Resources

Create Your Basketball Card

Subscribe to Heat News

Heat Upcoming Games

Heat Top Bloggers

Mick Ciallela
Mick Ciallela
1 posts
dwadeballer
dwadeballer
1 posts
Sports Fan
Sports Fan
1 posts

Heat Betting Lines

Welcome Guest

Welcome Heat fan! You can create an account by clicking here.

Creating an account is free and gives you access to all our features like creating your own personal Heat fan profile page, writing your own Heat blog, interacting with other fans, and much more.

New Heat Fans

Heat Forum Topics

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

View full Miami Heat forum.
Want to participate in the Heat forum? log in or join now. Membership is free!

Recent Heat Blog Postings

View All Heat Blog Posts


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


NBA playoff picture update: Blazers' home-court hopes still alive, Mavs and Hawks are in, Pa

If you're anything like me and Detroit Pistons rookie Peyton Siva, when it gets this late in the season, you come out of the weekend like: So let's get caught up on how the weekend that just passed reshaped the playoff picture, which is mere days away from being officially finalized, starting with an instant classic in Rip City. Well, that was awesome. The Sunday night matchup between the playoff-bound Portland Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors was just too good to be limited to 48 minutes. Get caught up quickly on the late-game craziness and overtime back-and-forth here: (If you'd like a longer, more context-rich recap that stretches back to the start of the fourth quarter, Gmo's Rockets' Highlights has you covered.) Despite a season-high 47 points on 16 for 29 shooting from irrepressible flamethrower Stephen Curry, and a combined 72 points from Curry and Klay Thompson on 13 for 27 shooting from 3-point land, the Blazers held off the Warriors, 119-117 , in a celebration of shot-making and scoring-as-liberating-performance-art that would've made Toni and Candace proud. LaMarcus Aldridge's pick-and-pop 20-footer with 39 seconds remaining capped a 26-point, seven-rebound night for him and stood up as the game-winner. Nicolas Batum (18 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, a steal and a block in 44 minutes) did a little bit of everything, and while Damian Lillard was off (13 points on 3 for 13 shooting and some shaky decision-making that has led to post-game grumbling ), reserve guard Mo Williams was there to pick up the slack with 18 points on 8 for 10 shooting, three rebounds, three assists and no turnovers in 22 minutes off the pine. He was pretty psyched about it, which makes sense: This was one of the best games of the yr 2nite. #ripcity —Mo Williams (@mowilliams) April 14, 2014 The win improved Portland to 53-28, securing no worse than the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference and bringing them within a half-game of the Houston Rockets for the No. 4 spot. The Blazers and Rockets are now officially locked into playing one another in the first round, but which squad will have home-court advantage remains to be seen —one more Houston win (either Monday night over the San Antonio Spurs or Wednesday night against the New Orleans Pelicans) will give the Rockets the honors, while Portland can still open the playoffs at home if Houston loses out and the Blazers beat the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday . The Warriors are still assured of a postseason berth, having clinched with their Friday night win over the Los Angeles Lakers. But the loss to the Blazers means they can't finish higher than sixth, ensuring that they're going to get either the Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder or Clippers in the first round. It also opens the door for a Warriors team that has scuffled a bit of late (5-5 in their last 10 games) and could be without center Andrew Bogut (who left Sunday's game early with an apparent rib injury ) sliding even further down the Western bracket, where they're now just a half-game ahead of the No. 7 seed, which belongs to ... DDoS: Dallas denial of service. Eric Bledsoe is very quick, very fast and very good at getting to the basket, which makes him a pretty good late-game option when the Phoenix Suns desperately need a basket to tie the Dallas Mavericks in a game between two of the three teams scrapping for the last playoff spots in the brutally competitive Western Conference. Unfortunately for Bledsoe and the orange-and-purple-loving folks of the Valley of the Sun, though, Brandan Wright appears to be Cloak : Wright's third block of the game (to go with 12 points and 11 rebounds off the bench) sealed a 101-98 win that locked up a playoff berth for the Mavericks, who could finish as high as sixth in the West depending upon how the next three days shake out for the Warriors; Dallas now sits at 49-32, a half-game behind the Dubs for the No. 6 spot, and a half-game clear of the eighth seed currently held by ... Just keep grinding. The Memphis Grizzlies closed Sunday strong with a 102-90 win over the Lakers, their third straight victory, thanks in large part to monster games from center Marc Gasol (18 points, 15 rebounds, four assists and three steals in 36 minutes) and point guard Mike Conley (24 points on 9 for 12 shooting, eight assists, two steals and just one turnover in 34 1/2 minutes). So, naturally, the play we're going to show you was made by Zach Randolph, who picked a pretty good time to become a passing wizard: Let's see that from a different angle and at a more Z-Bo appropriate rate of speed, please: I've thought a lot about which new Zach nickname I like best after this, and I've come to the conclusion that it's "Ricky RuZ-Bo." You may feel free to try to sway my opinion in the comments, but it's probably going to be pretty hard. (Also, way to finish the layup, Nick Calathes, thus turning this into an official highlight.) Thanks to Phoenix's Saturday loss, the Grizzlies now hold a one-game lead over the Suns for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Memphis and Phoenix play on Monday night ; if Memphis wins, they're in, and the Suns will see their shockingly successful season come to a disappointing end on Wednesday against the Sacramento Kings. It's kind of a big game out in the desert. Top billin' . The Indiana Pacers are once again atop the Eastern Conference, thanks to an impressive 102-97 victory over the Thunder in ABC's Sunday matinee fueled by Lance Stephenson's NBA-leading and Pacers franchise record fifth triple-double of the season (17 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds), strong play up front from Paul George and David West (a combined 41 points and 18 rebounds), and —will wonders never cease! —legitimate contributions from the Pacer bench, led by recently returned point guard C.J. Watson, who had 20 points in 25 minutes off the bench and steadied Indy's ship on a day where George Hill didn't quite have his fastball. After Friday's loss to the Miami Heat, the Pacers had once again dipped down to the No. 2 spot; now, Indy's just one more win (in Wednesday's finale against the Orlando Magic) or one more Miami Heat loss away from securing home-court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs, thanks in part to ... Birds of war . Shouts out to the Atlanta Hawks, who became the eighth and final team to earn a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference on Saturday by beating the Heat, 98-85 , behind 18 fourth-quarter points from Lou Williams and another strong outing (25 points, four rebounds, four steals, three assists and no turnovers in 36 minutes) from point guard Jeff Teague, who's averaging 20 points and 5.5 assists per game on 50.7/37.8/90.7 shooting splits over his last 10 games . The Hawks can't get any higher than the eighth seed, but they've made the playoffs for the seventh straight season despite losing expected centerpiece Al Horford less than two months into head coach Mike Budenholzer's first year in charge, which is commendable, if not necessarily the great big goal for general manager Danny Ferry and company. Weep not for the memories. The Hawks locking up the eighth seed means the New York Knicks —who earned wins over the playoff-bound Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls this weekend —are officially eliminated from postseason contention. New York's 14-5 run over the last five weeks has been nice enough, but it wound up being too little and too late —this is what happens when you lose 40 of your first 61 games, even in a historically poor Eastern Conference —and now Carmelo Anthony will miss the playoffs for the first time in his 11-year NBA career. Perhaps this apparently taped-and-edited-off-TV (which feels thematically appropriate) highlight reel celebrating the 2013-14 Knicks set to "One Shining Moment" will make you feel better, Melo: The cherry on top of the Knicks' season-long sundae of absurdity? This, from Amar'e Stoudemire after Sunday's win over the Bulls, as noted by Steve Popper of the Bergen Record : "On paper we might be the best team in the league. We’ve got great players on this team who accomplished so much. We just couldn’t put it together." Best of luck to the Knicks in the on-paper playoffs, which begin on the 12th of never. (By the way, the Knicks have to win their final two games —against cross-borough rivals the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday and the Raptors on Wednesday —just to meet the projected record produced by ESPN Insider Kevin Pelton that set so many Knicks fans and players to raging before the start of this season. It's funny how things work out.) Walk the dinosaur. The Raptors clinched the Atlantic Division title on Friday despite losing to the Knicks thanks to the Hawks knocking off the Nets. They tied a franchise record Sunday with their 47th win of the season, besting the circling-the-drain Pistons, 116-107 , in a game that saw DeMar DeRozan score 14 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter and punctuate the proceedings with a very loud, very forceful flush atop the dome of Pistons forward Kyle Singler: The combination of the Raptors' win and the Bulls' Sunday loss to the Knicks means both teams enter Monday at 47-33, with Toronto re-taking the No. 3 seed in the East by virtue of being a division winner. The Raptors conclude their regular-season slate with a home game against the worst-in-the-NBA Milwaukee Bucks on Monday and one last meeting with the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, while the Bulls welcome the 23-57 Magic tonight before finishing things off in North Carolina against the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday. Seed toss. Superchunk . Quickly: EASTERN CONFERENCE •If Miami loses to the Wizards on Monday , Indy's No. 1 in the East and the Heat are No. 2. •If the Raptors beat the Bucks and the Bulls lose to the Magic , Toronto locks up No. 3 seed and puts Chicago at No. 4. •The Nets ensured that they can't finish any worse than No. 6 in the East by beating the Magic on Sunday. If the Wizards lose to the Heat, Brooklyn's No. 5. •If the Wizards beat the Heat and the Bobcats lose to the Hawks , Charlotte's locked into No. 7. (Lots of stuff can still happen for the Wizards. Bullets Forever's Mike Prada runs through the various postseason possibilities.) WESTERN CONFERENCE •The Spurs beat the Suns on Friday, clinching the NBA's best regular-season record and securing home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. They're one win away from tying the 2005-06 squad (63-19) for the most wins in franchise history; if they beat the Rockets on Monday and the Lakers in the season finale on Wednesday , they'll finish at 64-18, the best mark of any Spurs team of all time. This is where we remind you that Tim Duncan is 11 days shy of his 38th birthday, and that the Spurs are ridiculous. •The Thunder's Sunday loss to the Pacers gives the Clippers an outside shot of securing the West's No. 2 seed. If OKC beats the Pelicans on Monday, they lock up No. 2 and put the Clippers in third place. But if, by some stroke of unpredictable magic, Oklahoma City loses to a Pelicans team without Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon, Jrue Holiday and Jason Smith (and possibly Tyreke Evans and Brian Roberts, too), the door's still open just a bit for L.A. to take over No. 2 —basically, they need to win their last two games and they need the Thunder to lose their last two games. •If the Rockets beat the Spurs , Houston's the No. 4 seed and Portland's the No. 5 seed. •If Golden State beats the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Warriors lock up the No. 6 seed. •If the Grizzlies beat the Suns , Memphis clinches the No. 8 seed and eliminates Phoenix. •if the Suns beat the Grizzlies, they stay alive; if Phoenix and Golden State both win, Dallas locks up the No. 7 seed. Got all that? Of course you do. Now, to cleanse your palate, here's Russell Westbrook not exactly sticking the landing on his attempt to play after-the-whistle troll. - - - - - - - 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


Ball Don’t Lie’s 2013-14 Playoff Previews: Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State W

The playoffs begin on Saturday, thankfully, which means it’s that lovely time of spring (and it is spring, right? It’s not going to snow again, is it?) for the minds behind Ball Don’t Lie to offer you their thoughts on the upcoming pairings in the first round of the NBA’s postseason. Kelly Dwyer’s Old Grey Whistle Test It’s sad and more than a little enervating that the Golden State Warriors’ chances at a championship are exactly where we pegged them a year ago. They’re the same as when we left them following their second round loss to San Antonio, and last autumn when 2013-14 sparked up. The team is only going as far as the relative health of Steph Curry and Andrew Bogut will allow, and no amount of bench woes, coaching intrigue, and dodgy shooting can drag the narrative and scouting report from where it belongs. It needs Curry to dominate offensively, and Bogut to do the same on the other end, and while this may come off as too simple, one would have a hard time arguing otherwise. This is why the revelation of Andrew Bogut’s most recent significant injury is such an absolute downer, such a killer for a team that truly could have made some postseason noise had the matchups been in place, and the threes-and-defense philosophy fully executed. Bogut may not even be his team’s best defender, all-around demon Andre Iguodala probably takes that prize, but in spite of some intriguing defensive depth in the pivot and the possibility that the team’s brilliant shooting backcourt could still make wonderful work out of April, May and June, the Warriors’ hopes were just about dashed when it was announced that the big man would be out indefinitely with a rib injury. The Los Angeles Clippers don’t have their own injury woes, not to that extent, but it is always worth biting a nail or two when discussing the durability of all-world point guard Chris Paul. CP3 isn’t exactly a ligament-tearing charity case, but he has missed solid chunks of some of his NBA turns. This season’s 20-game interruption was his longest since 2010, and with the flighty Darren Collison replacing Paul in the lineup and forward Blake Griffin still working past criticism about his supposed stasis as a contributor, there was significant worry when Paul went down with a separated right shoulder over the winter. Famously, the Clippers went 12-6 in Chris’ absence, with Blake leading the way while boasting a fantabulous mix of point forward-isms and potent finishing from just about everywhere within that three-point line. Los Angeles didn’t seem to miss a beat following Paul’s return, reeling off a 12-2 run that saw the league’s best point guard happily passing on dominating the ball, allowing Griffin and his cohorts to run the show at times while still somehow maintaining the same assist and usage percentages. This is why the Doc Rivers-led crew is a championship contender. The former Celtics title-winning coach somehow found a way to eliminate the previous era’s glaring weaknesses – Griffin’s short-armed missteps, DeAndre Jordan’s clueless defensive work some 19 feet away from the goal, Paul’s ball domination – in the span of a year, and the returning Pacific Division champs have a genuine shot at something special this spring, and possibly summer. Golden State shouldn’t boast that same confidence, not without Bogut in place for an extended period of time. New starter Jermaine O’Neal has been a revelation in his 18th season, but even the NBA’s best potential defensive backup pivotman doesn’t approximate what Bogut provides, and rookie Ognjen Kuzmic is just too raw to be counted on in nationally televised games. The team with the ill-gotten stereotype as an offense-only squad may have to act as much against Los Angeles, ignoring the Kent Bazemores and Iguodalas in favor of something desperate. Usually pitched from 25 feet away. Toss in the clear enmity between the two squads, and you just have a huge disappointment. The Warriors may annoy at times, but the team’s roster is also filled with all manner of respectable characters, and there genuinely was second and third and perhaps fourth round potential with this lot. Bogut’s absence doesn’t completely decimate Golden State, and the man could still return before his team’s season ends, but those chances have been hamstrung. From there, it’s up to the Clippers. After years of prattling around with former administrations in charge, it’s time for this squad to follow through on what could be theirs. It has to start with a swift take down of a team it hates. Prediction: Los Angeles in five. Dan Devine's One Big Question Every postseason matchup has its own unique set of variables for each team, and prognosticator, to attempt to solve. Here's one that BDL's Dan Devine has been mulling over. Do the Warriors stand a chance without Andrew Bogut? Forgive me for being obvious, but after learning that the bruising Aussie is out indefinitely with a fractured rib — a break that Bogut told reporters has him "looking at a punctured lung," and that head coach Mark Jackson "all but confirmed" will keep Bogut out for the full postseason, according to Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News — it seems like the most relevant question. Bogut played arguably his best ball of the season against the rival Clippers, averaging just under 12 points, 11 rebounds and two combined blocks and steals in 27.5 minutes per game, shooting 67.7 percent from the field and setting a physical tone that helped keep high-flying Clippers stars Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan a bit more grounded. Willingness to push and shove aside, Bogut also stood as Golden State's best interior defender and rim protector this season; his absence figures to be a problem against a Clippers team that shot a scorching 67.7 percent in the restricted area this season, second-best in the NBA behind the LeBron James-led Miami Heat. Bogut held opponents to 45 percent shooting on at-rim attempts when he was in the defensive neighborhood this season, according to the NBA's SportVU player tracking data , an elite number among paint-protecting regulars. Warriors opponents took a lower share of their shots inside the paint with Bogut guarding the yard (46.4 percent of total field-goal attempts) than with him resting (47.3 percent) and connected on a lower percentage of them (49.8 percent with Bogut, 52.8 percent without). While Jackson has several other strong defenders on his roster — perimeter ace Andre Iguodala, versatile forward Draymond Green, point-checking two-guard Klay Thompson, veteran backup center Jermaine O'Neal, etc. — he doesn't have another paint deterrent of Bogut's caliber, and if the numbers from the regular-season series against the Clippers are any indication, that's a major issue for Golden State: • With Bogut on the floor, the Warriors outscored the Clippers by 17 points over 110 minutes in four meetings this season. Without him, L.A. was +20 in 82 minutes. • With Bogut on the floor, the Clippers scored an average of 105.7 points per 100 possessions, which would've ranked 10th in the NBA over the course of the full season. While that mark would be the envy of plenty of NBA teams — 20, according to my advanced math — it represented a steep drop-off from the Clippers' top-of-the-pops offensive efficiency of 109.4-per-100. When Bogut sat, the Clips shot right back up to their customary rate of scoring brilliance, pouring it in at a 109.3-per-100 rate. • With Bogut on the floor, the Clippers grabbed just 45.6 percent of available rebounds. When he sat, that number rose to 53.8 percent. To put that in perspective: when facing Bogut, the Clips rebounded like the dead-last-in-the-NBA Los Angeles Lakers, and when they didn't have to face him, they scarfed up caroms at a clip that would have been No. 1 with a bullet during the regular season, head and shoulders above the league-best Oklahoma City Thunder. • With Bogut on the floor, the Warriors were much better at defending L.A. without hacking, committing 46 personal fouls in 110 minutes. With Bogut on the bench, theClippers drew 53 personal foul calls in 82 minutes, leading to an obscenely high free-throw rate that kept the Clipper offense humming along. It's worth remembering that we're only talking about a couple of hundred minutes over the span of four games, but if those trends hold up, the future looks grim for Golden State. A version of the Warriors that can't keep Griffin and Jordan off the glass, can't keep the Clippers off the foul line, and can't slow down an elite offense now firing on all cylinders thanks to the return of shooting guards J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford is a version of the Warriors that doesn't appear to be long for the postseason world. The Warriors are not utterly bereft without Bogut, of course. The 17-year veteran O'Neal has played well when pressed into duty as a starter, averaging 10.5 points on 57.7 percent shooting, 7.1 rebounds and just over one block in 25 minutes per game, and he's certainly more than willing mix it up with Blake and company . But he's just one man, and there's not much behind him on the Dubs' depth chart. Sophomore Festus Ezeli isn't yet back to 5-on-5 action after missing the entire season following right knee surgery. Jackson likely won't turn to end-of-the-benchers Ognjen Kuzmić and Hilton Armstrong in the playoffs. And past MVP chants aside , I wouldn't want to hitch my wagon to Marreese Speights' defensive prowess against Chris Paul in the pick-and-roll. The best solution might be one that Jackson has said he'll now give longer looks: smaller lineups featuring David Lee at the five with some combination of Green, Iguodala and Harrison Barnes up front alongside Thompson and Stephen Curry in the backcourt. Such units have largely roasted the opposition offensively this season, albeit in relatively limited burn (none have seen more than 105 minutes of floor time) and could pose problems for the Clippers defense by creating gobs of space for Curry-Lee pick-and-rolls and pick-and-pops, Curry's unique brand of dribbling improvisation and ball swings that lead to open 3-pointers, much as they did against the Denver Nuggets in the first round of last year's postseason. But these Clippers are not last year's Nuggets, this Barnes is not last year's Barnes, and last year's injured Lee isn't this year's injured Bogut. It ought to be sensationally fun to watch Steph try to Human Torch his way past the Clips. Enjoy it while it lasts; unless Bogut winds up pulling a miraculous Lee-like recovery sooner rather than later, I don't think it'll last very long. Prediction: Clippers in 5. Eric Freeman’s Guide to Playoff Watchability Over the next two months, basketball fans will hear all manner of insights into key matchups, x-factors, and other series-deciding phenomena. For most people, though, watching so much basketball is a luxury or bizarre form of punishment, not a fact of life. These brave souls must know one thing: is this game between 10 men in pajamas worth the time? Eric Freeman’s Guide to Playoff Watchability attempts to answer this difficult question. The basketball world has awaited this series for several months. Way back in the first week of the season, the Clippers snubbed the Warriors by declining to share pre-game chapel services , a rare snub in a league where most players stay friendly when not on the court. That moment ran alongside several hotly contested games, including a Christmas barnburner that featured several scuffles and ejections . A seven-game series promised all that drama, plus the purer pleasures of watching so many exciting, athletic players in one place. Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Jamal Crawford, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, et al. — it was almost too much to handle. Up until this past weekend, that excitement was still palpable. However, the broken rib recently suffered by Andrew Bogut, the Warriors’ chief antagonist, has thrown all that into flux. If Bogut is out for the entire series, which seems likely, the Warriors will be forced to go small. That could be very watchable, particularly giventheir arsenal of three-point shooters, but Doc Rivers already starts two hyper-athletic frontcourt players and has many perimeter options at his disposal. More than perhaps any other team in the league, the Clippers can adjust to smaller lineups without sacrificing much at all. To be clear, this series figures to be very watchable, if only because these teams offer so much potential in the way of stylistic basketball. Yet, with Bogut out, it also figures to be somewhat one-sided. Tune in only if you’re more concerned with fun stuff than the final score. Rating: 6 out of 10 Recitations of Philippians 4:13 Prediction: Clippers in 5.   [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Heat playoff run could decide James' future in Miami (Reuters)

The Miami Heat may not be entering the playoffs as the top seed but they are still very much the team to beat, and anything less than a third consecutive NBA title could lead to the breakup of their Big Three. No club has won three straight titles since the Los Angeles Lakers in the early 2000s, and the 16-team field for this year's playoffs, which begin on Saturday, has no shortage of contenders for the NBA's Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy. The San Antonio Spurs, who were a whisker away from winning last year's NBA Finals, and the Indiana Pacers, eager to avenge last season's loss to Miami in the Eastern conference finals, are just two of the many teams feeling good about their chances. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh joined forces in 2010 with the goal of creating a dynasty in Miami by stockpiling NBA titles but enter the postseason facing questions about team chemistry and depth. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

The boring part of the year is over for the Heat (The Associated Press)

LeBron James was standing at his locker and chatting a few days ago when the conversation turned to which teams out there the Miami Heat might fear entering these playoffs. ''We respect all,'' James said, ''but fear none.'' With those words it became obvious: Even after a regular season that seemed boring at times, and was reduced to a sputter at the finish, the Heat have no lack of confidence as they head to the playoffs. And they're seeking a fourth straight trip to the NBA Finals, something only the Celtics and Lakers have accomplished. ''We'll be tested,'' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

The boring part of the year is over for the Heat (Yahoo Sports)

[read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

This site is not affiliated, owned, or controlled or otherwise connected in any way to the Miami Heat or the National Basketball Association (NBA) or any of its entities.