During last night’s game against the Utah Jazz, both Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade only played the first three quarters. Were they injured? No. They were actually benched. Two of the the Miami Heat’s ‘Big 3’ stars were benched for their poor performance in the game. The Heat look to be in a pretty bad funk, but can the defending NBA Champions bounce back?
Of course they can. There is absolutely no reason for this team to panic. One big advantage they have right now is that they play in the Eastern Conference which has significantly less talented teams than the Western Conference. If they were playing in the West, then they would be competing to stay afloat with the Thunder, Clippers, Warriors, and Grizzlies. However, this team is stocked with talent and they know what it takes to get to the Finals and walk away with the trophy. This team just needs to get through this month and stay at a winning pace until April when they start picking it up again. This team will make the playoffs and in my opinion will be playing in the Easter Conference finals.
Did he just jump over somebody? Yes, Lebron James just jumped over an actual person, John Lucas, for a monster dunk. This might not be a memorable moment for people who wanted the Chicago Bulls to win, but it was for the world of basketball. Everyone knows how freakishly talented Lebron James is. However, in that moment he did something that put him above everyone else in his generation of basketball. If you don’t believe me just watch the video and tell me he is not one of the best ever. Now if only we could get him to do the dunk contest maybe more people would actually watch NBA All Star weekend.
The Miami Heat look to get some revenge on the hottest team in the NBA tonight. The Knicks come into South Beach tonight and Lebron James and company wants to show them they run the Eastern Division. On opening night at Madison Square Garden, the defending champions lost by twenty points. The Knicks look to show they are real contenders, but might have to do it without their MVP Carmelo Anthony who suffered a hand injury last night. Anthony suffered a deep cut on his middle finger and will be a game-time decision. Even if Carmelo plays tonight, he will not be at 100% and even if he is, I am picking the Heat to win at home. There is no way Lebron will be embarrassed twice in such a short period of time by the same team. So, New York or Miami, who you takin?
Another round of NBA playoffs are over, finally. It feels like the playoffs are just as long as this year’s shortened NBA season. The final Western matchup is set to take place tonight pairing the high-flying Oklahoma City Thunder against the veteran San Antonio Spurs. Monday will bring the top two East teams together.
Boston Celtics- This series felt like it was never going to end. One day it seemed that Boston was flexing their muscles and then in the next game, the Philadelphia Sixers came back and showed why they deserved to be considered contenders. Even in the games this topsy, turvy style was shown. The Celtics would start off dominant and then fall asleep in the second and third quarter. If they expect to go to the Finals, there is no way that style of play will get them anywhere. They need Rondo to play as well as he did yesterday or else they can basically pick the island where they will be watching the NBA finals from. Rondo had a sluggish Game 6 picked up for Paul Pierce when he fouled out in the fourth ending the night with a triple double. The Celtics will have to pick up for others including Ray Allen who could not get a shot to drop last night until the fourth quarter when he knocked down back to back threes. The Celtics got lucky that Philadelphia could not get a shot to go in either, but they should not expect that from the reigning MVP Lebron James and the Miami Heat.
Miami Heat- The Heat vs. Pacers series was definitely way more exciting than most had expected. This was a dirty, gritty series where no one was playing fair. Half of Miami barely even needed to show up since no one was contributing except the two mega-stars, Lebron James and Dwayne Wade. The Big 3 was down to the Big 2 when Chris Bosh could not pay due to an abdominal strain. They sure could have used him in this series. Bosh looked more like the current MVP with Miami getting blown out in one of the games. It appears that Bosh will also be out in this series. That is a huge blow for this team who is all banged up. Luckily, they were able to get more rest than the Celtics which could make quite the difference in Game 1 to set the tone. However, James and Wade will have to keep putting on a show for fans [or non fans alike] to make up for the loss of Bosh and no productivity for anyone else. It almost makes you feel bad for the two superstars that it is all on them and that when Wade had the worst game of his career no one could step up to the plate. Isn’t that your job has a professional? How do you not at least to step up and be the hero? The only production they got was when both Haslem and Pittman received suspensions for their unnecessary hits to some of the Pacers players.
So who has the advantage on Game 1? Well I am inclined to say Miami because they have had more time to rest and they are playing at home. The Celtics are also banged up and are exhausted after a taxing series with the 76ers.
The playoffs are in full swing as we enter the second round. Many teams have been watching from home sobbing as they watch their competition advance to the elite levels.
Away from the playoffs, individual honors were also handed out. Last week, Lebron James was given MVP honors. This is pretty boring considering he was an early favorite and it does not hurt that he is one of the most dynamic players in the whole game. Last year’s MVP, Derrick Rose, missed too much time to be considered for the award a second year in a row. Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant were the only other names being thrown into the conversation for the award. So can the MVP take his team all the way and finally get the honor that has eluded him his entire career? It is not going to be easy now that the Heat looks to be without Chris Bosh after tests results confirmed a strained ab muscle. However, in my opinion if there is no broken bone and nothing is popping out of the skin, then you play and give all you can. You only come out if it seems that you are doing my harm than good.
Another honor given out was the Rookie of the Year. Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers took that honor home. Hmmm… wasn’t a different player from the Cavaliers and first pick named Rookie of the Year a couple of years ago? Does this mean Irving will take his talents to South Beach? Most likely not, I do not think Cleveland fans can handle that, however he may follow in James’s footsteps in earning MVP honors throughout his career.
Named for his great work off the bench, Oklahoma City’s James Harden was given the Sixth Man of the Year award. However, Harden is mostly remembered as the guy who was viciously elbowed in the face by Metta World Peace instead of his outstanding play to help get his team into the position that they are at now. His teammate Kevin Durant may have also helped in the Thunder’s success. Harden has put up outstanding numbers, he is averaging 16.8 point and 4.1 rebounds a game.