The 2011 Hoopties
Friday , Apr , 15 , 2011 J.N.

The 2011 Hoopties

It’s that time again for the regular season end awards just like any other television sports show. It is time to pass out the awards. Rather than giving awards for the usual categories such as Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Executive of the Year….you get the picture…..let’s focus on categories that truly need to be highlighted – categories that I make up! Who cares about those other official awards anyway? They’re already locked up.

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Sunday , Apr , 10 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

DeMar DeRozan on improving 3-point shot: ‘it will come’

Hoops Hype: You had only attempted 46 three-pointers in the first 78 games. Is that the next part of your game that you want to expand?

Demar DeRozan: Oh yes, definitely. It will come through time. I really don’t stress about it. Because once it comes, that is another part of my game that will develop. Will work on that this summer a lot and come back ready next year.

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He has been a bright spot in an otherwise dismal season.

The Toronto Raptors 2011 struggles can be tied to former franchise face Chris Bosh joining pals LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in South Beach.

Without Bosh, the Raptors had to rebuild. They already had a key piece in DeMar DeRozan -the second year man from USC, who looks more than capable of filling Bosh’s considerable shoes.

DeRozan is explosive, dynamic, and committed, and deserves greater consideration for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award after his terrific campaign.

However, to become an All-Star, to regularly attend David Stern’s February classic, he must extend his range. Currently, DeRozan is a solid mid-range shooter; he must become a three-point gunner.
Then DeRozan will be unstoppable. He’ll be able to go to the hoop at will or punish sagging defenders with his newfound stroke.

He’ll have help, too. There’s a crew of up-and-coming pieces in The Big Smoke: Jerryd Bayless, Ed Davis, Amir Johnson, James Johnson, and Sonny Weems.

The Raptors also have cap space, a trade exception from the Miami Heat, and an upcoming lottery pick. The future is looking up north of the border. It starts and ends with DeRozan taking the next step and developing his three-point shot.

Fortunately, he knows this. Fortunately, he’s a gym rat, who loves working on his game. Fortunately, he’s mature beyond his years. And fortunately, he wants his team to succeed.

So next year looks promising -or just better than 2011- because of DeRozan. Bottom line: there’s something for Raptor fans to look forward to.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Apr , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Heat still thinking of trading Chris Bosh?

Do you think Miami trades bosh next year too improve overall? Ric Bucher: I've heard it's already been discussed.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Could ‘The Three Kings’ lose a member this summer?

According to ESPN’s Rich Bucher, the Miami Heat has already held discussions about trading Chris Bosh.

Of course, Bosh signed in South Beach last July as a free agent for two reasons: LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. And the trio expected to waltz its way to multiple championships.

While the early returns weren’t awful, ‘The Three Kings’ first regular season together produced mostly mixed results. At times, they were brilliant. At times, they were mediocre.

The key is that it was the regular season. All will be forgotten -if the Heat captures the NBA championship, and then there'd be no major changes.

So Bosh will stay put provided the Heat win and his salary remains manageable under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The pressure is on. What did Bosh, James, and Wade expect when they joined forces?

Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Mar , 27 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

LeBron and Wade developing chemistry with pick-and-roll play

Wade is controlling the ball late in games, which lets LeBron James be used in a simple pick-and-roll. James has been accustomed to playing with the ball in his hands in crunch time, but it appears Wade and Erik Spoelstra have convinced him to try something new. “I think he's starting to see that this can open up his overall game, and he's going to want to do it more," Wade said last week.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Talent isn’t enough in the NBA. Teams must also have chemistry.

Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and the Miami Heat learned this the hard way, with their up-and-down year.

So have the New York Knicks, who broke up a squad with established chemistry to acquire the talented but sometimes difficult Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets.

Credit the Heat for trying new things, though. Against the Philadelphia 76ers, James acted as a screener and ran several pick-and-rolls with Wade.

This is a welcome change from the Heat’s steady diet of predictable ‘iso’ plays and one-on-one attempts at the basket.

Doug Collins, the coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, is right: this option will work. James as a four-man setting picks will be tough to prevent from rolling to the basket or slipping the screen.

Opposing defenses will be helpless. If defenders try to switch on the screen, James and/or Wade will have a clear mismatch, which should lead to a scoring opportunity.

If defenders try to show and adjust to the screen, James and/or Wade will have an advantage, which should also lead to a scoring opportunity.

The Heat would be wise to run more of these sets. Variety is important in basketball, and a two-man game involving their best players will upgrade their mediocre half-court offense.

After all, chemistry, not talent, is the key to winning in the NBA. It seems James and Wade are learning.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Mar , 16 , 2011 Oly Sandor

LeBron James: the Heat are playing at a ‘high level’

LeBron James: ‘We envisioned us playing at a high level and that’s what we’re doing right now.’   


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Five consecutive losses do not make a season. Neither do two wins -even if they come against the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs.

So the Miami Heat should take a deep breath. They should avoid crying after tough losses on national television, and they should avoid over-enjoying their victories.

Bottom line: the Heat shouldn’t get too up or too down. Instead, they should focus on achieving a few things:

First, superstars Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade must continue setting the pace on defense. Getting stops will give them a chance to win every game, and it takes pressure off their mediocre half-court offense.

Second, they must keep Bosh involved on offense. One frustrated superstar can contaminate an entire team.

Finally, no team wins a championship with three superstars, so the Heat’s role players must start contributing on a consistent basis.

Mike Bibby, Eddie House, and Mike Miller must start making shots. This will help Coach Erik Spoelstra settle on a more permanent rotation.

The Heat has been through a lot this year and the real action, the playoffs, haven't even started.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Mar , 12 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Heat to trade Chris Bosh this summer?

The most obvious candidate for subtraction from the Big Three is Chris Bosh, who hasn't been able to produce the kind of impact Miami could have gotten from two or three cheaper role players. Bosh also has complained recently about not getting the ball in the post enough. Whether he has a point, this sort of griping at a time when the Heat were in crisis mode won't make Riley any more eager to pay him $16 million next season -- especially if Miami falls far short of its championship goal in Year 1.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: So far, it hasn’t worked. Not like it was supposed to, at least.

Remember, the Miami Heat’s Three Kings of Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade came together to win multiple championships. They were expected to waltz through the regular season and playoffs.

Will the Heat pull the plug and possibly deal Bosh this off-season, as reported by Ken Berger of CBSSportsline?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Much depends on how the Heat performs going forward. Say they win the majority of their last regular season games. Say they advance to the Eastern Conference or NBA Finals.

Oil slick executive Pat Riley would then be hesitant to break up his superstar trio. Instead, he’d look for ways to upgrade and improve their supporting cast.

However, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement will factor into his decision. For instance, the Heat may not be able to afford three max salaries if the owners succeed in achieving their hard cap.

Or, the Heat may be able to keep three max salaries on their books, but can’t afford role players because loopholes like the mid level exception and veteran’s minimum no longer exist.

Then Riley has to contemplate changing his Three Kings formula. And Bosh, because of his up-and-down play, would be the first to go.

Last summer was interesting in South Beach. However, next summer could be almost as entertaining.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Mar , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Dwight Howard: I want to stay in Orlando

“I love Orlando. The city has been very good to me and I would love to finish my career here. I want to win a championship and I want to win it in Orlando,” Howard said on the Dan Patrick Show Monday morning. “That’s all I’ve been thinking about.”


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: You’ve heard rumors Dwight Howard will leave the Orlando Magic as a free agent and sign with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2012.

Well, not so fast. According to the massive five-man, this isn’t so.

Howard recently told scribes he wants to finish his career in Orlando, and bring an NBA Title to Disney World. There are a few reasons for these comments:

  • Clearly, the Magic aren’t trading Howard, so he and the team want to avoid the publicity that plagued Chris Bosh and the Toronto Raptors, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, and, most recently, Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets.
  • He may choose to stay in Orlando. Howard is comfortable, the Magic are competitive, and Executive Otis Smith is committed to providing him with a top flight supporting cast.
  • Of course, he may have to stay in Orlando. The league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement expires July 1st, and owners may prevent superstars from building super squads by allowing teams to apply a ‘franchise’ tag to top players.Translation: Orlando could keep Howard. It may not matter whether he wants to stay or go.

So Howard has to keep all options open. And that’s exactly what he’s doing with his comments.

--Oly Sandor

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Wednesday , Mar , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

LeBron on Heat’s ‘Cry-Gate’ scandal: ‘We Stick Together’

When asked about the team mood, he said, "there's a couple guys crying in the locker room right now."  "We stay together," James said. "Spo is the captain of the ship and we're going to stay behind whatever Spo says. It doesn't matter. Spo can go out there and say whatever he wants about the team. We're going to stand by him."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They made their bed. Now they must lie in it.

Last summer the Miami Heat irked the NBA’s 29 other franchises by winning The Great Free Agent Chase of 2010 and signing superstars Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade.  

Then they rubbed their nose in it by parading their ‘Three Kings’ in front of screaming of fans before playing a single game together.

Why would there be sympathy for the Heat?

Nobody cares if a few players were crying after a tough loss on Sunday to the Chicago Bulls. And nobody cares that they dropped four consecutive games.

These are the big, bad Heat. They are the team most fans love to hate. And they are the team most fans love to watch lose.

So James is right to declare that the players and coaching staff must stick together. But he has to say this. In fact, he has no choice.

It's the Heat and their fans against the world.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Mar , 06 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Dwyane Wade calls the Heat’s struggles ‘growing pains’


“We’re going through these growing pains, and it sucks,” Wade said. “Of our 18 losses, I think 13, 14 of them we’ve had leads. “It’s mind-boggling.” This game meant something. Something awful? Yes. Something positive? Possibly, eventually, yes.But it doesn’t get much more painful than this. So it might be a while before that wears off entirely and we get the actual answer to that last question.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Well, that’s one way to describe the Miami Heat’s struggles.

Clearly, Dwayne Wade is putting as positive a spin as possible on the Heat blowing a 24 point lead to the New York Knicks and getting routed by the San Antonio Spurs.

Are these defeats more worrying than ‘growing pains’? Is team South Beach starting to doubt itself?

Consider the numbers: the Heat is 27-2 against teams with losing records, and 14-17 against teams with winning records. More troubling, they allow all teams -those with winning and losing records- back into games when ahead by a large margin.

Part of this could be about getting distracted. The Heat possesses three top flight superstars, and often get bored and lose focus with opponents.

Part of this could be about chemistry. With so many new faces, the Heat is still getting used to each other, especially on the offensive end where they run simple, basic sets.

For instance, Wade and James are still adjusting to each other. And both are learning to play with superstar post Chris Bosh.

Fortunately, they have some time to iron out the kinks. Unfortunately, they don’t have much time and today they face MVP candidate Derrick Rose and the upstart Chicago Bulls.

--Oly Sandor.

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What do Chris Bosh and Charlie Sheen have in common?
Friday , Mar , 04 , 2011 J.N.

What do Chris Bosh and Charlie Sheen have in common?

Both are having historic meltdowns in grand fashion. Remember how Bosh treated the free agency in summer 2010 as some joke? Yeah, joke's on him. The Toronto fan base wasn’t even trying. During the final two years in Toronto, Bosh should have said, “No comment.” That would have shut up any worries because there was nothing to talk about. Instead, he kept the question lingering because he did not really answer the question. His play left more questions, too.

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2011 MVP Race – LeBron James dat MVP?
Wednesday , Mar , 02 , 2011 J.N.

2011 MVP Race – LeBron James dat MVP?

Many people are claiming that this is LeBron’s MVP to lose especially the LeBron James Defense Force. Where do we start? I cannot think where to begin. I don’t even know where the middle lays. Where does it end? Is the based god real? Is this a slippery slope? Only time will tell. Why are we even arguing semantics? Whose side are you on? Many questions. Not many answers. LeBron James versus The World is shaping up to be better than Scott Pilgrim versus The World.

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Sunday , Feb , 27 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Miami Heat want Mike Bibby and Troy Murphy?

The Heat would like to sign Mike Bibby if the Wizards give him a buyout; Washington called it unlikely but hasn’t ruled it out. The Heat will explore Troy Murphy if he gets a buyout from Golden State (one report has Boston as the front-runner) and perhaps Indiana’s T.J. Ford, but he’s a poor three-point shooter.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Superstar laden teams need shooters to win.

For instance, Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen’s Chicago Bulls squads had deep threats like B.J. Armstrong, Jud Buchelor, Craig Hodges, Steve Kerr, and John Paxson.

Kobe Bryant, winner of five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, has played with marksmen like Derek Fisher, Rick Fox, Devean George, Ron Harper, Glen Rice, Brian Shaw, and Sasha Vujacic.

Shooters spread the floor and keep defences honest. If a defender helps or helped on Bryant, Jordan, or Pippen, these Hall of Famers find the shooter who usually nails the open look.

It’s basic basketball. It’s also winning basketball.

So expect the Miami Heat to take a run at Mike Bibby and/or Troy Murphy –if they get a buyout from the Washington Wizards and/or Golden State Warriors.

After all, the Heat has their superstars: Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade.

Bibby could run the club’s offensive sets. His greatest asset would be playing off-the-ball, spotting-up, and knocking shots when defences helped on Bosh, James, and Wade.

Remember, Bibby was a clutch performer for the Sacramento Kings, giving those championship Laker squads all they could handle in some classic playoff battles.

Murphy is a nice inside-outside four-man. He can help on the glass, while also stretching defenses with his incredible three-point range.

However, the Heat may want to sign Murphy just to thwart their prime competition in the Eastern Conference –the Boston Celtics.

Expect the Heat to be extremely active if Bibby and/or Murphy become available. Their South Beach superstars can always use additional shooters.

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Feb , 24 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Will Deron Williams and Carmelo Anthony trades force a lockout?

Jazz CEO Greg Miller said he made the move because of a "gut feeling" that he wouldn't be able to sign Williams to a long-term deal after next season. "If you look at what happened with Phoenix, Toronto and Cleveland ... they all lost their marquee player and had very little if anything to show for it," Miller said. "This trade allows us to be competitive now and beyond the 2012 season."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Could this be the trigger that pushes the NBA’s small market owners to demand wholesale changes to the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement and financial system?

Consider the Utah Jazz’s predicament. Their superstar and best player, Deron Williams, longed for bright lights, a big city, and a chance at a championship.

That wasn’t happening in Utah, so Williams likely informed management he was opting-out of his contract in July of 2012.

Translation: he was gone.

The Jazz could’ve spent the next sixteen months convincing Williams to stay. Of course, the end result wouldn’t have changed and the Jazz would’ve lost their prime asset without compensation.

Just like the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors with LeBron James and Chris Bosh.

Or, the Jazz could’ve spent the next sixteen months negotiating a trade. They’d be daily fodder for pundits and fans on-line and on-air. Maybe Conan O’Brien would get in on the act.

Just like the Denver Nuggets with Carmelo Anthony.

Neither situation was appealing, which led to the Jazz suddenly shipping Williams to the Nets for Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, and a pair of first round draft picks.

The Jazz did well, especially when considering Williams held all the cards, possessed all the leverage, and was hell-bent on using it. They were also lucky, though, because the Nets were willing to trade after losing out on Carmelo Anthony.

In four months, they –and the other small market owners- will get revenge. Much to the chagrin of the players, they’ll demand a hard cap, revenue sharing, and franchise player tags.

No more Anthony, Bosh, James, and Williams holding them hostage. And the looming lockout will be nasty, bitter, and long.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Feb , 16 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Chris Bosh on returning to Toronto: ‘I’m not stressed’

“I’m not stressed,” Bosh said in Indianapolis on Tuesday. “At the end of the day, it’s a game (and) when I get out there, that’s going to take over. I don’t stress about too many things. It is what it is and whatever will be, will be.”


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Why would Chris Bosh be stressed about returning to Toronto, his former home for seven seasons?

Yes, Raptor-nation is hostile. Yes, they hold grudges for years, sometimes decades against superstars who leave under less than ideal circumstances.
And yes, Bosh left the Raptors to sign with the Miami Heat as a free agent last July.

The masses will be ready with pitch forks and fire Wednesday when Bosh returns to Toronto for the first time since bolting The Great White North. (Just ask Vince Carter about the chilly reception he received.)

This, however, shouldn’t bother Bosh. Leaving was the right decision.

His Heat are contenders. They will be for years, too. Instead of passing out of double-teams to Candice Parker’s brother and Hoffa Araujo, Bosh is hitting superstars like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

So let the Toronto boo-birds have their day. Bosh is having the last laugh.

--Oly Sandor.

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2011 MVP Race – Dwyane Wade took a back seat. Serious?
Sunday , Feb , 06 , 2011 J.N.

2011 MVP Race – Dwyane Wade took a back seat. Serious?

What is the business in Miami? They’re winning. What is the problem? LeBron James recently put in some serious work against Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic with 51 points, 11 boards, 8 assists, and 17-25 from the field. There was nothing quiet about that. Bron dominated that ish. People were writing Wade off. Then Dwyane goes for a triple double against Charlotte (22 points, 10 assists, 12 boards). 28 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 blocks, and a steal against the Clippers. MVP candidates do not take a back seat to anyone, but Wade did?

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Sunday , Feb , 06 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Kendrick Perkins and Doc Rivers to Miami?

According to two league sources, Perkins has already turned down a Celtics offer that is bound by the CBA’s current restrictions — a contract extension worth slightly less than $30 million over four years, which reflects the currently mandated contract limits of a 20-percent increase and a four-year maximum. Perkins, represented by agent Arn Tellem, has opted to wait until he is an unrestricted free agent, when even in an unpredictable market he has a chance of commanding far more.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: On the one hand, Kendrick Perkins is making a business decision. On the other hand, that business decision could take him from the Boston Celtics and put him with, say, the Miami Heat.

Reports indicate the rugged five-man rejected the Celtics four-year, $30 million contract offer because it reflected the standard 20% raise as mandated by the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Even with the league’s financial landscape bound to change with a new CBA and a potential work stoppage looming, Perkins stands to earn more as an unrestricted free agent.

Will he be making that extra paper with the Celtics, though?

Every team needs a defensive anchor, including the star-studded Heat. Perkins would clog the middle for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, while relieving Chris Bosh of his defensive anchor duties.

However, the tipping point could be Coach Doc Rivers. Rivers and Perkins have a good relationship, which could continue down south.

Rivers has always wanted to return to Florida to be near family. In fact, he nearly quit the green-and-white after the 2010 Finals and essentially operates on a series of one year contracts.

If the Heat fails to win the 2011 championship, Coach Erik Spoelstra will be replaced, and the personable Rivers would be the top candidate for the gig. And he could use his relationship with Perkins to lure him to South Beach.

Yes, the business of basketball works in funny ways. And it could see Perkins and Rivers together with the rival Heat next season.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Jan , 31 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Durant calls Chris Bosh ‘a fake tough guy’

"I was talking to my teammate and he decided he wanted to put his 2 cents into it. I'm a quiet guy, a laid-back guy, but I'm not going to let nobody talk trash to me. He's on a good team now, so he thinks he can talk a little bit," Durant said. "There's a lot of fake tough guys in this league and he's one of them," Durant added.

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Chris Bosh isn’t exactly respected by his NBA peers.

Shaquille O’Neal once branded him the ‘RuPaul’ of big men. Amar’e Stoudemire boasted to the world that he was better than Bosh. Today, Kevin Durant called him a ‘fake tough guy’.

Durant’s comments came after his Oklahoma City Thunder dropped a close game to Bosh’s Miami Heat on national television. The lanky three-man missed a fade-away jumper in the closing seconds which would have sent the game to overtime.

However, the tough loss wasn’t the reason for Durant’s outburst. Earlier in the game, he and Bosh bumped into each other and exchanged words. Both were given technical fouls.

Clearly, Durant doesn’t believe Bosh can back-up the tough talk. And he isn’t the only one.  

--Oly Sandor.
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Wednesday , Dec , 29 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Bosh or Stoudemire? Did Miami Heat have a choice?

The Heat may have preferred Stoudemire's talent because the team made several attempts to trade for him at last February's deadline, according to sources. As it turned out, Bosh, James and Wade all took less money to fit under the cap, and Stoudemire did better financially, getting the maximum $100 million contract from the Knicks.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Chris Bosh or Amar’e Stoudemire?

In theory, the Miami Heat could have signed either Bosh or Stoudemire last summer. After all, both were free agents. And both had serious interest in calling South Beach home.

In reality, the Heat had no choice. They had to sign Bosh –if they wanted to keep superstar Dwayne Wade, and also lure LeBron James from the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Wade has a personal and business relationship with Bosh. The two have been friends for years; they share agent Henry Thomas.

Now Wade and Stoudemire may be friendly, but aren’t close like Wade and Bosh, who were essentially a package deal last summer.

If the Heat signed Stoudemire, they lose Wade, and the next free agent domino, James, re-signs with Cleveland or, perhaps, heads to the bright lights of New York City.

Fans can debate if Bosh or Stoudemire would’ve been the best fit for Miami. And Stoudemire’s fine play for the New York Knicks adds fuel to the fire.

The Heat’s front office, however, knew signing Stoudemire would have killed their chances of building a super team with Wade and James.

For the Heat, there was no debate. It was Bosh or broke.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Dec , 26 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Would LeBron have picked Paul and Cleveland over Bosh, Wade and Miami?

Chris Bosh turned down a Raptors offer to trade the forward to the Cavaliers earlier this year, according to a source in Toronto. Bosh would have received a maximum contract as a result of the deal, roughly $10 million more than he received from Miami. A source says the Cavaliers also tried to acquire Chris Paul.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Last summer, the Cleveland Cavaliers were desperate, and tried everything to get franchise face and hometown hero LeBron James to sign an extension.

This included trading for Toronto Raptors post Chris Bosh and/or New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul.

Both attempts failed. James and Bosh are teammates with the Miami Heat, while Paul continues to dole out dimes for the Hornets.

However, this report makes for interesting speculation. Turn back the clock to last July. Suppose Cleveland acquired Paul, tore up the remaining two years on his contract, and gave him a long-term extension for the maximum.

Bosh hits free agency, leaves dysfunctional Toronto, and partners with Dwyane Wade in Miami. (Bosh and Wade both use agent Henry Thomas. For years, Thomas had been scheming on ways to get his two superstar clients on the same team.) 

What would James have done? Re-sign with Cleveland? Or bolt to Miami?

Ohio is James’ home. And he’d be playing with CP3, his best friend in the NBA. But Miami is the NBA’s most desirable locale, and Bosh and Wade are All-Stars.

We’ll never know the answer. Cleveland failed to find James a superstar running-mate. So he found two of his own in South Beach.

--Oly Sandor.

--Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below?

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Tuesday , Dec , 14 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade like Erik Spoelstra’s reward system

A simple reward system has contributed to Miami's current eight-game winning streak. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra set parameters that reward his superstars with offensive freedom when they excel on the defensive end.

If Dwyane Wade grabs a defensive rebound, he has the green light to do whatever he wants offensively. If LeBron James makes a defensive stop, he controls his own game on the other end of the court. "Our job is to defend and then we get rewarded with what we want to do on offense," James said.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Not long ago, Erik Spoelstra was persona non grata with the Miami Heat. Today, he’s the toast of South Beach.

Spoelstra’s turnaround is because of one thing: The Deal. He has given Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade complete freedom on offence provided they follow his game plan on defense.

Such an arrangement isn’t new. Years ago, Coach Larry Brown compromised his ‘Play The Right Way’ mantra by allowing Allen Iverson to shoot until his heart was content if he gave his all on defence with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Not surprisingly, Brown got more out of his superstar than any coach. Together, they advanced to the NBA Finals.

Last night Spoelstra’s Heat won their ninth straight game. After a slow start, the star studded club is fulfilling expectations.

Like Brown, Spoelstra is also looking to use ‘The Deal’ to make noise in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

--Oly Sandor.

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