Tag Archives: Miami Heat

NBA Road Trip: The Heat Head West

The Miami Heat headed into a week plus road stretch on the West Coast with a 15-20 record. The Team Without LeBron has yet to square their identity entirely, but have been really hamstrung by injuries. As soon as Danny Granger came back, Josh McRoberts went down indefinietly.

But there’s a small spark coming off the bench in the three youngsters of Shabazz Napier, James Ennis and Hasan Whiteside. They’ll get tested hard on the long road west.

Miami 83 at Portland Trail Blazers 99

The surging Trail Blazers are not a great way to start a road trip with LaMarcus Aldridge took it to the inside for 24 points while the backcourt combined for 34 points and 8 assists.  The Heat were under the rumor mill all day before the game with the report that the Memphis Grizzlies were trying to trade for Luol Deng to bolster their three-point shooting, and Deng shot 3 for 11 from the field, 1 for 3 from three point and ended with 7 points. Bosh and Wade were in typical form, scoring 18 and 23 respectively and Hassan Whiteside came off the bench for 10 points. It’s a hard bet for anyone to stop the Blazers really, but the Heat had nothing to match for them and it appears the trade rumors got into Deng’s head for the night.

Luol_Deng_Heat

Miami  104 at Los Angeles Clippers 90

The Hassan Whiteside Show slipped right into Hollywood mode as Whiteside had 23 points, 16 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 steals to rip open the very shaky Clippers defense. Luol Deng was able to shake off the trade rumor blues and scored 10 points with 3 rebounds and 4 assits. But the interior belonged to Chris Bosh with 34 points and Dwyane Wade notched a double-double with 17 points and 10 assists.

The Heat limited DeAndre Jordan to 4 points and 6 rebounds but let Blake Griffin nab 26 points and Chris Paul got his 23 points. Defensively the Clippers have been really bad this season, 19th defense with 100 ppg allowed and only scoring 106.4 ppg (for the 5th highest offensive rating). Blake and CP3 will almost always get theirs and teams like the Heat will allow them as long as they can stop the rotating shooting guard and Jordan in the paint. Matt Barnes isn’t going to go off on offense and he’s not been great this year defensively.

 

Miami 78 at Los Angeles Lakers 75

Yikes. Chris Bosh had his season low 8 points, Dwyane Wade has a season low 4 points, but the game was saved by Mario Chalmers and Chris Anderson? Not a recipe you want to cook with every night, but bad games happen. Wade only played 14 minutes after feeling his hamstring get tight and did not want to chance it.

Danny Granger and Luol Deng continued their Dissapointment Tour, Granger played 24 minutes and only attempted three shots and missed all of them to finish with 2 points. Deng went a long 38 minutes and attempted 13 shots to get 8 points.

Hassan Whiteside continues to make the case that he would be starting on any other team with 15 points, 9 rebounds and 5 blocks. I keep trying to play with lineups on the Heat to make it possible for Whiteside to be on the starting squad, but their bench is either entirely too old or entirely too young to pick up the scoring slack. If Josh McRoberts was still around, maybe you could package McBob with Deng for some bench offense, but they’re really stuck right now.

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Miami Heat

Miami 89 at Golden State Warriors 104

*sees Shabazz Napier and Hasan Whiteside get starts. Rubs hands together like Birdman*
It’s good to see Spolestra sensing a change in his lineups, but just as I suspected, the bench was abysmal. 17 points total from the Heat bench with the highest scorer being Shawne Williams with 5.

The pairing of Napier and Mario Chalmers is a little terrifying, they both dribble a lot and have really similar skills, but they combined for 11 assists, 4 steals and 5 turnovers. Napier ended with 10 points, Chalmers with 7. But how did that pairing help out the rest of the floor?

Luol Deng ended with 19 points & 7 rebounds, Chris Bosh had 26 points & 7 rebounds and Whiteside paired 10 points with 12 rebounds. Deng’s 19 was the highest scoring game he’s had all month and the highest in 9 games.

Defensively, the Deng-Bosh-Whiteside front court was crazy effective. They bothered Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut for a combined 12 points. They kept the hot Green to 28.5% shooting and Barnes to 16%.

It was a promising step, but until McRoberts is back, how much is that bench going to sink into the ocean?

Miami 95 at Sacramento Kings 83

Whiteside hoped to show up his former team, but was limited due to fouls, but that didn’t stop the Bosh-Deng show from going in on the declining Kings. 30 from Bosh and 25 from Deng and Shabazz Napier subbed in from Dwyane Wade with 12 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Granger still stunk it up, the Bench still struggled to score with 17 points total and two players getting  a goose egg.

Pairing Chalmers with Napier appears to have some potential, but Chalmers off the ball moves are less desired than someone like Wade. Will Spolestra pair up Napier and Wade and just hope the bench doesn’t give the game away? Maybe Chalmers on the bench can help direct an offense that is kind of listless.

In the End, the Heat finished their trip 3-2, which is solid, the wins against the Clippers and Lakers seemed expected, but losing against the future Western Conference leaders in the Warriors and Blazers was also expected.

The wing position on the team is a weakness that is easily exposed and the bench is just awful.

 

Trip Metal Guide to the NBA Eastern Conference

Trip Metal is the nebulous growing force, littering the underground with implied confusion. But if you follow the TM on twitter one diversion tactic is the invention of new micro-genres. And what better way to understand every NBA team than a specific genre for them? First I go in on the Eastern Conferece from worst to first.

New York Knicks

Ambient Vacuum Cleaner

They’re expensive and they suck.

Philadelphia 76ers

Kraktbell

It’s hyper-regional

Orlando Magic

Folk Pinstripe

It’s like pinstripes, but different.

cabbage

Boston Celtics

Venture Capitalist Core

Stock Pile Assets! (chugga breakdown)

Detroit Pistons

Smoove Free Zone

Circa Christmas 2014 till present

Indiana Pacers

Vaping in a Parking Lot Waiting to Leave This Town Core

Larry Bird ain’t walking into that parking lot

Charlotte Hornets

90’s Starter Jacket

The Pride is Back

vu

Brooklyn Nets

Russian Cocaine

This even goes meta once Prokorov said he was gonna sell.

Miami Heat

Ostrich Programming

This Bosh Town!

Cleveland Cavaliers

4th Wave Beach Boys

Sea Captain Hats are not optional

Milwaukee Bucks

Greek Paul Stretch

He’s European? You probably haven’t heard of him.

horses

Chicago Bulls

Windy City Endurance

40 Minutes A Night Or Die

Toronto Raptors

Drake Goth

Started From the Bottom of the Division

Washington Wizards

Wall of John

Linked Arms. True Hearts. Can’t Lose.

Atlanta Hawks

Dirty Bird

Bring the Swagger back

 

 

NBA New Years Resolution Awards

By now we’ve all returned to our normal habits and schedules. The holidays are all over, but the real test of those pesky resolutions are still hanging over your life. So with the calendar change, what resolutions could NBA teams use this new year?

Be Better Financially

Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons

Although the Pistons made a huge change on Christmas Day, even if it affects them for the next four years, they’re winning game spike shows how they’ve made the right investments so far. But Brooklyn and New York are hampered by big money contracts that aren’t producing much. Carmelo Anthony might sit out of the rest of the season, which will put the Knicks into tank mode and attempt to add some value to that trash roster. And Lionel Hollins moved Brook Lopez and Derron Williams to the bench where they have proved to be much better, but will still keep the Nets hamstrung to bring in new players.

Hit the Gym

Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves

The Twolves got roped around by early injuries and need some conditioning as well as a boost in size. They’ve got a young core getting established there, but Zach LaVine and Andrew Wiggins need to bulk up if they’re going to keep up with the physical play of slashing guards.

The Sixers and Celtics have big men that are too skinny and have the fear of being swallowed up whole by the likes of Dwight Howard and DeMarcus Cousins. Kelly Olynyk and Nerlens Noel are still very young into their development, but strapping on weights to get deep into the post should make a difference.

ty-lawson

Find a New Significant Other

Denver Nuggets, Sacramento Kings, New Orleans Pelicans, Orlando Magic

For the Nuggets, this means everything must go, scorched earth policy kind of clean house. Brian Shaw will probably be the first to go, but that whole house needs to be re-built and look for the Nugs to sell off players for draft picks as soon as the contract period opens up later this month.

For the Kings, Pelicans and Magic, they need to dump their coaches. For Sacramento’s sake, maybe Mike Malone wasn’t the answer, but the way it was handled and replacing him with Ty Corbin is not the response anyone wants. Bring DeMarcus Cousins into the conversation next time. The Pels and Magic have hit their ceiling with their coaches and need to find the next spot. Given they both have young assets that are still raw and talented, it shouldn’t be hard to find upper echelon value of coach.

Don’t Call Your Ex

Miami Heat & Indiana Pacers

It’s hard to let go, but you need to stay the course. LeBron won’t be coming back to South Beach (unless maybe he is?) and Indiana are in for a bad season anyways due to Paul George’s injury. But neither of them should be looking backwards, the Pacers are going to keep George on ice and see if they can get a decent lottery pick to help that team in scoring. And Miami has two great young prospects in Shabazz Napier and James Ennis and just need them to get acclimated to their team and ready to roll.

Last Nights Number: Orlando Magic vs Miami Heat

8

Erik Spoelstra only played 8 players to face the youngsters in the Orlando Magic. And despite three Heat players scoring over 20 points, the Magic had 22 points from Victor Oladipo, 26 from Nikola Vucevic and 18 from Tobias Harris.

Oladipo went 3 for 4 from three pointers and Harris went 2 for 4 from behind the line as well.

Danny Granger finally had a game where he showed up, going 7 for 10 from the field, 6 of 7 from the three point line and ending with 21 points.  And yet the Heat still went down 102-101.

Extrasode 3 – Merry Hoopmas!

A dabble into the cosmic tarot cards on who will win the Christmas Day games.

Soundtrack for this episode can be downloaded for free at http://ufosareglam.bandcamp.com/

 

How the Memphis Grizzlies Won 17 Games

The Memphis Grizzlies started off to their best start in franchise history this season and but for the Golden State Warriors apparently soaring directly into the sun, the Grizz would be the number one seed in the West. So how did the Grizzlies get to 17 wins? We investigate.

105-101 win over Minnesota Timberwolves

Marc Gasol got a haircut, the rest of the Grizzlies hung out with the best team in Minnesota, the WNBA Lynx.

 

97-89 win over the Indiana Pacers

Mike Conley took the team shopping for wooden bowties.

mike

 

71-69 win over the Charlotte Hornets

Tony Allen played Hugo the mascot in a game of one-on-one and lost.

 

93-81 win over the New Orleans Pelicans

The entire team crashed Jon Leuer’s room and had a Veronica Mars marathon.

 

102-91 win over the Phoenix Suns

Courtney Lee went to the mall to buy DVD’s and the rest of the team went and made fun of him for not upgrading to Blu Rays.

 

91-89 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder

Beno Udrih lead the team in an hour long group hug.

 

107-102 win over the Los Angeles Lakers

The team went out to visit some clubs, while rookies Jarnell Stokes and Jordan Adams stayed in and built a blanket fort.

 

111-110 win over the Sacramento Kings

Tayshaun Prince thought about going out, but instead just stayed in and read a good book.

 

95-88 win over the Detroit Pistons

Vince Carter and Kosta Koufos re-enacted the end rap battle from “8 Mile”.

 

119-93 win over the Houston Rockets

Zach Randolph spent most of the afternoon trying to find a burrito place he remembered. But he couldn’t find it.

 

117-100 win over the Boston Celtics

Quincy Pondexter drove to Quincy, Massachusetts to get his picture taken near the highway sign.

 

107-91 win over the Los Angeles Clippers

Nick Calathes thought about getting a new haircut.

Story

 

99-93 win over the Los Angeles Lakers

Mike Conley wished his mom a happy birthday. Courtney Lee made a pretty funny vine.

 

112-99 win over the Portland Trailblazers

Vince Carter sent tweets to Kumail Nanjiani asking him about locations where Portlandia was filmed.

 

97-85 win over the Sacramento Kings

Jarnell Stokes and Nick Calathes thought about asking Zach Randolph if they could play more than a minute but then didn’t ask.

 

103-87 win over the Miami Heat

Jon Leuer broke out the guitar.

 

114-105 win over the Dallas Mavericks

Tony Allen found an old Dance Dance Revolution game in a basement and got some moves in.

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Memphis Grizzlies

 

Last Nights Number: Memphis Grizzlies vs Miami Heat

20

If I told you a white guy for the Grizzlies scored twenty points and he wasn’t named Marc Gasol, how far down the line would you have gotten to Jon Leuer?

Vanilla Thunder came off the bench to put up twenty points, twelve rebounds, two steals and a block. A shadowy fan favorite, Leuer had probably his greatest pro game last night.

jon

Photo credit: Brandon Dill/AP Photo