Word on the street, is the Heat are everyones favorite to make to back to the Finals, this is primarly due to every team aside from the Los Angeles Clippers getting somewhat worse, but in last years playoffs there was a moment when I thought the Heat had figured it all out and were poised at that time to get LeBron his first ring. Then suddenly as if it had all been a mirage the Heat took a giant step back and folded under the surging Dallas Mavericks.
The Heat are 4-0 for the second time in franchise history, and first since 2004-05. The Heat have shown glimpses of both sides, the unstoppable force that flashed in last years playoffs, and a team that struggles when a 2-3 Zone is thrown in their face. The two biggest improvements for the Heat was the drafting of Norris Cole, and the signing of free agent Shane Battier. Norris Cole may not be the distance shooter that Mario Chalmers is, but he makes up for it speed, and confidence.
”Mentally you just have to be prepared for the worst,” Cole told reporters after his first practice with the team. “There’s going to be a lot of things thrown at me, but with me being in college for four years, I think I have a quick learning curve. I’m mature enough to be able to handle criticism. As long as we work hard and earn the respect of the veterans, I think everything will be fine. This team was already good without me being here. With me having a quick learning curve, [the] only thing I can do is make us better”
Shane Battier hasn’t done much on the floor this season, but will be LeBron’s Bundini Brown when it counts.
So far this season Wade and Lebron have attempted only one three-pointer and LeBron James notched his 38th career 30-point, 10-assist game on Friday. It’s the most among active players, one more than teammate Dwyane Wade.
Before I resign up for the Heat bandwagon I need to see CONSISTENCY, and more of this ridiculousness:
The opening day of the NBA was every bit as exciting as we all hoped it would be. Here is a list of HIGHS & LOWS:
From Elias: Carmelo Anthony’s 37 points is the 3rd-most by a Knicks player on Christmas Day. Only Bernard King and Richie Guerin have scored more for the Knicks on December 25th.
Rajon Rondo had 31 points, 13 assists and 5 steals, joining Larry Bird (on Feb. 18, 1985) as the only Celtics players with 30+ points, 10+ assists and 5+ steals in a single game.
Brandon Bass had 20 points and 11 rebounds in his Celtics debut
Only three forwards in the last 25 seasons have recorded at least 37 points and 10 rebounds in a season opener. LeBron James accomplished this in win over the Dallas Mavericks. The other two players to reach this feat are first ballot hall of famers Charles Barkley who did it three times, and Karl Malone who did it once.
Clippers big DeAndre Jordan had 8 blocks, but he also made the LOWS list as well
Mavs banner covered after getting blown out on XMAS!
Kobe Bryant really struggled in isolation play types against the Bulls, scoring just 6 points on 13 plays. He shot 3-11 including a combined 1-8 on isolations from the top of the key and the right side of the court. Last year he led the NBA with 643 points in isolation.
Rip Hamilton and Joakim Noah finished with a combined 12 points on 6 of 20 shooting.
Chris Bosh scored just 4 points, his fewest in a game that he played at least 20 minutes since December 19, 2004 vs the Nets (as a member of Raptors).
Lamar Odom had four points four boards in 13 minutes and was ejected in the third quarter.
Kevin Durant missed five free throws. He is a career 88 percent free throw shooter.
Stephen Curry who was questionable due to ankle injury was 2 for 12 for four points.
DeAndre Jordan was 4 of 12 from the free throw line…thus Hack-A-Jordan will continue.
Heres the TNT Intro video from Christmas day via @jose3030
The Miami Heat finally overcame their inability to vanquish the Boston Celtics. Unfortunately, for the Heat the Chicago Bulls are proving to be a much more difficult out.
As told since the beginning of time, DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS! Derrick Rose scored 28 points. Luol Deng had 21 points. He hit four 3s, had four steals, seven boards, and did a great job defending LeBron James who showed signs of nervousness finishing with 15 points on 5 of 15 shooting.
Carlos Boozer added 14 points and nine borads. Joakim Noah had 14 boards and the Bulls pounded the Heat on the glass. The Bulls had 12 more boards, 12 more dimes, and 7 less turnovers.
Taj Gibson is by no means concerned with the Miami Heat or their defense.
Chris Bosh played a his second solid game in a row, finishing with a game-high 30 points. LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade combined for 12-32 shooting.
The Heat do not have the fortune of an ‘off night’ from Wade, or LeBron, while Bosh scores 30. The Bulls repeating the offensive play from Game 1 would be tremendous, but prepare for their defense intensity to remain as rigorous.
For good measure: This is the sixth time these teams have met in the playoffs, with the Bulls sweeping the Heat in the first round in 1992, 1996 and 2007 and beating them in five games in the 1997 conference finals. Miami beat Chicago in six games in the first round in 2006.
Game 2 is Wednesday in Chicago 7pm on TNT/ Bulls lead series 1-0