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Mick Ciallela
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What do the Heat have to do to win a championship this year? (1 comment)

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Heat Fan

Miami fans should applaud LeBron, and he should return the favor posted by Heat Fan

Four Finals appearances in four years? Two championships? I'd say James delivered on his promise when he the Heat in 2010.

When he left Cleveland, he was the game's biggest individual talent who hadn't won anything. He needed validation; needed to begin his ring count before it was too late.

His four years in Miami built leadership qualities and maturity that were lacking before. And his time in the South Florida sun removed the stigma of being the best player in the world who hadn't won a championship. When it was all over, the experience had given him the confidence to return home and try to build something new.

As he returns to face his buddy, Dwyane Wade, on Thursday, here's a question: Is it possible that James' four years in Miami will wind up being the apex of his career? That he'll never have another run like that again?

It's more than possible. Only three teams have been to the Finals four consecutive times -- the Lakers and Celtics in the '80s and the Heat of James, Wade and Bosh. The odds that James could accomplish that feat a second time with another team? Pretty slim.

Even slimmer when you consider how much the NBA landscape has changed since James formed his Big Three in 2010. That was the last hurrah under the old collective bargaining agreement, and the deal struck after the 2011 lockout has fundamentally changed how teams are being built.

This is not to say that the Big Three model can't or won't work one more time for James in Cleveland. But with the landscape changing all around him, it's a reminder of how special his four years in Miami really were.

Continue reading "Miami fans should applaud LeBron, ..."

Heat Fan

Miami Heat Preseason Report 2014 posted by Heat Fan

Miami Heat managed to reach the finals in the 2013-14 season but could not match the explosive play of San Antonio Spurs. For the fourth straight year, Miami has reached the finals, but keeping the focus mentally and physically to win the title seemed to be lacking. Secondly, the Spurs had a much better play, and even if Miami had done their best, they could not have beaten the Spurs. LeBron James played excellently, but he seemed to be falling short on the defense compared to his earlier games. Chris Bosh had to make up for the defense shortfall, and bigger role given to Greg Oden did not play out.

For 2014-2015 season, Miami Heat had a good chance to win the title, but now since they have lost LeBron James, their chances have gone down drastically. The team had to overpay Chris Bosh to keep at least two of their star players in the team. Pat Riley seems to have made all the right moves for the team to have a good chance for a top four playoff in the Eastern division. If Bosh remains healthy and Dwayne Wade keeps to his former performance, the team could pose a good challenge to the Cavaliers and LeBron.

Luol Deng who is an excellent starter has replaced James, and veteran Danny Granger seems to have been bought in for a reason. Miami Heat has also managed to acquire Josh McRoberts from Charlotte, and in the draft, the team managed to snag Shabazz Napier to improve point guard. Other acquisitions at reasonable amounts included Udonis Haslem, Dwayne Wade, and Mario Chalmers. Wade now seems to be the key player in the team, who could make a difference. If he remains healthy and displays good leadership skills, Miami Heat could again have a chance at the finals.

Continue reading "Miami Heat Preseason Report 2014"

NBA News

Make Money Betting on the 2013 NBA Playoffs posted by NBA News

The 2013 NBA Playoffs is upon us. As the regular season has closed, the real battle begins. The Miami Heat, lead by the reigning MVP Lebron James, is out to repeat as the NBA champions. The Heat have been very impressive in the regular season, boasting of the best record and even stringing 27 straight wins- the second most in the entire history of the NBA. The Miami Heat are considered  as the odds-on favorite to win the NBA title again.

However, 15 other teams are dead-set on preventing this from happening. Leading the list of contenders to the throne held by the Miami Heat are last year’s Finals losers, the Oklahoma City Thunder. Led by three-time scoring champion Kevin Durant, the Thunder are hungry for a return trip to the finals and possibly exact revenge for the stinging 1-4 loss they absorbed at the hands of the Heat.

There are other teams that are eager to challenge the supremacy of the Miami Heat. Among them are the New York Knicks, a rejuvenated franchise led by this year’s scoring champion Carmelo Anthony. Backstopped by an aging but very defense-oriented team, the Knicks are hungry for recognition. Also out to stop the repeat bid of the Heat are the San Antonio Spurs, a four-time champion led by the consistent Tim Duncan, a two-time MVP and considered as the best player of his generation. The Spurs have been very consistent in the regular season for many years but have been thwarted by upstart teams like the Thunder in recent playoffs.

For NBA fanatics, the NBA playoffs is the real deal. This is the time of the year when the best players show up. This is the time when legends are made, when the likes of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Kareem Abdul Jabbar showed  up during their time to capture glory and gold.

Continue reading "Make Money Betting on the 2013 NBA Playoffs"

Richard Kagan

Bulls Top Heat in OT 96-86 posted by Richard Kagan

The best team won tonight's clash of the titans in the NBA.  The Miami Heat have two great players in DWade, and Lebron James, and guys who fill in the roles.  Oh, Chris Bosch is pretty good too.  As good as he is, he is not a game changer.  Tonight, with a sub-par game from Derrick Rose, who couldn't hit a shot all game, and wound up with 3 points and 8 assists, the other Bulls played great.  The "Bench mob" was marvelous.  Kyle Korver was on fire from downtown, hitting some treys from Lake Michigan.  Taj Gibson played with hustle and fire, making key plays down the stretch, and CJ Watson hit a shot to tie it at 84-84 with two seconds in the game.  His three pointer with DWade on him like a sponge, went through the net, sending the sold-out crowd to a crescendo. 

The Bulls are likely to finish ahead of Miami for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.  Don't discount the Heat, Wade is incredible on offense and defense.  Lebron does it too, but he missed a FT to leave the door open for a lucky shot from Watson to tie the game.  The Bulls took over in OT, outscoring the Heat, 12-2.  Tonight I saw a terrific Bulls team playing vs. some terrific players.  In this game, the whole team was greater than any one player.   Chicago was able to win despite a bad shooting night from Derrick Rose and great games from James and Wade.  It's not the playoffs, should the Bulls and Heat meet then, it will be a war for sure.

Continue reading "Bulls Top Heat in OT 96-86"

Richard Kagan

Bulls Beat Miami, 106-102 posted by Richard Kagan

Chicago Hope.  The Bulls prevailed over their rival, the Miami Heat, 106-102, without the reigning MVP, Derrick Rose, who sat out for the game.  John Lucas III scored 23 points filling in as a shooting guard on a night wien Rose was sidelined dur to a groin injury.  The Bulls played 10 guys which seemed to back who the expression: "You have to be in it to win it.

Everyone played tonight.  Jermey Lin had some nice assists, made enough  of media stir.  He had some decent numbers

The Knicks overpowered Portland Trailblazers to break its 6 game losing streak. 

Continue reading "Bulls Beat Miami, 106-102"

Richard Kagan

Bulls are Very Good posted by Richard Kagan

The Chicago Bulls are 31-8 and are top of the Eastern Conference.  It will be nip and tuck to see who gets the #1 seed either Chicago or Miami Heat.  The Heat are right now considered the favorites to get to the Finals.  When the Big 3 are on their game, which is most of the time, they are very hard to stop.  Bosh is out right now, and with Wade on the bench after fouling out vs. Lakers, the Heat with LeBron looked fallible. 

Unfortunately if you took DRose off the Bulls it would make it very hard for Chicago to do any damage in the Playoffs.  Last year not only was he the most valuable player on the team, he was the MVP of the league.  And, when he plays, he looks great out there.  Scoring 35 points against a 76'ers team that leads the Eastern Division, the Bulls needed Rose to come away with a win.  It was a tough game but Chicago prevailed bercause Rose made some shots that no one else on the court could make.  So, with Miami's loss and the Bulls' win, Chicago has a two game lead in the race for the top seed. 

Continue reading "Bulls are Very Good"

Omari Prince

2010-2011 Basketball Season Recap posted by Omari Prince

Congratulations to the Dallas Mavericks, Connecticut Huskies, for becoming newly minted champions. Enjoy the summer and good luck defending your titles next season. Now that college and pro basketball has concluded, AAU and shoe camps are heating up but let's review ten things what basketball has taught me these past few months.

  1. Blake Griffin - Karl Malone is training has the makings of becoming the next great power forward of all time. Once The Blake Show realizes the game of basketball is more than just dunking over people and develops a mid-range shot and becomes a decent free-throw shooter, he'll surpass Tim Duncan as the greatest power forward of all time. His ball-handling ability is already above average. 
  2. Derrick Rose - Youngest MVP in NBA History. Straight from Chicago I've always said this hometown point guard will not only be the best lead guard for years to come but he'll also become the face of the league with the likes of LeBron, DWade, Kobe, Durant. So far he's right on track. 
  3. Chicago Bulls - Speaking of Derrick Rose and his team, not one critic, scout, fan (including me) thought the Bulls will finish with the best record in basketball this season. Next season teams will pay more attention to this defensive minded team lead by the reigning MVP Derrick Rose. 
  4. Miami Heat - Cavs owner Dal Gilbert tweeted after the Mavs victory there are no shortcuts. Not shocked they did not defeat the Mavs as my notion about them being only a 3 player team got exposed. Pat Riley's crew need a completely roster to compliment Wade, Bosh, and James. 
Continue reading "2010-2011 Basketball Season Recap"

Richard Kagan

Dallas Does It in Miami posted by Richard Kagan

The Dallas Mavericks were marvelous.  They withstood a slow start by start Dirk Nowitski and made a team effort to beat back the Miami Heat to win game 6 and the NBA title.  Lebron James, DWade and Chris Bosh seemed to wilt under the pressure of winning that dream title.  Dallas won the game, and players like Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitski received some vindication as great players who were able to win the title.  Jason Terry came up strong scoring 27 points while Dirk scored 21, ten in the 4th quarter. 

The Heat were outplayed by a fierce Dallas team that refused to wilt under the pressure.  They got the loose balls, made the free-throws, hit the open treys, and fed the man for the score.  They did the things winning team do, and walked away with a NBA trophy.  Nowitzki was named MVP of the Finals for his outstanding play. 

In this game, the other guys stepped up.  Look at Shawn Marion, Jason Kidd, Terry, and J.J. Berea.  They all made plays.  Mahimi hit a shot before the end of the third quarter that showed it could be Dallas' night.  They held off the big 3 and held onto their dreams.

Continue reading "Dallas Does It in Miami"

Amari Harris

Spring Fever: The Heat of an indefinite Lockout brings random NFL thoughts... posted by Amari Harris

First I would like to recognize the accomplishments of the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks.  It was been quite a show watching these teams make it to the NBA Finals and I believe it will be a fantastic match-up.  

With that said I must admit a dark secret to the blog world right here live on a Dallas Cowboys news posting site!  I am not a Mavericks fan.  In fact, I often root against the Mavericks, but I must admit that I have garnered a whole new respect for that basketball team.  They have a ton of hungry veterans led by the best (offensive) player in basketball- Dirk.  And you have to respect their explosiveness late in games.  Those comebacks against OKC almost looked orchestrated they were so on point.  

But the Miami Heat will win this NBA championship.  Why?  Because they do it the old fashioned way. They do it the gritty, nasty way.  They play lockdown defense.  Every one his hustling, including the superstars.  And they have the best all around player in LeBron James, another top 5 player in D-Wade, and Chris Bosh who has been playing lights out as of late. They have great offensive players and championship defense. Miami made a comeback of their own but I don't think there was ever a doubt after they cut it to 9 with under three minutes left remaining in the game.  The only thing I could think was, "This is happenning..."  And it did happen. D-Wade and Lebron (top 5 each) took over in the 4th and that was it. But even more importantly than that, this team is a unit.  It is truly them against the world thanks to all the Lebron/Heat Haters. 

Continue reading "Spring Fever: The Heat of an indefinite ..."

Richard Kagan

Bulls vs. Heat in the East posted by Richard Kagan

The Bulls are Back.  Back in the Eastern Conference Finals.  A place they practically owned during the Jordan - Pippen years.  It's been a long time coming.  It took some luck, drafting Derrick Rose, and signing the free agents from Utah, plus the development of Luol Deng and Joakim Noah.  A few years ago, the Bulls gave the Celtics all they could handle in a first round series.  Now, it's a date with the vaunted Miami Heat with Lebron James, DWade, and Chris Bosh.

James and Wade are two of the top players in the NBA.  And, the free-agent signings of the trio last summer shook the NBA world and practically re-configured a team overnight.  No one thought the Chicago Bulls would be playing the Heat for the right to earn an NBA title.  But the Bulls had a great year and took home the individual post-season honors.  Rose got the MVP award, new coach Tom Thibadou worked wonders with this team and rightly won Coach of the year.  And, Gar Forman earned Executive of the Year tied with Pal Riley of the Heat.

It's a harmonic convergence and the Bulls hope the good vibes continue into the Third Round of the playoffs.  Chicago is the underdog in this Series.  Even though Chicago beat Miami the three times they met in the regular season.

For the Bulls to win this series, they will have to emhasize team play versus the talent of the Heat.  You can't stop James or Wade on most nights.  What you can do is make it hard for them to play off each other and to shut down lanes for others to join in.  The Bulls will have to play great team defense.  Their best of the season.  That could get them past Miami and into the Finals.

Continue reading "Bulls vs. Heat in the East"

Miami Heat News

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LeBron James goes to bat for the 'great' teams that never won a title (Ball Don't Lie)

This is, without a doubt, some late-summer navel-gazing. Trying to deduce some semblance of meaning from a throwaway line from a very famous basketball player, filmed into a smartphone, sent out to fans on a whim. Still, it is Sept. 2, and this is what we do. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball ] On Monday, via Uninterrupted on Bleacher Report (and also via Pro Basketball Talk ), LeBron James offered this warming take after watching the toe-curling classic that was Game 7 of the 2000 Western Conference finals: If you don’t know the history of the game, man, you’ll forget how many great teams didn’t win championships. And that doesn’t mean they wasn’t great, though. They're so many great players in this game right now. 2000 Western Conference finals. Crazy!! —LeBron James (@KingJames) September 1, 2015 The quick reaction to this is, of course, to assume that James is trying to cover his own tracks for four career NBA Finals losses. If we hated ourselves enough to watch daytime cable sports television, this would probably be the discussion du jour –oh, wait, we forgot: football is back. Even if the blowhards aren’t doing their usual mid-morning thing with the comment, it wouldn’t be the incorrect assumption to make right off the bat. Two of LeBron James’favored Miami Heat teams lost in the 2011 and 2014 Finals, two of his lacking (due to talent and then injury) Cleveland Cavaliers teams lost in the 2007 and 2015 Finals. His 66 and 61-win Cavalier teams, perhaps more damningly, failed to get out of the Eastern playoff brackets in 2009 and 2010 despite acting as heavy favorites to make the Finals. Adding to this (oh lord, we’re going here aren’t we) legacy is the idea that James doesn’t have a singular talent to blame in the same way that Elgin Baylor, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone and John Stockton could when falling to Bill Russell or Michael Jordan. James is that singular talent, and yet he’s fallen to six very different teams in the seasons listed above. Even the vanquishing Los Angeles Lakers of Shaq and Kobe’s era, the team that won that 2000 Western final, were still swept out of the playoffs in the season prior and lost in the Western semis in 2003 and in the Finals in 2004. That’s fine. Call it self-serving if you will. Also understand what sort of era LeBron James is playing through. Those six very, very different teams all included one knockout star above all: Tim Duncan, Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nowitzki, Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Curry all played up to scale in the wins. These were all the front men, however, for six different deep and positively loaded basketball clubs that had every reason to down LeBron’s crew even if (as wasn’t the case in 2010 and 2011) James was playing as well as he should have been. The idea that this generation’s singular talent –the same sort of guy keeping the Ewings and Stocktons at arm’s length two decades before –could lose so much only speaks to the complexities of team sport. LeBron averaged 38-8-8 in the 2009 Eastern Conference finals, but his team fell because Anderson Varejao, Ben Wallace and Joe Smith couldn’t chase around Rashard Lewis. He led the postseason in Win Shares that year despite playing nine fewer games than (deserving) Finals MVP Kobe Bryant. Maverick basketball in 2011 and Spurs basketball in 2014 was team basketball at its finest. This isn’t to slam LeBron as if he’s some selfish isolation guy, it’s just that nobody was getting in front of those Texas teams. This also isn’t to excuse James as much as it is to trump the depth and abilities of those who overcame his squads. Because singular talent –as it took LeBron nine seasons to learn, Michael Jordan seven seasons to learn and Jerry West twelve seasons to find out –isn’t enough to pull a championship off. Those 2000 Portland Trail Blazers were built for one year, maybe two. Isaiah Rider might act as a sad punchline a decade and a half later, but he was the team’s leading scorer and in his prime when the Blazers dealt him for 30-year old Steve Smith. The group took chances on 36-year old Scottie Pippen and 37-year old Detlef Schrempf. Arvydas Sabonis started at center at age 35 and Greg Anthony was the team’s reserve guard at age 32. They were the NBA’s best team until mid-February, and were easily the Lakers’equal until one fateful fourth quarter ended their season at Staples Center. That Game 7 featured three three-pointers from Brian Shaw, who was Los Angeles’first or second guard off the bench during the team’s first title in a dozen years. Shaw had been a Blazer the year before and played just five minutes all season. Not because Portland made some terrible personnel mistake, but because the Trail Blazers were so ridiculously deep that year also that his in-game efforts just weren’t needed. That’s just how weird this league is. Sometimes the top-heavy teams, like Los Angeles in 2000, win it all. It worked for the Bulls in 1998 and the Heat in 2013. Sometimes the deeper teams, like the 2010 Lakers, 2011 Mavericks or 2014 Spurs take the ring. There is no rhyme or reason, just a goal to win four games in seven tries over a fortnight. So, LeBron might be covering his tracks –but let ‘im, because you know he’s right. Hell, just look at who he topped during his two championships. There was a killer Oklahoma City club featuring Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and a healthy Serge Ibaka. There was also that 2013 Spurs team that was a Tim Duncan jump hook away from a title. It was a San Antonio team featuring three of the mainstays from the 2007 Spurs squad that topped James’Cavaliers, but one that in no way resembled its predecessor from a different offensive era. This is what the game does, and this is why its best players often don’t go to the podium in a champagne-drenched t-shirt. Doesn’t mean they weren’t great. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Kobe, Shaq bury hatchet over legendary feud (AFP)

Former Los Angeles Lakers team-mates and one-time bitter rivals Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant have buried the hatchet in an online podcast released on Monday where both men addressed their long-running feud. O'Neal and Bryant's tense relationship was a staple of NBA debate for years during the Lakers successful period of dominance in the early 2000s, when the team won three championships and lost a fourth. O'Neal eventually moved to the Miami Heat in 2004 while Bryant remained at the Lakers, where he continues to play as his career draws to a close. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Heat sign free-agent center Keith Benson

The Miami Heat announced Tuesday that they have signed center Keith Benson. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. [read full article]

From FOX Sports Digital

76ers center Embiid to miss season following foot surgery (Yahoo Sports)

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From Yahoo Sports

76ers C Joel Embiid undergoes surgery on right foot (Yahoo Sports)

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From Yahoo Sports

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