miami-heat
Hoopsvibe default image
Saturday , Mar , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

LeBron empathizing with Melo, Knicks is a problem

For LeBron James, the signs are all familiar. The initial discomfort in a new system. The frustrating losses. The growing pains. The private bickering, questioning and second-guessing. The attitude issues. Even the turbulence during particularly heated timeouts. James knows that script all too well. He's lived it during the honeymoon period with the Miami Heat, the one that sent the team into a brief stretch of disarray following a difficult 9-8 start.

"I know exactly what he's going through right now," James said of his friend Carmelo Anthony's more-difficult-than-expected indoctrination with the Knicks. "And it's going to take time. Everybody knows we were 9-8. We had to figure things out. And we're still figuring things out.

 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: LeBron James can relate to Carmelo Anthony’s recent struggles with the New York Knicks.

Like Anthony, James left his old team in less than perfect fashion. Like Anthony, James predicted greatness for his new team before playing a single game. And like Anthony, James experienced a backlash when things didn’t instantly go to plan.

King James feels ‘Melo’s pain. He relates to the hardship, the expectations, and the criticism. He knows the trials and tribulations of an NBA superstar.

What nonsense James speaks.

It’s hard to knock James and/or Anthony for using the system to play for the team they like. They both gave seven years to the team that drafted them. If they want to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and Denver Nuggets, fair enough.

It’s, however, easy to knock James and/or Anthony for how they left the Cavaliers and/or Nuggets.  We won’t, though. This is old news. What’s done is done.

Here’s the point: James and Anthony got exactly what the wanted. James joined pals Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in South Beach, while Anthony returned home to The Big Apple.

And both received big money from their new team; James inked a $100 million max deal, Anthony signed a three-year, $65 million extension.

They’re playing for the team of their choice. They’re also playing in the cities of their choice. Key word: choice.

It’s hard to feel sympathy for superstars who get everything they ask for, and feel frustrated when things aren’t instantly a bed of roses.

Perhaps this is what separates the greats like Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan from the very good like James and Anthony. The greats don’t expect, want, or need sympathy.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
Hoopsvibe default image
Friday , Mar , 25 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Erik Spoelstra wants a mulligan on ‘Cry-Gate’ comment

What is one thing you would go back and do over this season? Was it the crying comment to the media after the game?

“I wouldn’t have said it [the players were crying after the Chicago Bulls lose]. I mean the players…we don’t have a problem with it because everybody has been in a situation where their words have been taken out of context. In a strange way we’ve all been through this together and everybody in something where they have tried to say something to the team that has been taken out of context and it strengthened us. I brought it up to the team the next day and there wasn’t any broken trust. You know you’re in front of the media three times a day eventually something you’re going to say is probably not going to have the meaning you would have expected. I wouldn’t have said it if I had a do over just so I would eliminate one more distraction, but my point about it was the guys do care. I think it is great that we have some incredible, incredibly competitive, self-willed guys in this locker room, but this means a lot more to them, their profession.”

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Erik Spoelstra is in front of the press several times a day. Being the sideline boss of the high profile Miami Heat means every sentence, word, and syllable is dissected.

To be fair, Spoelstra has done a solid job with the press. He won’t, however, get a mulligan on his ‘Cry-Gate’ blunder after the heartbreaking loss to the Chicago Bulls.

And he won’t get a mulligan on the season if the Heat falls short of expectations. 2011 will be all she wrote for Spoelstra.

So the only thing that matters is winning. Not now. Not two weeks from now, but in June during the NBA Finals.

To keep his job, Spoelstra’s Heat must qualify for the championship series and impress the old guy with slicked back hair who conveniently sits near the team’s bench during games.

That’s right: Pat Riley. That Hall of Fame sideline boss turned executive, who never met a camera he didn’t like.

If the Heat falters, ‘Riles’ could fire Spoelstra and step behind the bench himself. The more likely scenario is he hires another coach, so he can still act as the grand puppet-master of South Beach.

It would seem the press isn’t the only hassle Spoelstra is facing. Riley's string pulling is also a problem.

--Oly Sandor.

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

Hoopsvibe default image
Thursday , Mar , 24 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Would a lockout push Rivers from Celtics to Heat?

Celtics fans may have one reason to root for a lockout. A delay in the start of the season might actually work to the team's advantage in retaining a prized free agent -- head coach Doc Rivers.

 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: On the one hand, a lockout may help the Boston Celtics re-sign their brilliant coach Glen ‘Doc’ Rivers.

A work stoppage would let Rivers spend additional time in Florida with his children, who are competitive athletes. The hope is he would take the extra time to get refreshed and refocused, and ink another one-year contract with the Celtics.

The key word is hope.

On the other hand, a lockout may hurt the Celtics’ ability to keep Rivers. Suppose there’s a prolonged work stoppage. Kevin Garnett and/or Ray Allen could retire. Yes, The Big Ticket and Jesus Shuttlesworth could cash their 501K and call it a career.

Would Rivers return to a Celtics squad without Garnett and/or Allen?

After all, Rivers has his money. And he seems awfully content relaxing with family in and around Florida.

This could also be a ploy. Rivers has often been linked to the Miami Heat, especially since South Beach’s current coach Erik ‘Cry-Gate’ Spoelstra seems overwhelmed.

Suppose the Heat fall short of expectations. As much as he loves the spotlight, oil-slick GM Pat Riley probably won’t leave the executive suite for the sideline.

The Heat needs a coach for the long term –like Rivers. So expect Riley to give Rivers, a master at handling superstars, a blank cheque. And Rivers would have to choose between the aging Celtics and the superstar-laden Heat.

And the Heat’s offer would be tough to turn down.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
Hoopsvibe default image
Friday , Mar , 18 , 2011 Oly Sandor

Video: Dwyane Wade ‘welcomes’ Kendrick Perkins to OKC Thunder

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Leave it Dwyane Wade to welcome Kendrick Perkins to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Yesterday, the Heat’s superstar spun baseline and posterized Perkins, who happened to be playing in his second game as a member of the Thunder. Then Wade dropped some celebratory dance moves from the Kid N Play era.

--Oly Sandor.

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

Why LeBron James will not win MVP. Ever again.
Wednesday , Mar , 16 , 2011 J.N.

Why LeBron James will not win MVP. Ever again.

I come in peace, but I’ll talk about this. This has to be addressed. Welcome to LeBron’s new nightmare. The Miami Heat is getting $hi#$ed on by the full media blitz. It’s not over. It’s never going to be over with the public onslaught. There is more to come, but no one has mentioned this particular item. I write this with full sincerity - LBJ will not win MVP ever again. This is a bold claim, but there are many reasons to see why.

Read More
Hoopsvibe default image
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.

Link

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.


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

Hoopsvibe default image
Friday , Mar , 11 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Report: Bryant shooting jumpers after loss to Heat

More than an hour following the Lakers' loss 94-88 loss to the Heat on Thursday, Kobe Bryant was shooting jumpers on the American Airlines Arena floor, according to various Twitter reports.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He could have hit up South Beach, popped bottles, and had fun. Instead, he’s working on his jump shot.

It doesn’t matter that he has five championship rings. It doesn’t matter that he is the NBA’s premier player. It doesn’t matter that his place as a future first ballot Hall of Famer is all but guaranteed.

Kobe Bryant is great because he’s obsessed with winning and being the best player he can be.

What other player with his stature would punch the clock and practice after logging 39 minutes in a barnburner against the Miami Heat?

What makes Bryant different is also what makes him great.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts on Bryant, the Heat, or the Lakers? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

Hoopsvibe default image
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."

Link

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.

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

Hoopsvibe default image
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.

Link

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.


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

Hoopsvibe default image
Sunday , Mar , 06 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Celtics sign Heat castoff Carlos Arroyo

 

The Celtics have agreed to a contract with Carlos Arroyo, according to a league source. Arroyo's deal is for the pro-rated veteran's minimum for the remainder of the season.

 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: One team’s junk is another team’s treasure.

The Boston Celtics have signed Carlos Arroyo, who was waived by the Miami Heat after they signed veteran point guard Mike Bibby.

Yes, the contenders in the Eastern Conference have been playing musical chairs at the one-spot.

After all, the Atlanta Hawks traded Bibby to the Washington Wizards for Kirk Hinrich at the trade deadline. Bibby was promptly bought out and signed with the Heat, which led to South Beach giving Arroyo, who started much of the season, his walking papers.

The Celtics had an opening because they sent Nate Robinson to the Oklahoma City Thunder as part of the Kendrick Perkins-for-Jeff Green blockbuster.

So what will Arroyo bring to the green-and-white?

Well, he’s a veteran. Arroyo has been around the league and can help off the bench or start when absolutely necessary. He’ll also have some idea as to how the Heat operate, and could provide invaluable info in a best-of-seven series.

Both the Celtics and Heat are expecting to meet in the playoffs. What a match-up that could be.

--Oly Sandor.

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

Read More
Hoopsvibe default image
Wednesday , Mar , 02 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Celtics, not Heat, sign Troy Murphy

Troy Murphy has decided to sign with the Boston Celtics.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The rich just got richer. Today, the Boston Celtics won the first round of the veteran’s buyout war, signing free agent Troy Murphy to a pro-rated one year contract.

Translation: Murphy is a short-term rental. 

The left-handed post was dealt from the New Jersey Nets to the Golden State Warriors at the trade deadline. The Warriors then bought Murphy out, giving him the opportunity to choose his next team.  

Murphy will add depth off the bench for the Celtics and can start if Shaquille O’Neal and/or Jermaine O’Neal aren’t healthy.

Whatever his role, Murphy will rebound and extend opposing defences with his deadly three-point range.  

Most importantly, the green-and-white prevented Murphy from signing with the rival Miami Heat. And such a signing could be the difference between winning and losing the Eastern Conference championship.

--Oly Sandor.


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

Read More
Hoopsvibe default image
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.

Link

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.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
Hoopsvibe default image
Wednesday , Feb , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Warriors acquire Troy Murphy, Buyout coming?

The Warriors and Nets are close to finalizing a multi-player trade, according to sources. Golden State will send Dan Gadzuric and Brandan Wright to New Jersey for Troy Murphy and a 2012 second round pick.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Wait a second. Wasn’t Troy Murphy supposed to go to the Denver Nuggets as part of the Carmelo Anthony trade?

That’s right. Anthony declined the New Jersey Nets’ overtures and is now a New York Knick.

Anyway, the Nets wasted little time sending Murphy back to his first NBA team, the Golden State Warriors, for Dan Gadzuric and Brandan Wright.

Murphy isn’t returning home for a reunion or coming full circle, though.

In a day or so, the Warriors will buyout whatever is left on his expiring contract and allow him to hit the free agent market.

Murphy will then have his choice of contenders, and the Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat, and Orlando Magic are all expected to show interest.

On paper, the Magic makes the most sense. Murphy can help center Dwight Howard on the glass, while stretching defenses with his three-point range –like Rashard Lewis before he got moved to the Washington Wizards.

One issue will be Murphy’s conditioning. He has only played in 18 games due to injury and a bizarre banishing by Coach Avery Johnson.

After months of frustration, the left-handed veteran will hit the court. For the first time in his nine year career, he could see playoff action, too.

However, what exactly Murphy can contribute is unknown.

--Oly Sandor.


Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
Hoopsvibe default image
Wednesday , Feb , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Bryant: ‘You can’t beat me in June’

After practice, Bryant was still reflective not only about the twilight of the regular season but also the twilight of his career and the opportunity to pass on what he has learned to younger players at the All-Star Game. When Bryant was asked how he feels about being an elder statesman he simply laughed. "It doesn't matter to me," he said. "You can't beat me in June. All the other stuff doesn't matter."

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He put it out there.

Kobe Bryant isn’t worried about the Los Angeles Lakers’ struggles. Not one bit. In fact, the MVP of 2011 All-Star game likes his chances against all comers in the playoffs when the Larry O’Brien championship trophy is at stake.

Part of me respects his confidence. And part of me thinks his team deserves greater respect.

After all, many have already buried the purple-and-gold, claiming they’re too everything: too old, too slow, too apathetic, and too Hollywood.

When that gets tiresome, they claim the purple-and gold aren’t enough like the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, or San Antonio Spurs.

Perhaps they have a point, but basketball is the only sport where the two-time defending champion would be written off for dead before the playoffs.

There’s still life in these Lakers, especially if Andrew Bynum stays healthy, Ron Artest regains his old form, and Matt Barnes recovers from injury to bring toughness off the bench.

However, a three-peat begins and ends with Bryant. And this boils down to one question: would you bet against him in June?

--Oly Sandor.

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

Hoopsvibe default image
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.”

Link

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.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
Hoopsvibe default image
Tuesday , Feb , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Lil’ Wayne squashes beef with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade?

James was seen offering a “What’s up?” nod toward the rapper. NBC-6s Adam Kuperstein approached Lil Wayne, an AmericanAirlines Arena regular, to ask if he and James now were cool and received a response of, “Oh, yeah, yeah.”

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Peace has prevailed.

Rapper Lil’ Wayne has squashed his beef with Miami Heat superstars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Remember, Wayne felt slighted because James and Wade ignored him when he was sitting courtside at a recent game between the Heat and New Orleans Hornets.

Everything is ‘cool’, though. It was all a misunderstanding. No word on whether the three are expecting the Noble Peace Prize for their efforts.

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