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Thursday , May , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Heat draw even with Bulls

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They say a playoff series doesn’t begin until the home team losses a game.

Well, the Chicago Bulls lost game two of the Eastern Conference Finals, so, suddenly, we have a series.

Tonight’s contest was a close affair; however, the Miami Heat pulled away down the stretch behind strong efforts from LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

Click the link for details on the Heat evening their series against the Bulls.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Thursday , May , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

LeBron on Cleveland winning lottery: ‘I think it is a good step for them’

"I'm happy for the franchise, I'm happy for the fans," he said. "I think it is a good step for them. "But I've got a lot more things to worry about now than the lottery."

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: See Cleveland. LeBron James cares. Well, sort of.

Apparently, the former franchise face and prodigal son is ‘happy’ they won the lottery last night, and have the right to pick first overall in June’s draft.

James, of course, left Cleveland on poor terms last July when he ‘took his talents to South Beach’ to play for the Miami Heat.

Still, he couldn’t resist a subtle shot. James mentioned Cleveland’s draft position wasn’t his concern; he was concerned with game two of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Just another reminder James is still playing basketball, while Cleveland’s season ended, well, a few minutes after The Decision ended.

--Oly Sandor.

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


 
2011 Eastern Finals – Bulls vs. Heat – Sh*t is real
Wednesday , May , 18 , 2011 J.N.

2011 Eastern Finals – Bulls vs. Heat – Sh*t is real

Game 1 is in the books. The Chicago Bulls woke up a lot of critics, 103-82. Led by Derrick Rose's 28 points and 6 assists, his performance was fine considering that he out dueled Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. Both men did not even dial in 20 points, but Chris Bosh poured in 30 points. Miami's supporting cast could not get anything going as usual. However, the talk of the night belongs to Taj Gibson's dunks. One was on Dwyane Wade. The other one, which was a nasty put back, probably destroyed a planet somewhere. Lawd have mercy, things got nasty. Heat fans and critics were shocked. Don't be. They have been doing the business all season.

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Tuesday , May , 17 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Best Facial: Chris Bosh on Carlos Boozer or Taj Gibson on Dwyane Wade?

HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: Forget Miami verses Chicago. Focus on the poster-jobs; specifically Chris Bosh`s battle against Taj Gibson.

Last night, Bosh threw down a thunderous dunk off a pick-on-roll, condemning Carlos Boozer to a life of snide comments and viral snickering on youtube.

However, Gibson, at a minimum, matched Bosh with an epic facial on a two-on-one, forcing Dwyane Wade to offer a little disclaimer to the media today.

Watch both videos below and get at us with thoughts in the comment box below. 

(Bosh on Boozer.) 

(Gibson's facial on D-Wade.)

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

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Tuesday , May , 17 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Doc Rivers didn’t like timing of Kendrick Perkins trade

“‘Well, it was more not that the trust went away, the know-how went away,” Rivers said. “The continuity went away. That’s what the trade affected more than anything. Obviously, Perk was great to our team and all that. But it was more that you have new guys playing different positions and you had a guy who could literally reach back into a playbook and throw out something that was three or four years old and they all knew it, when Perk was there. ‘I would wait until after the year is over. I’ll put it that way. I do think Jeff Green has a chance to be a starter for us in the future and a hell of a basketball player. And Krstic can help. But making that trade at the time we made that trade, that made it very tough for us. And not only that, we added other pieces as well that we tried to fit in.

Link

HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: Most of the time, Doc Rivers is a straight shooter.

So it`s hardly a surprise the Boston Celtics` sideline boss -fresh off signing a five-year, $35 million extension- publicly expressed frustration at the timing of the Kendrick Perkins trade.

For those living in a cave: the green-and-white sent Perkins to the Oklahoma City Thunder for combo forward Jeff Green during last February`s trade deadline.

Back then, the Celtics thought they made the right move. Perkins was often injured. His contract was expiring, so he`d be due a lucrative extension.

Meanwhile, Green could defend LeBron James in the playoffs. The idea was he`d contribute a little now, and his role would expand once The Big Three retired.

Sounds good, right? Well, wrong.

Perkins was the heart-and-soul of the Celtics. His rebounding and interior defence defined those great teams.

Opponents hated Perkins with a passion. They hated his scowl. They hated his knees. They hated his elbows.

Today, Rivers didn`t tell the whole truth, though. The whole truth would`ve been admitting it wasn`t just the timing that stunk -but the trade itself.

Frankly, it was a trade Ainge and the Celtics shouldn`t have made.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

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Sunday , May , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Joakim Noah: Chris Bosh wasn`t serious about Bulls

The Bulls center huddled with Chris Bosh inside Chicago's Trump International Hotel and Tower over the summer without any preconceived notions. He simply wanted the guy sitting across from him at Sixteen restaurant to show a fire and passion about joining the Bulls.

Bosh didn't. "He was a nice guy and all,'' Noah said of his recruitment of Bosh during the free-agent frenzy. "But Bosh was more into, 'Well it depends on what this guy does, what that guy does.'''

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Of course, Chris Bosh wasn’t serious about the Chicago Bulls.

The fix was in. It had been for years.

Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade knew they were signing with the Miami Heat last summer. They knew this since the Beijing Olympics, where they bonded as teammates.

Free agency was a charade. James and Wade’s recent comments about coming to Chicago should be taken with a grain of salt.

If James was serious about Chicago he’d have responded to Derrick Rose’s texts, where the table-setter tried welcoming him.

He didn’t, though. James knew what he was going to do: he was `taking his talent to South Beach’.

Fair enough. This was James` right as free agent. Same with Bosh and Wade.

They could pick where they played and with who. The problem was how –as in how they, specifically Bosh and James, handled the situation.

Bottom line: this is old news. The Heat has their Three Kings. The Bulls have Rose and a superb supporting cast.

As a result, fans should get an excellent Eastern Conference Finals.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Sunday , May , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Kevin Durant wants The Decision 2.0?

Asked if any inch of him wanted to someday experience his own summer of LeBron, Durant said: "You said an inch, so I'll take that inch. One inch of my mind just wants to experience that, see what it's like, you know. I've been through the recruitment process, of course, going to college, but I want to see how that is. I'm not saying that I want to go to another team or I want to go to a greater market. But just how much it was publicized this summer, I just want to see what that's like. I'm an interested person, I'm a curious person. And once again, I'm not trying to say I want to leave or anything. But I just want to see how that is.

"I'll be 27 when my contract's up. So maybe when I'm 27 … But you never know. Two or three years down the line, I might sign another extension here. So we'll see. We'll see. But right now, I'm happy where I'm at, I'm glad I'm locked in for five years."

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kevin Durant, don’t do it. Don’t pull a LeBron and hold ‘The Decision 2.0’ when you become a free agent in a few years.

Don’t announce your future on national television like a raving egomaniac. Don’t pull Jim Gray out the ‘reporter’ scrap heap for a paid gig. And finally, don’t ruin your nice guy persona in an afternoon by acting like a jerk.

Just don’t. Don't even think about it.

In a few years, you’ll be a free agent. You have the right to pick where you play. Nobody can take issue with what you decide. As James learned the hard way, how you decide is everything.

For instance, James had given Cleveland seven years. They couldn’t provide a legit’ co-star, so he left. Fair enough. He had that right.

However, the backlash occurred mostly because James acted like a diva. ‘The Decision’ was unprofessional; his image has yet to recover.

Hopefully, Durant was misquoted. And hopefully, Durant has learned. One bad decision –like 'The Decision'- can change years of goodwill.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Saturday , May , 14 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

LeBron and Wade nearly joined Rose in Chicago

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade admitted they strongly considered signing with the Bulls. "It was two mornings," Wade said at Friday's practice of waking up during the summer of 2010 envisioning himself with Chicago. "I definitely had one or two mornings where I woke up thinking I'd be a Bull too, but ultimately I decided to come here," James said.

 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This would be the Three Kings. For real.

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade seriously contemplated signing with the Chicago Bulls last summer during The Great Free Agent Chase of 2010.
 
So imagine this: James and Wade with 2011 MVP Derrick Rose.
 
This trio would dominate the NBA for years, forcing Commissioner David Stern and league head office to make annual reservations for Chicago in June.
 
Perhaps scariest of all would be their athleticism. James, Wade, and Rose are freaks. They are quick. They are strong. They are agile. And they are the top finishers in the open court.
 
So imagine them running the break. Together. This would strike fear into the hearts of their opponents.
 
Some would worry about the fit. All three like the ball. And all three would have to spend significant time off the ball.
 
They`d make it work, though. Great, unselfish players can almost always play together.
 
Of course, this is just speculation. Wade re-signed with the Miami Heat. Chris Bosh followed him to South Beach. So did James. And Rose has Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah in Chicago.
 
And these superstars are set to clash in a potentially epic Eastern Conference Finals. Still, it`s nice to imagine what could have been.
 
--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
Against Heat, Bulls Front Court Needs To Produce
Friday , May , 13 , 2011 Paul Eide

Against Heat, Bulls Front Court Needs To Produce

 

 
Carlos Boozer has taken a lot of “heat” over the past couple weeks for his lack of production. But of all the injuries to play with turf toe is not something minor; though because it’s a toe injury (you have nine other ones that can carry the load, right?) it’s not seen as limiting as say a knee injury, or the shoulder injury Boozer dealt with earlier in the season.
 
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Sunday , May , 08 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Rajon Rondo dislocates elbow, still leads Celtics to game three win

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: One arm was all Rajon Rondo needed to have an effective fourth quarter against the Miami Heat.

Turns out the Boston Celtics’ star table-setter dislocated his elbow in the third quarter, popped it back into place in the locker room, and played the final frame with just one arm.

His courage, defense, and passing were instrumental in the Celtics winning the game and getting back into the Eastern Conference semi-finals against the star-studded Heat.

Watch the video of Rondo’s arm getting bent like a pretzel and get at us in the comment box below with thoughts.  

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , May , 07 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Garnett on game three vs. Miami: ‘This is it’

The Celtics have never been down 2-0 in a playoff series in the Kevin Garnett era, and they are well aware of the situation.

“The urgency is there,” Garnett said on Friday before the team took the practice floor. “This is it. We’ve used all of our lifelines. This is it. I hate to say it like that, but it’s true. There’s not a: Cool, keep your composure. Nah, this is: You’ve got to get the next game.”

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: I have no idea if Kevin Garnett is a Michael Jackson fan.

Maybe he is. Maybe he isn’t. But like the gloved one’s so-so biopic, the Celtic believes his squad must put all their chips into game three against the Miami Heat because 'this is it'. Literally.

After all, the Heat is up 2-0. Their confidence is soaring; their game is peaking; and they're comfortable.

The same can’t be said for the Celtics. Their confidence is lagging, and has been since the Kendrick Perkins for Jeff Green trade; their game is floundering; and they're tensing up.

Garnett believes game three is do-or-die. If they lose, the Heat advance to the Eastern Conference championship, and the Celtics' recent run is all but over.

The good news is they'll be at home, where they typically succeed. Look for them to key on Miami’s Chris Bosh, as neutralizing the lanky post takes the Heat out their rhythm.

So ‘this is it’ for Boston. Win and live. Lose and it’s essentially over. Expect fireworks on Saturday. Too much is at stake for there not to be.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Saturday , May , 07 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Bosh: ‘I’ve never tried to fit’ with LeBron or Wade

It was never a show of disrespect toward Bosh, but a way for James and Wade to display the friendship they had built over the years. For Bosh, it was an easier way to distinguish his preference of standing alone. "With me, I've always just been different," Bosh said. "I've never tried to fit in. I'm one of the fellas, great. I get along with everybody, great. But if I'm going to read my book, I'm going to read my book and this is what I'm doing."

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Miami Heat doesn’t care if Chris Bosh is his own man. They don’t care if he’s one of the ‘fellas’ -or not. And they don’t care if he conducts interviews with LeBron James and/or Dwyane Wade.

They care about one thing: his play. That is all.

If Bosh produces, the Heat will be tough. They’ll likely win the Eastern Conference and stand a good chance at capturing the NBA Title.

If Bosh falters, the Heat is beatable. Their half-court sets become predictable. Opposing defences will cheat on James and/or Wade with little or no repercussions.

Bosh is that all-important third scorer. His skill keeps opposing defenses honest, and his length makes him a solid rebounder.

When Bosh is at his best, the Heat can turn to an undersized unit of The Three Kings with two shooters. The most interesting feature of this line-up is when James and Wade runs pick-and-rolls.

All of this hinges on Bosh playing his best. And nothing else matters.

--Oly Sandor.

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


 
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Thursday , May , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: LeBron and D-Wade embarrass Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Game two of the Eastern Conference semi-finals wasn’t good for the Boston Celtics.

First, they lost to the Miami Heat. And second, they got crossed-over, rejected, and embarrassed on several highlight reel plays by LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

Don’t believe me? Want proof? Check out the video clips below and get at us with your thoughts.

(Wade breaks Ray Allen’s ankles.)
  

(Wade tangles-up Garnett in the open-court.)

(James blocks Garnett’s shots.)

-Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get thoughts in the comment box below.

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Wednesday , May , 04 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Mark Cuban Weighs in on Miami’s “Three Kings”

Our big brothers at CraveOnline caught up with the always interesting Mark Cuban at SXSW recently, and naturally it didn't take long before the conversation turned to hoops. Among other topics covering the NBA and more, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks dropped his thoughts on Miami Heat's acquisition of LeBron James and Chris Bosh over the summer.

 

Mark Cuban weighs in on the Miami Heat “Three Kings” fiasco:

Mark Cuban: I’m a believer in karma. You’ve just opened yourself to a big old whack across the head like they did, you typically get it. It was a unique opportunity. There was a lot of excitement. They were smart to try to extend the excitement throughout the community, but I just think they went a little overboard. They tried to make it like a rock concert. They tried to make it like the biggest event, the Super Bowl of player signings. It becomes very anticlimactic. That’s the challenge. You don’t want to shoot your wad before you even get in business. That’s basically what they might have done. So you’ve got to be careful. You’ve got to understand, particularly in sports, at the start of the season, everybody’s undefeated, everybody’s excited about their team and you want to try to have a crescendo that builds through the season to hopefully something good at the end. It actually worked to the benefit of the league because instead of the Beatles, they were The Knack. They were the knockoff that so far hasn’t quite worked. Maybe it will but they became the villain. They were like the Oakland Raiders so that’s actually helped the league because people go watch them to boo ‘em. You always want a villain.

 

Head over to CraveOnline to read the rest of the interview.

Miami Heat making NBA playoffs look too easy. Who can stop them?
Wednesday , May , 04 , 2011 J.N.

Miami Heat making NBA playoffs look too easy. Who can stop them?

Everything is set up perfectly for the Heatles to win it all. They made quick work of the Philadelphia Sixers. The Boston Celtics are falling down all over the place trying to guard LeBron and Wade. Their opponent in the Eastern Conference Finals will probably be quick work, too. This is what LeBron, Wade, and Bosh wanted. This is reality. They are making the 2011 playoffs look like an exhibition. It’s like that?  

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Sunday , May , 01 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Doc Rivers on Chris Bosh: He’s a ‘Key Guy’ for Heat

“LeBron and Wade are going to be LeBron and Wade,” Doc Rivers said. “They were great before the series, they’ll be great during it and they’ll be great after it and this summer when you’re talking about it you’ll say LeBron and Wade are great players. That’s not going to chance. But when Bosh plays great, then their team plays great. He’s a key guy for them.”

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Chris Bosh has taken ‘heat’ for his play this year.

As LeBron James and Dwyane Wade meshed together seamlessly for Miami, Bosh often struggled to find his way on both ends of the court.
 
At times, the Three Kings looked more like Two Kings and a Baron. Or, in an ode to Charlie Sheen, Two and a half Kings.
 
Make no mistake about it, as Bosh goes so goes the Heat. A focused, active CB4 gives the Heat a third option. He establishes an inside-outside game and punishes defenses for cheating on James and Wade.
 
While an unfocused Bosh makes the Heat a predictable, two-horse squad. And it’s too much to expect James and Wade to carry the offense come playoff time.
 
Not surprisingly, Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers has identified Bosh as the key. The green-and-white know they can’t stop James and Wade from ‘getting-theirs’, but the lanky left-hander is a different story.
 
The stakes are high. If Bosh plays well, the Heat likely win. If Bosh plays poorly, the Celtics likely win.
 
It’s not just about this year, though. If Bosh performs and the Heat advance, the Three Kings experiment will continue. If he does not perform and the Heat loses, he may be traded for cap space/depth.
 
The upcoming Heat-Celtics series could well define Bosh. Is he a superstar or a very good player? At least, we’ll get an answer.
 
--Oly Sandor.
 
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Friday , Apr , 29 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

LeBron and Heat want Celtics for lunch

Taking a metaphor right through the final bell of the first round,LeBron James was asked how his breakfast -- with NBA playoff rounds serving as meals -- went. "It was good!" said James, smiling. "Now we're preparing for lunch."

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Is LeBron James hungry? Did he miss a meal?

I bring this up because the Miami Heat superstar referred to his team’s first round opponent, the Philadelphia 76ers, as ‘breakfast’.
 
James dropped this little metaphor at the end of the Heat-76ers series. The implication being that the heavily favored Heat was going to ‘finish their breakfast’.
 
Unfortunately, this isn’t the end of the King’s little literary devices.
 
James’ Heat is facing the Boston Celtics in round two. Facing the mighty green-and-white hasn’t stopped James from continuing to torture us with the meal metaphors. James called the Celtics ‘lunch’. This won’t get over well with Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, or Rajon Rondo.
 
After all, the Celtics are reigning Eastern Conference champions. Not some also-ran. Or lower seed that stumbled into the second round. Perhaps they are deserving of greater respect. Perhaps not.
 
Providing the mediocre 76ers with bulletin board material is one thing. Providing the talented Celtics with bulletin board material is entirely different.
 
They’ll make James pay. And in a couple of weeks he could be the one getting feasted on.
 
--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Thursday , Apr , 28 , 2011 Andrew Flint

The good part of LeBron James’ Decision

Boys & Girls Clubs in Cleveland, Akron and Elyria report receiving a total of more than $480,000, part of about $2 million that James has distributed nationwide since the July broadcast, billed as "The Decision." In Cleveland, clubs in the Mount Pleasant and Slavic Village neighborhoods have received $130,000. Link
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: We knocked it –and with good reason.
Nine months ago, LeBron James announced he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers and signing with the Miami Heat as an unrestricted free agent.
If James wanted the sun of Miami instead of the snow of Cleveland, so be it. He had rights as a free agent. Who are we to judge?
However, the actual decision wasn’t the problem. The Decision, as in announcing where he would sign on national television, was. This made for ESPN spectacle ruined James’ image.
Nothing good came from it –until now. James donated all the advertising dollars to the Boys and Girls Club of America, which ended up being close to a half million dollars.
So The Decision wasn’t all about stroking James’ ego. Somebody else benefitted from his hour on television.
--Oly Sandor.
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 
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Wednesday , Apr , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Chris Bosh ‘comfortable’ playing center for Miami

He's changed his tune thus far in the postseason. Because of Philadelphia's speed at the position, Bosh has played extended minutes at center. His role is expected to remain the same throughout the series. "It just took some time to get comfortable to it," Bosh said." At first, I was kind of frightened. I didn't really want to play the five. I know I've said that a bunch of times."

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There’s a saying. Winning changes everything, especially if there’s a chance to win a championship.

Case in point: Chris Bosh.

At the start of the season, Bosh wasn’t into playing center for the Miami Heat. After all, he labored at the position for the Toronto Raptors, even though he fancied himself a power forward with skills and a face-up game.

When he signed with the Heat as part of The Great Free Agent Chase of 2010, he was under the impression his days at the five were over.

Permanently.

Now Bosh is open to playing center. A playoff run and the possibility of hoisting a championship will do this.

The Heat is at their best with Bosh at center. This allows them to spread the floor with two shooters, and lets LeBron James and Dwyane Wade isolate against their man or run a pick-and-roll.

Only time will tell if Bosh playing out of position will pay off with a championship, though.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

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Tuesday , Apr , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Heat flex defensive muscle in game-two win over 76ers

James scored 29 points, Bosh had his second straight double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Miami took a 2-0 series lead with a 94-73 victory over the abysmally shooting 76ers -- who managed their second-lowest playoff scoring total in the last 56 years -- on Monday night.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: All season, we’ve focused on what they aren’t. Perhaps we should focus on what they are: a defensive juggernaut –especially, on the perimeter.

On Monday night, the Miami Heat easily defeated the Philadelphia 76ers in game two of their first round series. They did this by playing airtight, stingy defense.

Consider the numbers:

•    The 76ers made one half-court basket in the opening quarter, and shot just 26% from the floor in the first half.

•    Only one starter reached double-figures, Jrue Holiday had 12 points.

•    Doug Collins’ squad ended up with a paltry 74 points.

The Heat’s ability to get-stops shouldn't surprise. Even when they were struggling with a 9-8 mark early on, the Heat had the makings of a fabulous defensive squad.

There are two keys to their success. First, the Heat is athletic on the perimeter. See LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Both can lock-up their checks, while playing the passing lanes.Second, Coach Erik Spoelstra rewards his players with offensive freedom -if they follow his scheme in their own end.

And this formula will be the key to the Heat advancing deep into the playoffs.

--Oly Sandor.

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