by Richard Kagan

Chicago Hope.  The Bulls prevailed over their rival, the Miami Heat, 106-102, without the reigning MVP, Derrick Rose, who sat out for the game.  John Lucas III scored 23 points filling in as a shooting guard on a night wien Rose was sidelined dur to a groin injury.  The Bulls played 10 guys which seemed to back who the expression: "You have to be in it to win it.

Everyone played tonight.  Jermey Lin had some nice assists, made enough  of media stir.  He had some decent numbers

The Knicks overpowered Portland Trailblazers to break its 6 game losing streak. 

Continue reading "Bulls Beat Miami, 106-102"


Richard Kagan

Bulls are Very Good posted by Richard Kagan

The Chicago Bulls are 31-8 and are top of the Eastern Conference.  It will be nip and tuck to see who gets the #1 seed either Chicago or Miami Heat.  The Heat are right now considered the favorites to get to the Finals.  When the Big 3 are on their game, which is most of the time, they are very hard to stop.  Bosh is out right now, and with Wade on the bench after fouling out vs. Lakers, the Heat with LeBron looked fallible. 

Unfortunately if you took DRose off the Bulls it would make it very hard for Chicago to do any damage in the Playoffs.  Last year not only was he the most valuable player on the team, he was the MVP of the league.  And, when he plays, he looks great out there.  Scoring 35 points against a 76'ers team that leads the Eastern Division, the Bulls needed Rose to come away with a win.  It was a tough game but Chicago prevailed bercause Rose made some shots that no one else on the court could make.  So, with Miami's loss and the Bulls' win, Chicago has a two game lead in the race for the top seed. 

Continue reading "Bulls are Very Good"


Omari Prince

2010-2011 Basketball Season Recap posted by Omari Prince

Congratulations to the Dallas Mavericks, Connecticut Huskies, for becoming newly minted champions. Enjoy the summer and good luck defending your titles next season. Now that college and pro basketball has concluded, AAU and shoe camps are heating up but let's review ten things what basketball has taught me these past few months.

  1. Blake Griffin - Karl Malone is training has the makings of becoming the next great power forward of all time. Once The Blake Show realizes the game of basketball is more than just dunking over people and develops a mid-range shot and becomes a decent free-throw shooter, he'll surpass Tim Duncan as the greatest power forward of all time. His ball-handling ability is already above average. 
  2. Derrick Rose - Youngest MVP in NBA History. Straight from Chicago I've always said this hometown point guard will not only be the best lead guard for years to come but he'll also become the face of the league with the likes of LeBron, DWade, Kobe, Durant. So far he's right on track. 
  3. Chicago Bulls - Speaking of Derrick Rose and his team, not one critic, scout, fan (including me) thought the Bulls will finish with the best record in basketball this season. Next season teams will pay more attention to this defensive minded team lead by the reigning MVP Derrick Rose. 
  4. Miami Heat - Cavs owner Dal Gilbert tweeted after the Mavs victory there are no shortcuts. Not shocked they did not defeat the Mavs as my notion about them being only a 3 player team got exposed. Pat Riley's crew need a completely roster to compliment Wade, Bosh, and James. 
Continue reading "2010-2011 Basketball Season Recap"


Richard Kagan

Dallas Does It in Miami posted by Richard Kagan

The Dallas Mavericks were marvelous.  They withstood a slow start by start Dirk Nowitski and made a team effort to beat back the Miami Heat to win game 6 and the NBA title.  Lebron James, DWade and Chris Bosh seemed to wilt under the pressure of winning that dream title.  Dallas won the game, and players like Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitski received some vindication as great players who were able to win the title.  Jason Terry came up strong scoring 27 points while Dirk scored 21, ten in the 4th quarter. 

The Heat were outplayed by a fierce Dallas team that refused to wilt under the pressure.  They got the loose balls, made the free-throws, hit the open treys, and fed the man for the score.  They did the things winning team do, and walked away with a NBA trophy.  Nowitzki was named MVP of the Finals for his outstanding play. 

In this game, the other guys stepped up.  Look at Shawn Marion, Jason Kidd, Terry, and J.J. Berea.  They all made plays.  Mahimi hit a shot before the end of the third quarter that showed it could be Dallas' night.  They held off the big 3 and held onto their dreams.

Continue reading "Dallas Does It in Miami"


Amari Harris

Spring Fever: The Heat of an indefinite Lockout brings random NFL thoughts... posted by Amari Harris

First I would like to recognize the accomplishments of the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks.  It was been quite a show watching these teams make it to the NBA Finals and I believe it will be a fantastic match-up.  

With that said I must admit a dark secret to the blog world right here live on a Dallas Cowboys news posting site!  I am not a Mavericks fan.  In fact, I often root against the Mavericks, but I must admit that I have garnered a whole new respect for that basketball team.  They have a ton of hungry veterans led by the best (offensive) player in basketball- Dirk.  And you have to respect their explosiveness late in games.  Those comebacks against OKC almost looked orchestrated they were so on point.  

But the Miami Heat will win this NBA championship.  Why?  Because they do it the old fashioned way. They do it the gritty, nasty way.  They play lockdown defense.  Every one his hustling, including the superstars.  And they have the best all around player in LeBron James, another top 5 player in D-Wade, and Chris Bosh who has been playing lights out as of late. They have great offensive players and championship defense. Miami made a comeback of their own but I don't think there was ever a doubt after they cut it to 9 with under three minutes left remaining in the game.  The only thing I could think was, "This is happenning..."  And it did happen. D-Wade and Lebron (top 5 each) took over in the 4th and that was it. But even more importantly than that, this team is a unit.  It is truly them against the world thanks to all the Lebron/Heat Haters. 

Continue reading "Spring Fever: The Heat of an indefinite ..."


Richard Kagan

Bulls vs. Heat in the East posted by Richard Kagan

The Bulls are Back.  Back in the Eastern Conference Finals.  A place they practically owned during the Jordan - Pippen years.  It's been a long time coming.  It took some luck, drafting Derrick Rose, and signing the free agents from Utah, plus the development of Luol Deng and Joakim Noah.  A few years ago, the Bulls gave the Celtics all they could handle in a first round series.  Now, it's a date with the vaunted Miami Heat with Lebron James, DWade, and Chris Bosh.

James and Wade are two of the top players in the NBA.  And, the free-agent signings of the trio last summer shook the NBA world and practically re-configured a team overnight.  No one thought the Chicago Bulls would be playing the Heat for the right to earn an NBA title.  But the Bulls had a great year and took home the individual post-season honors.  Rose got the MVP award, new coach Tom Thibadou worked wonders with this team and rightly won Coach of the year.  And, Gar Forman earned Executive of the Year tied with Pal Riley of the Heat.

It's a harmonic convergence and the Bulls hope the good vibes continue into the Third Round of the playoffs.  Chicago is the underdog in this Series.  Even though Chicago beat Miami the three times they met in the regular season.

For the Bulls to win this series, they will have to emhasize team play versus the talent of the Heat.  You can't stop James or Wade on most nights.  What you can do is make it hard for them to play off each other and to shut down lanes for others to join in.  The Bulls will have to play great team defense.  Their best of the season.  That could get them past Miami and into the Finals.

Continue reading "Bulls vs. Heat in the East"


Richard Kagan

Bulls Roll On Behind Rose's 34 points posted by Richard Kagan

The Chicago Bulls beat the Atlanta Hawks 94-76 tonight as the Bulls outrebounded the Hawks by an almost two to one margin, 50-28.  Kurt Thomas started for injured Carlos Boozer and hauled in 13 boards.  Joakin Noah added 11 of his own.  And, Derrick Rose, caught fire in the third quarter and scored 18 of his 34 points.  Rose is making a strong case for Most Valuable Player of the Year award.  He is the main reason why Chicago is heading toward 50+ wins this year.

This season it is not a question of if the Bulls make the playoffs, but how high they will finish in the Conference.  Who would ever think that the Bulls would be giving the Miami Heat with Lebron James, DWade, and Chris Bosch a battle?

This season, it has come together for Chicago.  Their coach, Tom Thibedeau, has done a masterful job, handling the injuries and finding the right player to fit in.  Give props to the Bulls bench, one of the strongest in the league.  Thomas got the nod tonight but it could have been Taj Gibson.  Kyle Korver, the guard has been the three point specialist, coming off the bench.  He finds a way to come through.

I like the Bulls to finish strong when Boozer returns to the lineup.  Give Luol Deng a game off.  He really deserves it.  He most averaging most minutes on the team, and one of the highest averages per game in the NBA.  The man has to be tired. 

Continue reading "Bulls Roll On Behind Rose's 34 points"

Miami Heat News

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BDL's 2014-15 NBA Season Previews: Phoenix Suns (Ball Don't Lie)

The Arizona desert turned up a UFO crash in 1953, purple alien eggs just last year and Lord knows what else in the 60 years between. It’s only natural the Phoenix Suns add another wrinkle to their own weird science experiment, turning a two-headed snake into a three-headed monster in the backcourt. In a strange summer, general manager Ryan McDonough agreed to  a four-year, $27 million contract with Sacramento Kings dynamo Isaiah Thomas on the day the NBA’s moratorium lifted, seemingly signaling the end of fellow restricted free agent point guard Eric Bledsoe’s fun in the Arizona sun. But the NBA Executive of the Year runner-up doubled down, inking Mini LeBron to a five-year, $70 million deal some two months later. With All-NBA Third Team selection Goran Dragic also in the Phoenix mix, McDonough effectively created the league’s most dangerous polycephalous point guard. So, the Suns will roll the dice with a troika of All-Star-caliber guards, identified flying object Gerald Green and a mysterious frontcourt in an attempt to recreate last year’s bizarre 48-34 record, which tied the 2007-08 Golden State Warriors for the best season by a team that didn't make the playoffs since the NBA switched to the 16-team playoff format in 1984. Under NBA Coach of the Year runner-up (noticing a trend here) Jeff Hornacek, Phoenix played at a top-10 pace in his first season at the helm, and the Suns will run again, even faster if possible. Only, they’ll have to do so without Channing Frye, whose floor-stretching capacity from the power forward position translated into 8.3 additional points per 100 possessions in his 28.2 minutes a night on the floor, according to Basketball-Reference.com . Out of the Frye pan and into the fire will be Markieff Morris, whose own breakout 2013-14 season (2,153 minutes, 13.8 points, six rebounds and 1.8 assists per game, 56.4 True Shooting percentage, 18.4 Player Efficiency Rating) earned him a four-year, $52 million deal to split unevenly with his twin brother, Marcus Morris. Sharpshooting veteran free agent forward Anthony Tolliver (41.3 percent on a career-high 247 3-point tries for Charlotte last year) and young center projects Miles Plumlee and Alex Len round out a bigs mess. Add a pair of potential mid-first-round steals in T.J. Warren and Tyler Ennis, another Dragic named Zoran and a post- “super extreme” DUI suspension P.J. Tucker, and it should be another supernatural season for the 2013-14 League Pass legends. Last year taught us this much about the Suns: They are here. 2013-14 season in 140 characters or less: What the Ish is this? The weirdest collection of awesome under the Suns. Did the summer help at all? The Suns let their most productive big walk , spent the money Frye got in Orlando on a third point guard , handed one contract to a pair of twins , signed their best player’s brother and drafted one half of Bojan and Bogdan Bogdanovic — all as their starting small forward spent a no expenses paid three-day vacation in county jail . So … just yourtypical NBA offseason? Seriously, that’s freaky, even by their standards. Go-to offseason acquisition: Had Thomas not stood just 69 inches tall, he would have commanded far more than $27 million over four years in free agency. After all, the Sactown sparkplug was one of six players to average 20 points and six assists while posting a PER above 20 this past season. The others: LeBron James, Stephen Curry, James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Russell Westbrook. Those dudes aren’t so bad. Thomas comes with another caveat, though, since Sacramento’s fast-paced offense and non-existent defense over the past decade has produced plenty of padded stats that haven’t translated elsewhere. In the past 10 years, Marcus Thornton, Tyreke Evans, Kevin Martin, Ron Artest, Mike Bibby and Peja Stojakovic combined for one 20-point-per-game season upon leaving the Kings. At the very least, Thomas allows Hornacek to keep some combo of Bledsoe, Dragic and Thomas on the floor for the majority of the game, strumming that double-necked point-guard guitar all night long. The fact that Thomas’ per-minute averages have remained steady as both a starter and reserve in his three-year career is an encouraging sign that the Suns will be able to keep making the same sweet music they did last season. Glaring weakness: The Suns don’t quite have a black hole in the middle, but it’s an awful dark mass in the space-time continuum. Plumlee and Len are expected to receive the bulk of those minutes, and that duo (mostly Plumlee, due to the multiple injuries that scuttled Len's rookie season) anchored the NBA’s fourth-worst efficiency differential at the position last season, according to HoopsStats.com (minus-3.8). Plumlee’s minutes plunged throughout 2013-14 as Hornacek got more comfortable playing Markieff Morris and the since-departed Frye in smaller, more offensively potent lineups. As a result, though, Phoenix allowed 42.2 points in the paint per game , also the league’s fourth-worst group. Not even highly regarded defensive assistant coach Mike Longabardi could help the Suns rise above the middle of the pack in points allowed per possession. Plumlee is still their best bet to clog the middle on defense, even if he does the same on offense. Contributor with something to prove: Following his client’s second knee surgery in three years, Bledsoe's agent spent the offseason demanding a max contract for a player who has started all of 78 NBA games. McDonough, who reportedly offered four years and $48 million, entered a summer-long staring contest with Rich Paul, and the two sides met closer to Bledsoe's demands. To say the 24-year-old has something to prove is an understatement. For chunks of last season, Bledsoe replicated what so many projected for Chris Paul's former backup. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound brick of muscle averaged 17.7 points (57.8 TS%), 5.5 assists and 4.7 rebounds while generally tormenting opposing backcourts alongside Dragic in 43 games. That's encouraging for a fourth-year point guard on his rookie contract; now it's expected from an eight-figure-salaried franchise player. Potential breakout stud: Double ankle surgeries stunted Year 1 of The Alex Len Project, presenting a built-in excuse for the No. 5 overall pick’s PER (7.3), true shooting percentage (46.9) and statistical averages over 42 games (two points, 2.4 rebounds and 0.4 blocks in 8.6 minutes per game). Now, double finger fractures — on the same right pinkie, mind you — offer another easy excuse for the 7-foot-1 Ukrainian to start slow out of the gate. Yet Len made huge strides from his freshman to sophomore seasons at Maryland, and the 21-year-old has the potential to take a similar step forward after one year under Hornacek and Longabardi. He added the customary 15 pounds of muscle, and then collected six points, six boards and a pair of blocks before breaking his finger 25 minutes into Summer League. The re-broken finger is a setback for a player in desperate need of preseason practice, but he’ll still start the regular season healthy, and the minutes will be there for him to demonstrate his improvement, especially if he develops a mid-range jumper. Best-case scenario: It won’t be easy for Dragic to repeat his breakout All-NBA season, Green to shoot 3’s at a 40 percent clip again and Tolliver to replace Frye’s 2,312 minutes, but some combo of Bledsoe’s health, the addition of Thomas and the improvements of the Morris twins, Plumlee and/or Len should help the Suns recreate the magic that made them the NBA darlings of 2013-14. Even then, they’ll still be navigating a crowded Western Conference playoff picture that may also include Anthony Davis’ New Orleans Pelicans — all for the right to face the Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Clippers or San Antonio Spurs in the first round. Them’s the breaks for a franchise on the rise. If everything falls apart: Even if the science experiment takes a turn for the worse and the Suns just miss the postseason for a second straight year, McDonough will still have a pair of lottery picks at his disposal. Phoenix still owns a top-five protected pick from the Steve Nash trade, so barring a bit of Los Angeles Lakers luck, the worst-case scenario — a couple of mid-round picks — isn’t the worst consolation prize. Unless, of course, the team’s talented young core undergoes an abduction of sorts. Stranger things have happened in the Arizona desert. The Suns are on standing on the edge of an event horizon. Strap in for another weird, wild ride. Kelly Dwyer’s Best Guess at a Record: Phoenix will finish 47-35, eighth in the Western Conference. Read all of Ball Don't Lie's 2014-15 NBA Season Previews (links added as they're published): EASTERN CONFERENCE Atlanta Hawks • Boston Celtics • Brooklyn Nets • Charlotte Hornets • Chicago Bulls • Cleveland Cavaliers • Detroit Pistons • Indiana Pacers • Miami Heat • Milwaukee Bucks • New York Knicks • Orlando Magic • Philadelphia 76ers • Toronto Raptors • Washington Wizards WESTERN CONFERENCE Dallas Mavericks • Denver Nuggets • Golden State Warriors • Houston Rockets • Los Angeles Clippers • Los Angeles Lakers • Memphis Grizzlies • Minnesota Timberwolves • New Orleans Pelicans • Oklahoma City Thunder • Phoenix Suns • Portland Trail Blazers • Sacramento Kings • San Antonio Spurs • Utah Jazz - - - - - - - Ben Rohrbach is a contributor for Ball Don't Lie and Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rohrbach_ben@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @brohrbach [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Wade leads late charge, Miami tops Houston 90-85 (Yahoo Sports)

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From Yahoo Sports


Plenty of depth: Shabazz Napier's growth gives Heat a good problem

When Mario Chalmers re-signed with the Miami Heat in the offseason, it was assumed he would remain the starting point guard. [read full article]

From FOX Sports Digital


Heat beat Spurs 111-108 in overtime (Yahoo Sports)

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From Yahoo Sports


Heat win first game of preseason, beat Warriors (Yahoo Sports)

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From Yahoo Sports

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