In a league where teams can drastically improve overnight (see: 2011 Miami Heat, 2012 Brooklyn Nets), high expectations are to be had when the offseason rolls around. This goes especially for young, contending teams. Where high expectations are held, high expectations are rarely met. This is an adage that generally holds true and can explain what many bewildered Bulls fans are feeling right now in this frustrating free agency bid. Let’s recap some of the moves made so far: first, management lets superstar duster Brian Scalabrine walk (along with more prominent players such as rotation guard Ronnie Brewer, backup center Omer Asik, and backup point guard C.J. Watson). Players like Scals don’t grow on trees. Then, they trade the sharp-shooting Kyle Korver to Atlanta in exchange for a briefcase full of Benjamins and a trade exception (more on this later). And just like that, the bench mob is downgraded into something that resembles more of a sob. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Miami Heat
[UPDATED 6/27/12] Picks changed: #10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 29
Moved into the first round: PF Andrew Nicholson, SG Will Barton
Moved out: C Feztus Ezeli, SG John Jenkins, SG Doron Lamb
Biggest Movers: G Austin Rivers (11 spots up), PF Jared Sullinger (12 spots down), Perry Jones III (5 spots up), Terrence Ross (6 spots up)
It’s 6:00 am on a stuffy, hot Chicago summer day. Kevin Durant would say “Man, that’s messed up” if he knew how unwonted my sleep schedule is right now. Why am I doing this on approximately zero seconds of shut-eye? I have no idea. I spend my free time doing strange things. Here is ChiSide’s first NBA mock draft for 2012:
1. New Orleans Hornets select…
F/C Anthony Davis, 6-10, 220 lbs, Kentucky
What more do I have to say that hasn’t been said? The Chicago native will certainly be a stud at the next level, but not immediately. Davis was only a mere six feet tall five years ago and has sprouted 10 inches since then. He has yet to fill into his frame, weighing only 220 pounds, but that will come in time. His defense is NBA-ready, and fits in well with New Orleans’ defense-first style of play. Expect Davis to find his offensive game two to three years down the road in addition to perennial All-Star selections for years to come.
Ceiling: Kevin Garnett; Floor: Marcus Camby
2. Charlotte Bobcats select…
F Thomas Robinson, 6-9, 245 lbs, Kansas
Will Jordan find a way to screw this one up again? I think so. I’m not sold on the big man from Kansas, but I have a feeling MJ is. While Robinson has as much heart as anyone in the draft, I don’t see his skills translating into a game-changing player for the Bobcats. He doesn’t bring a significant defensive presence nor do I think he’s talented to score 20 a night in the association. Robinson possessed limited post moves and an inconsistent jumper in college, but was able to get by due to elite athleticism. His strengths are rebounding and heart, you can count on him to give it his all every night. He’ll be a solid pro for sure, just not worthy of a number two selection. Jordan will be kicking himself for passing on guys like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (who they should select), Harrison Barnes, and Brad Beal.
Ceiling: Derrick Williams; Floor: Patrick Patterson
3. Washington Wizards select…
SG Bradley Beal, 6-4, 200 lbs, Florida
I’ve been in love with Beal since his high school days and I believe he’ll be one of the best players to emerge from the draft. Beal didn’t put up eye-popping numbers during his freshman year at Florida (15 ppg, 7 reb, 2 ast; 44.5% fg, 34% 3pt), but showed that he plays an all-around game by making plays on both ends of the court despite playing out of position. Beal has an extremely high basketball IQ, plays unselfishly, and can knock down shots from anywhere on the floor. He has no glaring weaknesses as far as I’m concerned other than size. The Wizards desperately need a perimeter scoring threat after shipping SG Nick Young to LAC, and Beal fits the bill. Expect this guy to be a strong ROY contender from day one.
Ceiling: Eric Gordon; Floor: Marcus Thornton Continue reading
Happy Playoffs! For over a month now we have been given the opportunity to watch one of the best playoffs in NBA history, and they all come to an end with this series. Here’s the schedule, and click after the jump to check out Blake and my series predictions.
Best of seven (2-3-2 format)
Game 1 — Tue May 31, Dallas at /Miami 9 p.m. ET, ABC
Game 2 — Thu June 2, Dallas at Miami 9 p.m. ET, ABC
Game 3 — Sun June 5, Miami at Dallas 8 p.m. ET, ABC
Game 4 — Tue June 7, Miami at Dallas 9 p.m. ET, ABC
Game 5* — Thu June 9, Miami at Dallas 9 p.m. ET, ABC
Game 6* — Sun June 12, Dallas at Miami 8 p.m. ET, ABC
Game 7* — Tue June 14, Dallas at Miami 9 p.m. ET, ABC
“Michael Jordan is probably the greatest scorer to ever play the game,” Pippen said. “I may go so far as saying LeBron James may be the greatest player to ever play the game.”
Is Scottie speaking out of spite or does he actually believe Lebron has a shot at taking away the “greatest player of all time” claim away from Jordan? It probably wasn’t easy for Pippen, a fantastic player in his own right, to be overshadowed by Jordan throughout every single Bulls’ championship team. On his own, Pippen would have been most team’s best player.
But are Pippen’s comments as insane as people make them out to be? I’m not so sure. He made the mistake of saying Lebron is already the greatest to play the game, when in reality he meant that Lebron “may end up as” the greatest. When you look at it from that standpoint, things don’t seem as crazy, do they?
As the most unbiased person I know, I get into a lot of arguments with my fellow friends and sports fans. For example, I predicted that the Heat would beat the hometown Bulls in six games. I’m as big of a Bulls fan as anyone, yet I just didn’t think we had enough to get over the hump this year. I look at things from a realist’s standpoint and from that standpoint, the Bulls weren’t looking too good coming into this series and the Heat finally learned how to play together and were playing hotter than ever. Anyways, back to the original topic: Lebron vs. Jordan.
There’s no doubt that Game 3 in Miami is the Bulls’ biggest game of the year thus far. Coming off a disappointing 85-75 loss at the United Center, the Bulls must win Game 3 in order to keep the pressure off them and put it all on the Heat. The first step in winning Game 3 and the series is obviously to stop The Crybabies (Baby Bron Bron, Wittle Wade, Boshtrich), but there’s more to it than just that. Here’s what the Bulls absolutely need to do in order to close out Game 3 and the series:
- Rebound, rebound, rebound! Did you know: The Heat have been out-rebounded in every game that they’ve lost against the Bulls. However, last game the Heat turned the tables and out-rebounded the Bulls and won the game. Also, the Heat’s top four players all had 7+ boards on their own (James: 10; Wade: 9; Bosh; 8; Miller; 7). Yes, Mike Miller somehow had the balls fall into his grasp seven times.
- Asik and Destroy. Whenever The Turkish Delight is in the game, he seems to affect the Miami Heat offense dramatically. Last game, both Lebron and Wade had a lot of trouble getting to the basket while Asik was on the floor. Luckily, Wade was smart enough to tape a razor blade onto his elbow to take Asik out of the game.
- You Booze(r), you lose. Game 3 should be a physical contest, and Boozer is anything but physical. Right now the only thing Boozer is good at is raising my blood pressure due to anger. Coach Thibodeau should only put him out on the floor when Bosh is out there, so these two can continue their nightly pillow fight. However, I’m pretty sure all of Chicago would rather have the Taj-ma-poster out there.
- Hit shots. I don’t know an easier way to say it, but the Bulls were pitiful from the field last game. Brace yourself for these stats: 34% from the field, 15% from three-point land and 61.5% from the line. When Bogans and Brewer are among the top percentages from the field on your team, something has gone terribly, terribly wrong.
- Korver. I honestly think the real Ashton Kutcher could sink more buckets. Korver went 1-7 last game from the field and 1-3 in Game 1.
Today’s theme song:
Hit me up on Twitter @Tucci_Bandana if you want me to send you the song.
Here’s the Eastern Conference Final Schedule. Let’s go Bulls!
Bulls vs. Heat
Game 1 – Sun May 15 Miami at Bulls, 7
Game 2 – Wed May 18 Miami at Bulls, 7:30
Game 3 – Sun May 22 Bulls at Miami, 7:30
Game 4 – Tue May 24 Bulls at Miami, 7:30
Game 5 * Thu May 26 Miami at Bulls, 7:30
Game 6 * Sat May 28 Bulls at Miami, 7:30
Game 7 * Mon May 30 Miami at Bulls, 7:30
All games on TNT and ESPN Radio.
Sorry for the lack of content recently. It’s finals time at U of I so that means no time to do fun stuff like this. If the mainstream media gets ahold of this one, this will probably be bigger than it should be. Listen closely around the 0:21-0:22 mark.
That song was made for the NBA playoffs (just ignore all the Christmas references). Happiness, excitement, tears, bruises, buzzer beaters, players buckling under the pressure, the scrutiny that the athletes go through is unparalleled. This years playoffs are expected to be one of the best ever, with about 8 stacked teams at the top, and a couple others hanging around hoping they can sneak through by catching one of those top teams off guard. With 2 days left in the regular season, the East bracket is set, and here are my picks.
Top Play: Dwyane Wade dunk on Kendrick Perkins
I may have soiled myself if that happened to me. R.I.P. Kendrick.
Runner-up: Alexander Ovechkin laser beam
Ovie used to score goals like these on a nightly basis. Maybe he’s back in form?
Crying in the locker room? Is this the 4th grade Park League championship? What a joke. Although there have been no reports telling us exactly who threw a temper-tantrum, why would someone like Erick Dampier be crying? Does Juwan Howard, who’s averaging a staggering five minutes the last 10 games really care about this year’s Heat team that much? Of course not. It was the superstars, the big three. Dwyane Wade, Queen James, and that other one nobody really cares about. They’re the ones that made this whole off season a big show, and they’re the ones that get all the publicity, win or lose.
But crying after a regular season loss to a team that is right there with you record wise? Why? After the game, Dwyane Wade said that “the world is getting what it wanted, the Heat is losing,” DUH Dwyane! You should have known that coming into the season. NOBODY LIKES PEOPLE THAT TAKE THE EASY WAY OUT. You cried over that? I thought Chicago kids are supposed to be a bit tougher. I used to think this was your team, but constantly deferring to Lebron when he is clearly struggling in late game situations is ridiculous. You’re the one with the ring and the NBA Finals MVP award. Don’t cry about losing, do something about it.
This whole story really irked me. Mostly due to Evanston-born coach Erik Spoelstra reporting this to the media. Do you want people to feel sympathy for these guys? You were at their celebration the day after they all signed, so you know that’s not happening. Do you want people to know they care about the game? They should care about the game…if I got paid $14,000,000 a year for anything, even it meant I clean bathrooms with my tongue, you best believe that bathroom would be absolutely spotless.
Back to the players though; Lebron, everyone knows you are the best player in this league. Maybe not the most clutch (1-8 when trailing in the final seconds of a game with a chance to win this year), but without a doubt, everyone that knows a little about basketball, knows that you are a freak of an athlete. When hot, you are probably the only one that has a chance to ever come close to Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point total in a single game. When you’re that good, you don’t cry after a regular season loss. You don’t cry about any loss. You’re not Adam Morrison. I don’t know if this is a fact, but I’m pretty sure Michael Jordan never cried after losing a game. Larry Bird surely didn’t. Hell, Kobe probably never cried either. These players went out the next game and did something about it. These players called out their teammates, (just because these quotes are hilarious, here are some examples of Jordan’s…)
- “You ever hear of a guy, six-eleven maybe and two hundred sixty pounds, a guy big and fat like that and he can’t get but two rebounds, if that many, running all over the damn court and he gets two rebounds? Big guy like that and he gets one rebound. Can’t even stick his ass into people and get more than that…Big, fat, fat guy. One rebound in three games. Power forward. Maybe they should call it powerless forward.” – Michael ripping Stacey King
- “You’re an idiot. You’ve screwed up every play we ever ran. You’re too stupid to even remember the plays. We ought to get rid of you.” – Michael to Horace Grant
- “Will Vanderbilt. He doesn’t deserve to be named after a Big Ten school.” – Michael on Will Perdue
- “Headache tonight, Scottie?” – Michael asks Scottie, while showing him his 2-for-16 line
How about that Lebron? Tear into Chris Bosh (even though he played one of his best games of the season Sunday, scoring 23 on 9-14 shooting). Tear into Mario Chalmers (who maybe the Heat should look to in late game situations after yesterday). Yell at newly acquired Mike Bibby (even though it’s still not certain he is alive). Great players make their players better on and off the court. They don’t cry.
Stories like this one take away from the game. Instead of talking about the absolute clinic that Derrick Rose put on yesterday (the stats may not show this but if you watched the game, you know what I mean), we’re talking about a team with 3 basketball superstars crying over another lost close game. Instead of focusing on a team like the Bulls who just keep on truckin’ (now 2nd in the east), we’re talking about whether or not Pat Riley should come down and coach these guys. Shaquille O’Neal once said “I wasn’t with the 5 hour practices” when asked why his relationship with Riley was strained. Riley knows Lebron James and Chris Bosh wouldn’t be able to handle that kind of thing. Lebron may declare he wants to take his talents somewhere else after one of those.
These players asked for the scrutiny when they decided to create a super team. They expected getting everyones best shot, and now when things aren’t going their way, the players turn to crying. I wish the NBA was still tough, it would do wonders for the Heat.