Archive for the ‘ Miami Heat Blog ’ Category

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Heat backup guard Norris Cole:

Young Norris Cole living in NBA Finals with Heat

Norris Cole isn’t ready to assess his place in history, not at 25, not in just his third season in the league.

But he appreciates the uniqueness of his NBA reality, having now made it to the Finals in each of his first three seasons, with championships in each of his first two.

With this best-of-seven series against the San Antonio Spurs, the reserve point guard becomes the first player to appear in the NBA Finals in his first three seasons since Scott Williams did it with the Chicago Bulls from 1991 to 1993.

Beyond being the first player to do that in more than two decades, Cole entered these Finals having appeared in 55 playoff games, the fourth highest total over a player’s first three seasons.

Spurs get their Heat Finals rematch

Spurs get their Heat Finals rematch

Starting Thursday, the Spurs get a rematch in the NBA Finals against the only team to ever beat them in a championship series. San Antonio will be holding home-court advantage, so if another Game 7 awaits, the Spurs will have the decided edge this time around. If that wasn’t enough, the Spurs even got basically five full days between games to get healthy and prepare.

It is, without question, everything the Spurs could have wanted.

“We know what we’re going against,” said Spurs guard Tony Parker, who added that he has great respect for what the Heat have done in this four-year run. “It’s a great challenge.”

There are so many things that would seem like a distinct San Antonio advantage right now.

First, while everyone’s better at home, the Spurs dominate in San Antonio, winning 103 times in their last 123 games there. Over the past four seasons, the Spurs are also 25-5 when having three or more days between games.

– Associated Press

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on veteran Spurs star Tim Duncan, who sure seems ready for an NBA Finals rematch with the Heat:

The normally bland Duncan offered some surprising thoughts on facing the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals for a second straight year. The best-of-7 series opens Thursday in San Antonio.

“We’re back here now and we want to get it done this time,” Duncan said.

The Spurs advanced after defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder in six games. Last year they lost in seven games to the Heat despite holding a 3-2 lead in the series. The Heat won the last two at AmericanAirlines Arena, but this time the Spurs hold homecourt advantage.

“We were ready last year, too,” Duncan said. “People keep talking about it like we weren’t close to winning it. We were ready last year, and we just couldn’t get over that hump. We’re happy to be back here this year, we’re happy to have another opportunity at it.”

Duncan said the Spurs still have a “bad taste” in their mouths after last year. This season began with coach Gregg Popovich addressing the team about how close they were.

Heat must win on road in NBA Finals

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on the upcoming NBA Finals series between the Heat and Spurs:

The season began with the Miami Heat hearing about how their biggest rival in the Eastern Conference wanted to earn homecourt.

Now, the Heat have to listen of how their latest challenge embraces being the home team.

For the Heat to win a third straight NBA title, they will have to defeat the San Antonio Spurs as the visiting team.

“Once the time came when the playoffs started, we knew whoever we were going to play there was a chance that we were going to have to win on the road,” guard Ray Allen said.

Last year homecourt proved valuable in the Heat defeating the Spurs in the Finals. They trailed 3-2 when the series returned to Miami. The Heat then won the last two games to capture a second consecutive championship.

Here’s the Miami Heat arena, ready for Saturday’s Heat vs Indiana Pacers Eastern Conference Finals Game 3:

After concussion, Paul George cleared to play Pacers-Heat Game 3

Good news for the Indiana Pacers: they’ll have their best scorer Saturday as the team visits the Miami Heat for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The series is currently tied 1-1.

Under the care of the Pacers’ medical staff, Paul George has spent the past three days engaged in the NBA’s Return-to-Participation Exertion Protocol as part of the NBA’s Concussion Policy. George remained symptom free after each step of the process. The Pacers staff consulted with Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, the NBA’s Director of Concussion Management, throughout George’s progress through the protocol and today cleared him to return to normal basketball activity.

George will participate in tomorrow’s shootaround and barring any unforeseen complications, he will play in Saturday’s game at the Miami Heat.


Paul George scored 24 points, David West had 19, and the Indiana Pacers protected their home court with a 107-96 victory over the Miami Heat on Sunday to take a 1-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.

Indiana led wire-to-wire and never even gave the Heat a chance to tie the score after starting the game with a 5-0 lead.

Game 2 is Tuesday in Indiana. The home team has won all five meetings this season.

Dwyane Wade scored 27 points and LeBron James had 25 for the two-time defending NBA champions, who lost for only the second time in 10 playoff games.

Indiana had a 30-point first quarter for the first time since Feb. 27, extended the lead to 19 in the third and Miami couldn’t get closer than nine the rest of the way.

For months, people wondered what happened to the Indiana team that dominated the first half of the NBA season.

On Sunday, those Pacers suddenly reappeared.

– Associated Press

The Heat committed 26 fouls compared to 15 for the Pacers. The worst of it, of course, was a flagrant by Mario Chalmers on Watson with 9:22 left in the game. Chalmers first hit Watson with a common foul as Watson drove the basket. The Heat’s starting point guard then pushed Watson into press row, which was located on the baseline.

Chalmers was assessed a flagrant foul for the unnecessary shove and Watson was awarded four foul shots. His free throws gave the Pacers a 15-point lead.

An 18-foot turnaround jumper by Lance Stephenson put the Pacers ahead by 13 points with 7:37 to play and Indiana led by double digits for the remainder of the game.

– Miami Herald

It didn’t take 30 minutes of basketball Sunday for all five Pacers starters to reach double figures in scoring, and each starter made an impact in his own way.

Hill knocked down shots early. West punished the Heat inside on mismatches, ignoring his trusted jump shot to bully his way into the post. Paul George picked off shots in the flow of the offense, and Lance Stephenson provided crucial buckets in a big second quarter in particular. Miami struggled all game with Hibbert, who was never dominant but always present, scoring and rebounding consistently.

Starters combined to score 94 of Indiana’s 107 points in Game 1.

– Indianapolis Star

Miami Heat arena agreement reached

Here’s the Miami Herald with some Heat arena news:

The Miami Heat would receive $42 million in subsidies to play at the AmericanAirlines Arena for an extra five years and end a profit-sharing arrangement in favor of $23 million in payments to Miami-Dade’s parks department, under a deal reached by Mayor Carlos Gimenez and owner Micky Arison.

Miami-Dade would retain its ability to profit from the arena’s naming-rights agreement once the current deal with American Airlines expires in 2020, though the arrangement includes a provision to resolve disputes over how much of that sponsorship windfall would go to the county and how much would stay with the team, Gimenez said Friday.

While Arison was seeking a 10-year extension through 2040, Gimenez said the proposed deal only secures the team through 2035 out of fear the higher subsidies would cut into hotel taxes needed to pay off massive payments due from the 2009 Miami Marlins deal. Under the proposed agreement, Miami-Dade’s current $6.4 million subsidy to the Heat would increase by $2 million a year between 2031 and 2035.

Here’s the New York Post reporting on the Heat vs Nets series, which Miami now leads 3-1:

Joe Johnson wasn’t impressed with LeBron James’ defense against him in the final minutes of the Nets’ 102-96 loss to the Heat in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference semifinal Monday night.

“I wasn’t necessarily trying to draw the foul on him,” said Johnson, although James had five fouls while defending him, “but I thought he was aggressive, so I was just trying to use his aggressiveness against him.

“[But] he flopped that last one.”

Johnson, who had 18 points but went just 5-for-15 from the floor — including 0-for-4 in the fourth quarter — twice found himself matched up against James inside the final two minutes. But after James successfully defended Johnson’s fallaway jumper with the score tied at 94 with 1:16 remaining, Johnson tried to make a step-back jumper as James banged into him and fell to the floor. Johnson missed the shot with 40.7 seconds remaining and the Nets trailing 97-94.

Paul Pierce says Nets not scared of Heat

Here’s the New York Post reporting on the Heat and Nets, who are facing each other in the second round of the 2014 NBA playoffs. The Heat currently lead the series 2-1, but the Nets stepped up yesterday to win Game 3 in Brooklyn yesterday.

The Nets made their stand last night against LeBron James, and Brooklyn showed up to stand with them.

When you are The King of your sport, you live for these occasions, when the opponent is reeling and desperate and you have the chance to go for the throat and choke the last vestiges of life out of it.

Once you become The King, every game becomes a Game of Thrones, every series a Series of Thrones.

Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, remember, came to Brooklyn to threaten The Kingdom, and with a lot of luck and Mikhail Prokhorov maybe installing a Fountain of Youth somewhere inside Barclays Center, to dream the improbable dream of shocking the world and somehow wresting the crown from The King.

That dream stayed alive Saturday night when Brooklyn, a 104-90 winner, played with a toughness and an edge and a pride that reflects Mike Tyson’s borough and refused to let King James grab a 3-0 series lead and bury it.

“We’re not scared of them,” Pierce said.

Enjoy these video highlights of LeBron James helping the Miami Heat take a 2-0 series lead against the Brooklyn Nets in their second round NBA playoff series:

The Heat are up 2-0 against the Nets in their second round NBA playoff series. Here’s the Miami Herald on a couple of Heat players who so far in the playoffs have a good view from their seats on the bench. Which isn’t surprising, considering the Heat rotation players already have championship rings from their previous playoff efforts:

michael beasley

In crafting its roster last summer, the Heat hoped Greg Oden and Michael Beasley would provide an extra boost in its title defense.

Turns out, neither has been needed so far in the early stages of the playoffs.

Not only are both out of the rotation, but one is usually relegated to the Heat’s inactive list, alongside rookie Justin Hamilton.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra kept Beasley active ahead of Oden in the first and second games of this series because the Nets “are a very perimeter-oriented team.”

With the Nets playing a lot of smaller lineups, this series is not the ideal matchup for Oden, who played 212 minutes in 23 games this season, including six starts, and averaged 2.9 points and 2.3 rebounds.

Oden, who hasn’t appeared in a Heat playoff game, might earn minutes in an Eastern Conference finals matchup against Indiana’s Roy Hibbert or Washington’s Marcin Gortat, though he likely would play behind Udonis Haslem if he plays at all.

Here’s the New York Daily News reporting on the Heat and Nets, who are facing each other in the Eastern conference semifinals:

lebron james

This is what it’s supposed to look like when the two-time defending champ plays the sixth seed.

It’s supposed to be lopsided, with the favorites imposing their will and their athletic advantage, scoring easily and often under the basket.

Only it wasn’t supposed to happen to the Nets, not after they beat the Heat in all four regular-season meetings.

“Regular seasons don’t even matter,” Miami’s Dwyane Wade said.

Like the Heat was preaching all along, the playoffs are a different animal. It became painfully apparent for the Nets on Tuesday night at American Airlines Arena, where they were stomped by a balanced Miami attack and fell in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

It was just too easy for LeBron James and Co. in their 107-86 domination. They outscored the Nets in the paint, 52-28. They shot 57%, breaking open the game in the third quarter before Jason Kidd waved the white flag.

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on the Nets and Heat:

The droning chant will have to wait until the series moves to Barclays Center for Saturday’s Game 3.

But an argument could be made it has been ringing in the Miami Heat’s ears for months.

“Brooookl-lyn! Brooook-lyn! Brooook-lyn!”

An early-round matchup the Heat thought they had avoided with their No. 2 East playoff seed, until some late manipulation by the Brooklyn Nets, is at hand, the best-of-seven conference semifinal series starting Tuesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.

No team this season, at least when it came to wins and losses, had the Heat’s number like Brooklyn, sweeping the four-game season series, as well as winning both preseason matchups.

And, yes, it means Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are back as playoff rivals, this time in Brooklyn black instead of Boston green, complete with the enduring playoff respect and contempt that long has heightened these postseason matchups against LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

“It will always be there,” Wade said after Sunday’s practice, a session completed before the Nets defeated the Raptors 104-103 at Air Canada Centre in Game 7 of that series. “I don’t think there will be a moment where it won’t, just the competitive nature of those guys.”

Sunday in Miami, the Heat beat the Charlotte Bobcats 99-88 in Game 1 of their first round NBA playoff series. But the Bobcats did enjoy a highlight coming in the form of a great Josh McRoberts dunk on Chris “Birdman” Andersen. Enjoy the video clip:

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on the Heat:

Mike Beasley inactive for Heat in playoff opener

Michael Beasley was designated as inactive for the Miami Heat’s playoff opener Sunday against the Charlotte Bobcats at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Beasley sprained an ankle during Wednesday’s regular-season finale against the Philadelphia 76ers. Coach Erik Spoelstra said Beasley got in a workout Sunday and is closer to a return.

“Michael is still getting healthy from that ankle,” Spoelstra said. “He didn’t really progress the last couple of days the way that we had hoped. He was able to get a better workout today than he was the last couple of days.”

Here’s ESPN Miami reporting on the Heat, who begin their first round playoff series against the Charlotte Bobcats on Sunday:

Having finished 54-28, the Heat endured their lowest winning percentage of any season since James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh came together in 2010. They’ve survived a seven-month grind during which nagging injuries forced Wade out of the lineup for 28 games and coach Erik Spoelstra to sort through 21 different starting lineups to fill the voids.

Now, the two-time defending champions enter the playoffs older — six of their top nine players are in their 30s — and arguably more vulnerable than they’ve been at any point. In addition to those factors, Miami limped into the postseason having lost 14 of their final 25 regular-season games and failed to secure home-court advantage throughout the playoffs, which proved to be essential last season.

Yet as defiant as they’ve ever been, the Heat insist none of those potential warning signs matter.

“On the outside, there’s more doubt,” said forward Udonis Haslem, who along with Wade are the lone players who have been with the Heat since their first championship season in 2006. “Within here, we’re still confident in one another. We still know what we can do. We still understand what needs to be done and we know how to get it done. From the outside looking in, people might have a different opinion.”

Watch video of Nets rookie Mason Plumlee blocking Heat star LeBron James with around four seconds left. The Nets won the game, 88-87. This was huge. LeBron felt he got fouled on the play. Notice Joe Johnson swiping at LeBron before Plumlee’s block.

Here’s the Miami Herald reporting on some Heat legends:

Tim Hardaway happy for Alonzo Mourning despite Hall of Fame snub

Odds are Tim Hardaway is going to get into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame sooner rather than later.

But there’s no doubt the five-time All-Star point guard — now a 47-year-old scout with the Heat — is disappointed he’s not joining the Hall in Springfield, Mass., this August alongside his former teammate Alonzo Mourning.

“I can’t really tell you my initial feelings,” Hardaway said of the Hall of Fame selection process before Tuesday night’s game against the Nets. “But I’m glad Zo got the call and he’s going in. I’m going to be there for him.

“We should have went in together,” Hardaway continued. “But you know, what can I say? I don’t have any control over that. That’s the way it is. “

Hardaway, whose No. 10 is the only other Heat jersey retired and hung up alongside Mourning’s No. 33 inside AmericanAirlines Arena, was joined at the hip with the 6-10, seven-time All-Star center in 1996 by Pat Riley.

Watch some video highlights from the career of former NBA center Alonzo Mourning, who will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame

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