Archive for the ‘ Miami Heat Blog ’ Category

Photo from the NBA of LeBron James arriving in the Cleveland visiting locker room for tonight’s Miami Heat at Cavs game:

Here’s the Miami Herald reporting on LeBron James heading home for to Akron for Thanksgiving, but with a stop in Cleveland to play the Cavs first:

lebron james

Two days before Thanksgiving, LeBron James sat in his old high school gymnasium in Akron, Ohio, and reminisced. Off to the side, while St. Vincent-St. Mary practiced, James’ sons shot hoops on the same rims that helped turn their father into the best basketball player on the planet.

These Heat road trips to his hometown for games against his old team have been memorable for James ever since he signed with the Heat, and this latest visit to Northeast Ohio will be another emotional exercise in balancing his appreciation for the place that made him and his love for what now defines him.

On Wednesday, James’ Heat plays the Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena and before the game a grassroots movement called “Come Home LeBron” will hold a rally outside the arena. After the game, the Heat is spending the night in the area instead of immediately boarding a plane to Toronto. On Thursday, James is hosting a Thanksgiving feast for the Heat at his home in Akron.

“I am happy that I’m able to do something for the team for Thanksgiving,” James said.

In describing James’ house, Chris Bosh mused that if the Heat’s players had to be away from their families, “it might as well be the biggest house in the world.” Dwyane Wade joked that he would make sure to wear “the right socks” because the house is too fancy for shoes.

The LeBron James “Decision” TV special is old news, but here’s the Akron Beacon Journal blog with good stuff from Anderson Varejao:

anderson varejao

Anderson Varejao, the last remaining player with ties to LeBron James, said Tuesday he disagreed with the way James left but believes he could return to play for this organization again.

“It could happen,” Varejao said. “Bron is from Akron. Akron is not too far from here. Eventually in his career, he probably wants to play at home.”

And then unprovoked, the normally quiet Varejao said he didn’t like the way James left the Cavs via the one-hour television special.

“Going back to that, I think the way he left was wrong,” Varejao said. “But regardless … He helped me a lot, helped my game and helped me as a person. I have nothing against him. It could happen.”

Chris Bosh continues to hit 3-pointers

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel on the Miami Heat offense sometimes including Chris Bosh out on the perimeter, where he is able to operate with success:

Chris Bosh

Bosh has made a 3-pointer in each of the past three games, 3 of 5 from beyond the arc in those three, the ball whipping around to him just as it has been to the Heat’s 3-point specialists.

“The ball will find him, in open areas, in open gaps,” Spoelstra said. “We use the term all the time, ‘The ball will find energy.’ And when he’s playing with that type of energy, the ball will find him.

“We’re not running necessarily plays for him. But you see him moving into open areas and he’s very skilled when he gets in those sweet spots of his.”

Just as Bosh is moving, so is the ball.

Blake Griffin

The Miami Heat’s LeBron James and the Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Nov. 11, through Sunday, Nov. 17.

James averaged a league-best 34.0 points in leading the Heat to a 3-0 week. He led Miami in scoring in all three games and shot .702 from the field (fifth in the league), .625 from three-point range, and .810 from the foul line. On Nov. 15, James tallied 39 points on 14-of-18 shooting and added six rebounds and four assists as the Heat topped the Dallas Mavericks 110-104.

Griffin helped the Clippers to a 3-0 week behind averages of 25.7 points (tied for third in the Western Conference), 11.3 rebounds (ninth in the conference), 4.7 assists and 1.0 steals. He posted a point-rebound double-double in all three games. On Nov. 13, Griffin scored 22 points and added 12 rebounds, seven assists and three steals as the Clippers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 111-103.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Jeff Teague, Chicago’s Luol Deng, Denver’s Ty Lawson, Golden State’s Klay Thompson, Houston’s Jeremy Lin, Minnesota’s Kevin Love, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, Orlando’s Arron Afflalo and Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge.

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting:

lebron james

Miami Heat forward LeBron James caused a stir when he teamed up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh three years ago.

Now, James is contemplating linking up with another superstar from a different sport. On Monday, James confirmed he has interest in teaming up with soccer icon David Beckham in bringing a Major League Soccer team to Miami.

“There’s some interest on both sides,” James said. “David has become a good friend of mine over the last few years. I think it would be great for this city to have a football club for sure. There’s interest on both sides but it’s preliminary talks.”

mario chalmers

Miami Heat guard Mario Chalmers has been suspended for one game without pay for throwing a forearm and making contact with the head of Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, for which Chalmers was assessed a Flagrant Foul 2 and ejected, occurred with 5:01 remaining in the fourth quarter of Miami’s 110-104 win over Dallas on Friday, Nov. 15, at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Chalmers will serve his suspension tonight when the Heat visit the Charlotte Bobcats.

To view the play, click on this link.

Aging NBA veteran Dwyane Wade is still a terrific basketball player, but for the most part the Miami Heat are LeBron James’ team to lead. Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel:

dwyane wade

Wade scored a season-high 29 points in Thursday’s victory against the Los Angeles Clippers, but knows moments as such are a rarity because of the Heat’s offensive game plan. The system is set up for LeBron James to shoulder to scoring load while receiving contributions from Wade, center Chris Bosh and the rest of the supporting cast.

“You’ve got to keep other guys happy,” Wade said. “Years ago, if I had it going, I would have tried to keep it going. Just understanding on this team, there’s so many other guys who are capable and you’ve got to keep your teammates happy. A night like [Thursday] night, you feel like when things are going in, this is a 40-point night. But on this team, it’s not about that.”

Wade no longer makes a fuss when critics say he is on the downside of his career. Instead, he focuses on his previous resume while still proving he is still one of the top players in the league.

I know many of you don’t believe it, but LeBron James is human. He is. He has to eat and sleep like everybody else. And even LeBron can suffer some health issues once in a while. Here’s ESPN Miami reporting:

lebron james

LeBron James has been dealing with back spasms since midway through the Miami Heat’s training camp.

So what took him so long to divulge his discomfort?

“It just never came up,” James said of his back after Friday’s practice. “If it doesn’t come up, I don’t talk about it. For me, I don’t really talk about injuries much, and I’ve had my fair share. That’s just the way it is. If I’m OK to play and I’m out on the court, then I don’t have an excuse.”

James said he plans to continue playing through the back soreness, and expects to be in the lineup for Saturday’s game against the Boston Celtics. But if the pain gets much worse, he’ll reluctantly consider sitting out to rest.

mario chalmers

Miami Heat guard Mario Chalmers has been fined $15,000 for hitting Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin in the throat with a forearm, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

The foul on Chalmers, which was called a common foul on the floor, has been upgraded by the league office to a Flagrant Foul 2. The incident occurred with 8:05 remaining in the third quarter of the Heat’s 102-97 win over the Clippers on Thursday, Nov. 7, at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel, reporting on how LeBron James continues to do some of hte biggest things in the NBA anyone has seen in a long time:

lebron james

With his 10th point in Tuesday night’s game against the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre, Miami Heat forward LeBron James became the fifth player in NBA history to score in double figures in 500 or more consecutive games.

James reached 500 with a first-quarter dunk.

It is the longest active such streak in the NBA.

The Miami Heat are still considered the best team in the East — and the league. But on paper, the Brooklyn Nets look able to at least compete with the champs. And Shaquille O’Neal agrees. Here’s the New York Daily News:

Kevin Garnett

The big-name acquisitions made over the summer by GM Billy King have the Nets talking NBA title contention. But the championship rhetoric isn’t contained within the confines of the Barclays Center or the team’s training site in East Rutherford.

Some believe the Nets have what it takes to knock LeBron James and the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat from their perch. Former NBA great and current TNT analyst Shaquille O’Neal is one of them. He feels Brooklyn’s title aspirations are legitimate, provided its star players can stay on the court and build chemistry.

“If they can stay healthy, I think they can give Miami a run,” O’Neal said Monday at a TNT luncheon in New York, according to SI’s Richard Deitsch. “If they come together, I think they can take Miami.”

The consensus at Nets practice Monday was they were appreciative of his comments and agree with his qualifier regarding the team’s health.

A healthy and even more efficient Dwyane Wade would be a scary thing for anyone playing against the Miami Heat. But if all goes as planned, that’s exactly what the Heat will have as a weapon. Here’s the Miami Herald:

dwyane wade

Practice had long since ended last week, but there was Dwyane Wade — the last player on the floor — working with assistant David Fizdale on polishing his post moves.

Indiana coach Tom Crean, his close friend and former coach at Marquette, pointed out this summer that Wade is “one of the most efficient players to ever play the game.”

But even after finishing seventh in last season’s NBA’s efficiency ratings — he was second or third the previous four years — Wade said in no uncertain terms: “I’ve got to be way more efficient than I’ve ever been.”

Wade, off July’s Ossatron knee treatment, has looked very good — “best I’ve seen him since year one,” LeBron James said earlier in camp — and how his game evolves, at 31, will be fascinating.

miami heat

The Miami Heat announced today that they have waived forward Eric Griffin and center Justin Hamilton.

Griffin, who was signed by as a free agent in September, appeared in seven games with the Heat this preseason and averaged 1.7 points, 1.1 rebounds and 6.1 minutes.

Hamilton, who was acquired by the Heat in a draft night trade in 2012, appeared in five games and averaged 2.6 points, 1.0 rebounds and 5.6 minutes.

The Heat’s roster now stands at 15.

The return of center Greg Oden to NBA (preseason) action is a fun story, and hopefully it continues with Oden staying healthy and being a key member of the Miami Heat. Here’s Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald:

lebron james

LeBron James put it this way: “I have no idea what my feeling would be like after being away from the game for three years. I was so excited for him when he got on the court and his first basket he gets a dunk.

“Can you write it any better? Obviously he’s not where he wants to be, but the process is going great. I was so happy for him. I was like a big brother seeing his little brother succeed again. It was a great moment.”

Chris Bosh said: “We remind him daily that we’re going to need him. So, just to see him take that first step forward is huge.”

Oden played alongside Bosh, and that pairing should be effective against teams with two offensively gifted power rotation players, such as the Indiana Pacers, with Bosh slotted into his natural power forward position in those lineups.

Greg Oden returns to NBA action

Greg Oden is alive! And back on a basketball court. And even better, he was active and looked perfectly healthy and like a player worth watching and giving minutes to. It was nice to see. Here’s Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel:

Greg Oden

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra refused to tip his hand Wednesday morning. Wednesday night he played his trump card.

For the first time in nearly four years, Greg Oden appeared in an NBA game, when the hulking center checked in with 5:15 to play in the second quarter of Wednesday night’s 108-95 exhibition victory over New Orleans Pelicans at New Orleans Arena.

“It’s been a long time,” Oden exulted in the locker room afterward. “It’s been a long road for me, just to get that off my back, my first step tonight.”

Teammates were even more emotional.

“It was a very special moment,” forward LeBron James said. “I have no idea what my feelings would be like being away from the game for three years, and it was a proud moment. I was so excited for him when he got on the court and checked in.

“I might have to toast this for him. I ain’t no drinker, but I might have to take a shot for him.”

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have waived forward Jarvis Varnado and guards Larry Drew II and Charlie Westbrook.

Varnado appeared in six games with the HEAT this preseason and averaged 2.0 points, 2.3 rebounds and 9.9 minutes. Additionally, he appeared in 13 regular season games with the HEAT last season totaling eight points, nine rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal in 58 minutes.

Drew appeared in one game with the HEAT this preseason totaling 5:52 minutes of action.

Westbrook appeared in four games with the HEAT this preseason and averaged 2.5 points and 5.7 minutes.

The HEAT’s roster now stands at 17.

Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose believes the Bulls have only one main rival — and it’s the Miami Heat, not the Indiana Pacers.

Rose made his feelings known before Friday night’s preseason contest against the Pacers.

While being respectful regarding Indiana’s recent success, Rose acknowledged that he believed any rivalry with the Pacers is a thing of the past.

“People say that it’s a rivalry, but I don’t really see it,” Rose said before scoring 32 points in the team’s 103-98 win against the Pacers. “I say the team that is more like a rivalry is when Darren Collison was on the team. That one was more like a rivalry, but this team is a great team. They’ve already proven themselves last year by making it to the Eastern Conference finals.”

Reported by Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago

Miami-Dade prosecutors on Tuesday dropped a drunken-driving charge against Tracy Wilson-Mourning, the wife of former Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning.

Police arrested Wilson-Mourning on a DUI charge in February after she was pulled over for speeding near Old Cutler Road and San Servano Avenue.

According to the arrest report, an officer said he saw Wilson-Mourning driving her 2010 Porsche Panamera at 48 mph in a 20 mph zone and making an improper right turn at about 3:40 a.m. Police also said Wilson-Mourning ran a flashing red light.

Reported by David Ovalle of the Miami Herald

Greg Oden continues his progress in Heat practices

“He fouled me twice,” LeBron James said with a smile.

It might have been two of the more enjoyable fouls of James’ career, especially in a practice setting.

The hits came from Greg Oden during the scrimmage portion of Monday’s Miami Heat practice at AmericanAirlines Arena.

It has been more than three seasons since Oden has appeared in an NBA game. Monday marked another step in his comeback from several gruesome knee injuries, even as coach Erik Spoelstra yet again downplayed the hulking center’s timetable.

“It felt good to be out there, get some up and down,” Oden said. “You see I’m a little frustrated in myself because I’m not as back as I want to be. But you know, it’s little steps. Today was another step, getting out there and doing some five on five.”

Teammates appreciated the moment.

“It’s a testament to him just keeping his composure, his believing in himself, his family believing in him,” James said. “He’s back where he belongs, and that’s in the NBA.”

Reported by Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel

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