NBA officials decided Sunday that Dwyane Wade’s forearm shot to Lance Stephenson was a flagrant foul - just not enough of a shot to warrant a suspension.
The league issued its ruling shortly before the Heat were to face Indiana in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Neither Pacers coach Frank Vogel nor Heat coach Erik Spoelstra expected the league to hand down a suspension with a berth in the NBA Finals at stake. Wade explained to reporters before the game that he was not surprised by the decision.
”I wasn’t worried because it wasn’t intentional,” he said. ”All I was trying to do was get out of the way of him trying to set a screen.”
– Reported by the Associated Press
Next time you’re struggling to squeeze your carry-on suitcase into the overhead bin, imagine what it’s like to be Rob Pimental, an experienced business traveler who shows up for flights with 2,500 pounds of luggage and 65 pairs of expensive shoes.
Pimental is the Heat’s head equipment manager, and packing the defending NBA champions for a road trip is no small task. He packs for a traveling party of 48, which includes some of the league’s most high-profile and pampered athletes.
It is his job to make sure every player has not only four full sets of uniforms — two black and two red — but also customized sneakers (four or five pairs per player), undergarments and socks of choice, headbands, wristbands, elbow and knee pads, ankle braces, mouth guards, practice gear and warmup suits. He also packs 12 basketballs for practice.
His office is a Heat fan’s dream closet — floor-to-ceiling shoe boxes filled with impossible-to-buy sneakers, racks of Heat jerseys and shelves filled with Heat gear in every size.
He spent 19 years with the Sacramento Kings and joined the Heat last season, so he has learned the art of packing. The key, he says, is keeping checklists. He has many of them. Mostly on his iPad, and he checks them three and four times before every trip.
Reported by Michelle Kaufman of the Miami Herald
This has been billed as the deepest, most talented Heat team in its 25-year history, a roster with so many capable and gifted pieces that MVP LeBron James would not need to be routinely overburdened.
Now would be a good time for those pieces to again validate that notion.
Face it: Excluding James and Chris Andersen, nobody on the Heat has been anything special in this 1-1 Eastern Conference finals against Indiana, which resumes with Game 3 on Sunday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
“LeBron may be a little tired — it’s hard carrying four people up and down the court,” TNT’s Charles Barkley cracked after the Pacers’ 97-93 win Friday night.
James leads the Heat in this series in points (33 per game), rebounds (9.0) and assists (6.5) and is tied for the lead in steals and blocks. Pacers forward David West conceded the Pacers’ focus has been “on those other guys. We knew LeBron was going to do what he does.”
Clearly, more is needed elsewhere, not only from the ensemble around the Big 3, but from two-thirds of the Big 3.
Reported by Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald