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Celtics go home, Heat advance

I’m still not convinced that the Miami Heat are a powerhouse in basketball. I don’t see them playing team basketball. They don’t make the extra passes. Instead, they isolate either Wade or James. Where is Bosh? On the other side of the ball, the Boston Celtics had no inside game. None. Jermaine O’Neil was invisible. They lost the rebounding war, which they had to win. Rondo is the spark for the Celtic but with only one arm, he was not effective.  Pierce had to step up his game. He needed to be on the boards, score and dish. He needed 25 or more points and 10 or more boards. He wasn’t close to either.

More from ESPN:

Behind Boston much of the season. Behind Boston much of the game.

No more.

Not only has the Miami Heat caught the Celtics — they have officially gone past them, and into the Eastern Conference finals.

Vanquishing the team they couldn’t beat for so long with a 16-0 run to end the game, Dwyane Wade scored 34 points, LeBron James put the Heat up for good with a 3-pointer with 2:10 left on the way to a 33-point effort, and Miami topped Boston 97-87 to win their East semifinal series Wednesday night in five games.

James added a game-sealing — more aptly, a series-sealing — 3-pointer with 40.4 seconds left, then turned and posed for some fans who screamed in delight. (more…)

By |2011-05-11T22:25:35-04:00May 11th, 2011|Sports|Comments Off on Celtics go home, Heat advance

Why the Miami Heat are not going to win the NBA championship (the Knicks aren’t going to win either)

I was talking with a few of my friends about basketball. A couple were perplexed at the Miami Heat and its mediocre performance. Before you know it, I had written a long e-mail about the NBA and how to win. Here’s the e-mail:

First of all, I think the jury is very much out on the Miami Heat. It is clear that the Miami Heat can beat up lesser teams. It is not clear that they can compete with legitimate contenders. I know I’ve mentioned this before and I know that a couple of my friends and I have discussed this at length but the NBA is a different kind of sport. It is not like golf or tennis or football or even baseball. Basketball is about poetry. It is like jazz. It is about working within a structure while being able to improvise and know what your teammates are going to do on the court. Turnovers, especially in the playoffs, are deadly. Ask Oklahoma, who had an opportunity to beat the Lakers, but just kept turning the ball over down the stretch.

There’s a formula to winning in the NBA (Think Chicago Bulls). If you can get six or seven players to understand their roles, you can be NBA champions. You need to have the superstar. This is the Michael Jordan of your team. He is the one who wants the ball within the last five minutes of a close game. He has to be able to either make a shot or get fouled and make the free throws down the stretch. This is imperative. This is why the Dallas Mavericks have come close but can’t get over the hump. They do not have a superstar who has that one move and scores down the stretch. They have tried to make Dirk the star. He isn’t. He will resort to that fadeaway jump shot when he is pressured. He’s unable to draw a foul. He makes a shot somewhere around 51 – 52% of the time. That is not gonna cut it. You need points 90% of the time when the game slows down within the last 5 min.

The second player that you need is a Scottie Pippen type player. This is an extremely versatile player and probably the hardest player in the NBA to find. This player must have ball handling skills, must be able to crash the back boards and on occasion pour in 20 or 30 points. This guy is like the Energizer Bunny. He’s the one on the floor scrapping for the loose balls.

The third player that you need is the long bomber. This is the guy who was standing at the three point arc and is waiting for the superstar to kick the ball out to him when the defense collapses on the superstar. This guy is key. He has to drain that wide-open three time after time. Usually, this guy is the ballhandling guard but not always. This is one of the positions that San Antonio has had trouble consistently filling. They have had Bruce Bowen, Robert Horry… Filling this position at various times in the last 15 years. Remember that the Chicago Bulls had BJ Armstrong, Ron Harper and Steve Kerr.

You need a rebounding, defensive machine. This guy is the enforcer. He is known for his defense and toughness. This guy has to get 10-15 boards per game. He clears the boards then makes the quick outlet pass to the superstar or ballhandling guard and you’re off to the races.

The Chicago Bulls are the purest example of this formula. The Los Angeles Lakers have used this formula. Even the Miami Heat used this formula when they won their NBA championship several years back.

If there’s one thing that everyone can learn from the Dallas Mavericks, it is that the NBA plays two different seasons. The regular season you can win with wide-open basketball and no defense. If you put five shooters on the floor, you can dominate. Unfortunately, the game changes in the postseason. The game is about defense. The game is about possessions. The game is about scoring when you must. Shooters can run cold. You cannot have a cold spell in the playoffs and expect to win. The Dallas Mavericks, and the Phoenix Suns, have played some of the most wide-open basketball we’ve seen in the last 40 years. Their consistently rank high in their conference and win their divisions. But they also consistently flame out in the playoffs because they ain’t got the formula to win in the playoffs.

This brings me to the Miami Heat. We all know that DeWayne Wade is a superstar in this league. We all know that he can do what is necessary to win. The only question is his durability. He tends to get hurt. Using the formula that I set out above, where does Lebron James fit in? This is key. He can be a Scottie Pippen type player but will he take that subordinate role? So far, the answer is no. Where is Chris Bosh gonna fit in? It would seem to me that he would be the Scottie Pippen type player. This is the problem that the Miami Heat has with their big three. Can they share the roles adequately enough so that they can dominate? Look at the big three in San Antonio. Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. These guys have been playing together for so long that they’ve been able to switch roles from time to time and sometimes in the middle of the game. Sure, Tim Duncan is always the rebounder but he is also the scorer. Sometimes, Tony Parker is the superstar and he gets the ball at the end of the game. It is their ability to continually improvise and switch roles that really makes them a remarkable team.

I don’t have any time to talk about the New York Knicks. I haven’t seen their games. Carmelo Anthony suffers from the Dirk Nowitzki syndrome as far as I can tell. He does not have that one move down the stretch where he can score or get fouled. Amar’e Stoudemire has the same problem. At best, it’s going to take the Knicks a year to learn to play together. I don’t think the New York fans are going to give them a year. Their coach is going to have to be great and great now in order to get his players to play at the level of the fan’s expectations.

My two cents. More tomorrow on how current teams fit into my formula.

By |2011-03-07T07:05:35-04:00March 7th, 2011|Domestic Issues|4 Comments

Cowboys lose to Vikings

brett favreI saw the Vikings struggle against the Bears. This isn’t that team. it isn’t that the Cowboys hadn’t had their chances. They have/did. Missed assignments. Missed opportunities. No time for Romo. We have been moving the ball but there is a wall around the 20. We haven’t been able to get past the 20 without problems. Romo has not had time. Flozell Adams is out of the game. This is a real problem.

Midway through the 3rd quarter the Cowboys still have an opportunity to win this game.

Dallas just had a disastrous possession. Getting the ball at their own 2 they were unable to do anything. It was an awful possession.

The Vikings can really put this game out of reach with a score of any kind on this drive. The Cowboys need a turnover in a big way with 4:20 to go in the 3rd quarter. Minnesota has a 3 and out. On 3rd down, Favre was sacked. There was a question that Favre may have fumbled. The Cowboys didn’t challenge. Unclear why the Cowboys didn’t challenge.

Romo throws an interception. There’s your ballgame. Man, that’s a terrible play. The 3rd turnover for the Cowboys. Vikings go nowhere then kick a field goal.

Another sack of Romo ends what the Cowboys almost called a drive. It is the 5th or 6th sack of Romo. He has had no time. This is the worst game of the season for our offensive line. Romo has had no time to look over the field. We have lost this game in the trenches. There is no excuse. We are healthy.

The Cowboys defensive has played very well. Miscues by the offensive and missed field goals tell the tale.

The Dallas Cowboys had a remarkable season.  They looked very very average at the middle of the season. Tony Romo and the Cowboys somehow pulled it together and played very well down the stretch. In the end, the Vikings defense really played extremely well. Dallas’ offensive line didn’t play that well. The Cowboys lose 34 – 3. The game was 20 – 3 at the beginning of the 4th quarter. 2 cheap touchdowns made it seem like a blow out. It was not. The Vikings offensive had less than 200 yards of total offensive going into the 4th quarter.

I would like to congratulate the Cowboys on a much better season than I thought that they would have.

By |2010-01-17T15:04:24-04:00January 17th, 2010|Sports|Comments Off on Cowboys lose to Vikings
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