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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"


Sports Fan

Can the Charlotte Bobcats be a contender in the East? posted by Sports Fan

I really like the direction this team is going but I'm not so sure they can really be a contender in the East this year.  The East has gotten a lot stronger over the last few years and while I think they can make the playoffs I don't really see any chance that they can really beat The Magic, the Heat, the Celtics, of the Bulls.  And I'm skeptical they can even beat teams like the 76ers or the Hawks.

What do you think? 

Continue reading "Can the Charlotte Bobcats be a contender ..."

Miami Heat News

View All Miami Heat News


Teens enter Ray Allen's Fla. home through unlocked door in middle of night while wife, children

It's perfectly reasonable to want to know whether Ray Allen has chosen to return to the Miami Heat for a 19th pro season or if, like fellow free-agent sharpshooters Mike Miller and James Jones before him, he's decided to follow LeBron James north to Ohio to join the Cleveland Cavaliers. Deciding you're going to search for the answer by sneaking into his house in the wee small hours of the night, though? That's not reasonable. Moreover, it's ... y'know ... a crime . A septet of line-stepping teenage attendees of a party next door to Allen's Coral Gables, Fla., home learned that on Thursday, according to Emma Court of the Miami Herald : It looked like no one was home about 2 a.m., so they walked in through an unlocked back door. Allen wasn’t home, but his wife, Shannon Walker Allen, and their kids were sleeping upstairs, according to Coral Gables police spokeswoman Kelly Denham. When the intruders began walking around and making noise, Shannon Allen woke up and screamed, “What are you doing in my home?” (Let the record show that Miami ABC affiliate Local 10 presents a more colorful and, to these ears, more believable version of the quote .) The intruders — six men and a woman, ages 18 to 19 — scattered after Allen screamed, according to NBCMiami.com : The teens [...] believed Allen and his family weren't home and said they thought it would be "cool" to go in the house [...] They told some parents what had happened and the parents drove them to the police department to report what happened, Denham said. "They stated that they did enter the home," said Denham. "They were there to see where Ray Allen had lived. They honestly thought that he had moved from the house." See, here's the thing: It's not cool to go into someone's house in the middle of the night if they're not home! Even if you honestly think they've moved! That is still super not cool, in fact! Police described the teen intruders as "crying" and "terrified" during their interviews, which is quite something, since they're not the ones whose homes were entered in the middle of the night by seven people they didn't know. As it stands, they haven't been charged with anything. Police didn't call it burglary due to the teens entering the Allen home through an unlocked door and because nothing had been taken from the home, and the Herald reported that "the crime does not qualify as trespassing — a misdemeanor —because the act was not witnessed by a police officer." The intruders are still subject to trespassing prosecution by the State Attorney's Office should Shannon Allen choose to press charges, though, and police spokeswoman Denham told the Herald that "she intends to do so." Allen is just the most recent in a string of NBA players to fall victim to such an invasion of privacy, although he thankfully fared better than others who lost property in the process. Allen's Heat teammate Chris Bosh had his home burglarized in April 2013, with an estimated $340,000 worth of items stolen while he was out celebrating his 29th birthday. Fellow Miami forward Udonis Haslem's South Florida home was also burglarized  just 10 days after Bosh's. In December, then-Heat guard Roger Mason Jr. and his family members were victims of an armed robbery at a Miami restaurant, with the thieves making off with his Rolex watch and his sister's purse. (The items were later recovered by Miami police.) In March, Los Angeles Lakers swingman Nick Young had more than $100,000 worth of belongings — jewelry, clothes, luggage and shoes, including his beloved Nike Air Yeezys — stolen while he was playing a game against the Orlando Magic. In April, Indiana Pacers star Paul George returned from a home game to find that more than $15,000 worth of shoes and jewelry — including a platinum-and-diamond NBA All-Star ring — has been taken from his home. For the record, Allen remains a free agent — one of the best still on the market, according to Our Fearless Leader — and says that not only has he not discussed a Cleveland team-up with LeBron , but that he hasn't yet decided if he wants to come back for a 19th professional season. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Gregg Popovich fondly recalls his team's 'lobotomies,' readies his championship-defending te

Three months later, it’s still remarkable that the San Antonio Spurs were able to win the 2014 NBA title. The team had the talent enough, that’s for sure. Top to bottom, they were probably the deepest team in the NBA, and easily the best squad in the NBA when it came time to thinking on its collective feet and anticipating all manner of movement from opponents on either end of the court. They weren’t gifted a title, they earned one –in spite of the disparate ages and stylings of its core players. No, the Spurs’2014 championship was remarkable because of what happened some 12 months before. San Antonio fell in the final two games of its 2013 season, losing the NBA Finals along the way, in a production that was as galling as anything we’ve seen since Bill Russell’s final championship win over a shocked and reeling Los Angeles Lakers squad in 1969. Perhaps more galling, one supposes, because the 2013 Spurs were supposed to act as the modern-day Celtics in this matter –all full of security and sound moves down the stretch. Instead, they folded; with both players and coaching staff making serious mistakes late in losses in Game 6 and 7 against Miami. How coach Gregg Popovich managed to rally his players initially is one thing, any coach can get the juices flowing after a massive disappointment for a short stretch. How Gregg Popovich managed to rally his players for a training camp, an 82-game season and 23-game playoff run stretched out from early October until mid-June? It may just have been the greatest coaching achievement in NBA history. Even if Tim Duncan is on your side. Coach Pop’s motivational technique was as tangible as well as ethereal. From Buck Harvey’s feature on Popovich in the San Antonio Express-News : If you took a right out of Gregg Popovich's office in the practice facility last season, and you walked past the offices of the assistant coaches, you couldn't miss it. Straight ahead, prominently displayed on a wall, was a framed picture of the Game 6 scoreboard. […] The picture didn't display the final score. It didn't freeze time at 28.2 seconds. It showed a moment late in the third quarter —when the Spurs led by 13 points. That’s a coach burn, right there. Don’t fixate on Ray Allen’s three-pointer or the half-full Heat arena celebrating the win after the final buzzer. Focus on the 12 and a half minutes’worth of things that went wrong on Miami’s way toward outscoring San Antonio by 13 over the rest of regulation on its way to an overtime win. You’d call that typical Coach Pop, until you move on to read what else he and Harvey talked about , as Popovich readied to welcome his players back from a summer spent celebrating that hard-earned championship. On Miami’s mindset, heading into Game 3 of the 2014 Finals, working with a 1-1 series tie and home court advantage : “When they won Game 2,”he said, “they probably didn't handle that win real well. They were probably thinking that we got lucky in Game 1, with the air conditioning issue, and they thought they were just going to do it again. As two-time defending champs, it was natural. This had become their place in the world.”Combine the two attitudes, and the result was a stunning, overwhelming exhibition of basketball excellence. Even now, when Popovich watches the last three games of the Finals, he comes away amazed. “I'm thinking, 'Who are these guys?'”he joked about his players. “'Did they all have lobotomies?'”Popovich, in his own way, is always trying to surgically tweak brains. It's not manipulation as much as it is a search for the clearest, most honest message. He doesn't want to do what the Heat did, which is not handle success well. This is killer stuff. For one, the Heat can’t rightly respond. They don’t have LeBron James at their side anymore, so while Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Luol Deng and (especially) coach Erik Spoelstra can take all the offense they want to the insinuation that hubris got in the way of a third consecutive Heat title, they’ll still have to work through Cleveland, Chicago, and possibly a few other Eastern upstarts if they want a way to make Coach Pop eat his words in the FInals. This isn’t about the Miami Heat, though. You know that. This is about Coach Pop expecting his Spurs to have a mindset that combines the best of the 2013-14 combination of patience and execution, while learning on the fly how to do something that Pop’s Spurs teams have never been able to accomplish. That would be defending a title all the way until they’ve won another one. Finding a way to add to what was already a crystal clear focus in the wake of the 2013 disappointment, while understanding that no longer are the San Antonio Spurs considered the respectful-if-fogeyish mainstays that are to be admired but not feared. Nope, they’re the champs. And with bling, comes burden. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Teens enter Ray Allen's Fla. home through unlocked door in middle of night while wife, children

It's perfectly reasonable to want to know whether Ray Allen has chosen to return to the Miami Heat for a 19th pro season or if, like fellow free-agent sharpshooters Mike Miller and James Jones before him, he's decided to follow LeBron James north to Ohio to join the Cleveland Cavaliers. Deciding you're going to search for the answer by sneaking into his house in the wee small hours of the night, though? That's not reasonable. Moreover, it's ... y'know ... a crime . A septet of line-stepping teenage attendees of a party next door to Allen's Coral Gables, Fla., home learned that on Thursday, according to Emma Court of the Miami Herald : It looked like no one was home about 2 a.m., so they walked in through an unlocked back door. Allen wasn’t home, but his wife, Shannon Walker Allen, and their kids were sleeping upstairs, according to Coral Gables police spokeswoman Kelly Denham. When the intruders began walking around and making noise, Shannon Allen woke up and screamed, “What are you doing in my home?” (Let the record show that Miami ABC affiliate Local 10 presents a more colorful and, to these ears, more believable version of the quote .) The intruders — six men and a woman, ages 18 to 19 — scattered after Allen screamed, according to NBCMiami.com : The teens [...] believed Allen and his family weren't home and said they thought it would be "cool" to go in the house [...] They told some parents what had happened and the parents drove them to the police department to report what happened, Denham said. "They stated that they did enter the home," said Denham. "They were there to see where Ray Allen had lived. They honestly thought that he had moved from the house." See, here's the thing: It's not cool to go into someone's house in the middle of the night if they're not home! Even if you honestly think they've moved! That is still super not cool, in fact! Police described the teen intruders as "crying" and "terrified" during their interviews, which is quite something, since they're not the ones whose homes were entered in the middle of the night by seven people they didn't know. As it stands, they haven't been charged with anything. Police didn't call it burglary due to the teens entering the Allen home through an unlocked door and because nothing had been taken from the home, and the Herald reported that "the crime does not qualify as trespassing — a misdemeanor —because the act was not witnessed by a police officer." The intruders are still subject to trespassing prosecution by the State Attorney's Office should Shannon Allen choose to press charges, though, and police spokeswoman Denham told the Herald that "she intends to do so." Allen is just the most recent in a string of NBA players to fall victim to such an invasion of privacy, although he thankfully fared better than others who lost property in the process. Allen's Heat teammate Chris Bosh had his home burglarized in April 2013, with an estimated $340,000 worth of items stolen while he was out celebrating his 29th birthday. Fellow Miami forward Udonis Haslem's South Florida home was also burglarized  just 10 days after Bosh's. In December, then-Heat guard Roger Mason Jr. and his family members were victims of an armed robbery at a Miami restaurant, with the thieves making off with his Rolex watch and his sister's purse. (The items were later recovered by Miami police.) In March, Los Angeles Lakers swingman Nick Young had more than $100,000 worth of belongings — jewelry, clothes, luggage and shoes, including his beloved Nike Air Yeezys — stolen while he was playing a game against the Orlando Magic. In April, Indiana Pacers star Paul George returned from a home game to find that more than $15,000 worth of shoes and jewelry — including a platinum-and-diamond NBA All-Star ring — has been taken from his home. For the record, Allen remains a free agent — one of the best still on the market, according to Our Fearless Leader — and says that not only has he not discussed a Cleveland team-up with LeBron , but that he hasn't yet decided if he wants to come back for a 19th professional season. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Gregg Popovich fondly recalls his team's 'lobotomies,' readies his championship-defending te

Three months later, it’s still remarkable that the San Antonio Spurs were able to win the 2014 NBA title. The team had the talent enough, that’s for sure. Top to bottom, they were probably the deepest team in the NBA, and easily the best squad in the NBA when it came time to thinking on its collective feet and anticipating all manner of movement from opponents on either end of the court. They weren’t gifted a title, they earned one –in spite of the disparate ages and stylings of its core players. No, the Spurs’2014 championship was remarkable because of what happened some 12 months before. San Antonio fell in the final two games of its 2013 season, losing the NBA Finals along the way, in a production that was as galling as anything we’ve seen since Bill Russell’s final championship win over a shocked and reeling Los Angeles Lakers squad in 1969. Perhaps more galling, one supposes, because the 2013 Spurs were supposed to act as the modern-day Celtics in this matter –all full of security and sound moves down the stretch. Instead, they folded; with both players and coaching staff making serious mistakes late in losses in Game 6 and 7 against Miami. How coach Gregg Popovich managed to rally his players initially is one thing, any coach can get the juices flowing after a massive disappointment for a short stretch. How Gregg Popovich managed to rally his players for a training camp, an 82-game season and 23-game playoff run stretched out from early October until mid-June? It may just have been the greatest coaching achievement in NBA history. Even if Tim Duncan is on your side. Coach Pop’s motivational technique was as tangible as well as ethereal. From Buck Harvey’s feature on Popovich in the San Antonio Express-News : If you took a right out of Gregg Popovich's office in the practice facility last season, and you walked past the offices of the assistant coaches, you couldn't miss it. Straight ahead, prominently displayed on a wall, was a framed picture of the Game 6 scoreboard. […] The picture didn't display the final score. It didn't freeze time at 28.2 seconds. It showeda moment late in the third quarter —when the Spurs led by 13 points. That’s a coach burn, right there. Don’t fixate on Ray Allen’s three-pointer or the half-full Heat arena celebrating the win after the final buzzer. Focus on the 12 and a half minutes’worth of things that went wrong on Miami’s way toward outscoring San Antonio by 13 over the rest of regulation on its way to an overtime win. You’d call that typical Coach Pop, until you move on to read what else he and Harvey talked about , as Popovich readied to welcome his players back from a summer spent celebrating that hard-earned championship. On Miami’s mindset, heading into Game 3 of the 2014 Finals, working with a 1-1 series tie and home court advantage : “When they won Game 2,”he said, “they probably didn't handle that win real well. They were probably thinking that we got lucky in Game 1, with the air conditioning issue, and they thought they were just going to do it again. As two-time defending champs, it was natural. This had become their place in the world.”Combine the two attitudes, and the result was a stunning, overwhelming exhibition of basketball excellence. Even now, when Popovich watches the last three games of the Finals, he comes away amazed. “I'm thinking, 'Who are these guys?'”he joked about his players. “'Did they all have lobotomies?'”Popovich, in his own way, is always trying to surgically tweak brains. It's not manipulation as much as it is a search for the clearest, most honest message. He doesn't want to do what the Heat did, which is not handle success well. This is killer stuff. For one, the Heat can’t rightly respond. They don’t have LeBron James at their side anymore, so while Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Luol Deng and (especially) coach Erik Spoelstra can take all the offense they want to the insinuation that hubris got in the way of a third consecutive Heat title, they’ll still have to work through Cleveland, Chicago, and possibly a few other Eastern upstarts if they want a way to make Coach Pop eat his words in the FInals. This isn’t about the Miami Heat, though. You know that. This is about Coach Pop expecting his Spurs to have a mindset that combines the best of the 2013-14 combination of patience and execution, while learning on the fly how to do something that Pop’s Spurs teams have never been able to accomplish. That would be defending a title all the way until they’ve won another one. Finding a way to add to what was already a crystal clear focus in the wake of the 2013 disappointment, while understanding that no longer are the San Antonio Spurs considered the respectful-if-fogeyish mainstays that are to be admired but not feared. Nope, they’re the champs. And with bling, comes burden. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Teens enter Ray Allen's Fla. home through unlocked door in middle of night while wife, children

It's perfectly reasonable to want to know whether Ray Allen has chosen to return to the Miami Heat for a 19th pro season or if, like fellow free-agent sharpshooters Mike Miller and James Jones before him, he's decided to follow LeBron James north to Ohio to join the Cleveland Cavaliers. Deciding you're going to search for the answer by sneaking into his house in the wee small hours of the night, though? That's not reasonable. Moreover, it's ... y'know ... a crime . A septet of line-stepping teenage attendees of a party next door to Allen's Coral Gables, Fla., home learned that on Thursday, according to Emma Court of the Miami Herald : It looked like no one was home about 2 a.m., so they walked in through an unlocked back door. Allen wasn’t home, but his wife, Shannon Walker Allen, and their kids were sleeping upstairs, according to Coral Gables police spokeswoman Kelly Denham. When the intruders began walking around and making noise, Shannon Allen woke up and screamed, “What are you doing in my home?” (Let the record show that Miami ABC affiliate Local 10 presents a more colorful and, to these ears, more believable version of the quote .) The intruders — six men and a woman, ages 18 to 19 — scattered after Allen screamed, according to NBCMiami.com : The teens [...] believed Allen and his family weren't home and said they thought it would be "cool" to go in the house [...] They told some parents what had happened and the parents drove them to the police department to report what happened, Denham said. "They stated that they did enter the home," said Denham. "They were there to see where Ray Allen had lived. They honestly thought that he had moved from the house." See, here's the thing: It's not cool to go into someone's house in the middle of the night if they're not home! Even if you honestly think they've moved! That is still super not cool, in fact! Police described the teen intruders as "crying" and "terrified" during their interviews, which is quite something, since they're not the ones whose homes were entered in the middle of the night by seven people they didn't know. As it stands, they haven't been charged with anything. Police didn't call it burglary due to the teens entering the Allen home through an unlocked door and because nothing had been taken from the home, and the Herald reported that "the crime does not qualify as trespassing — a misdemeanor —because the act was not witnessed by a police officer." The intruders are still subject to trespassing prosecution by the State Attorney's Office should Shannon Allen choose to press charges, though, and police spokeswoman Denham told the Herald that "she intends to do so." Allen is just the most recent in a string of NBA players to fall victim to such an invasion of privacy, although he thankfully fared better than others who lost property in the process. Allen's Heat teammate Chris Bosh had his home burglarized in April 2013, with an estimated $340,000 worth of items stolen while he was out celebrating his 29th birthday. Fellow Miami forward Udonis Haslem's South Florida home was also burglarized  just 10 days after Bosh's. In December, then-Heat guard Roger Mason Jr. and his family members were victims of an armed robbery at a Miami restaurant, with the thieves making off with his Rolex watch and his sister's purse. (The items were later recovered by Miami police.) In March, Los Angeles Lakers swingman Nick Young had more than $100,000 worth of belongings — jewelry, clothes, luggage and shoes, including his beloved Nike Air Yeezys — stolen while he was playing a game against the Orlando Magic. In April, Indiana Pacers star Paul George returned from a home game to find that more than $15,000 worth of shoes and jewelry — including a platinum-and-diamond NBA All-Star ring — has been taken from his home. For the record, Allen remains a free agent — one of the best still on the market, according to Our Fearless Leader — and says that not only has he not discussed a Cleveland team-up with LeBron , but that he hasn't yet decided if he wants to come back for a 19th professional season. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

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