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Ray Allen is perhaps one of, if not, the NBA’s best three point shooter in the history of the game. (Allen is first on the all time list with 2,974 3 point field goals made). Allen has won two NBA championships,( 2008 Boston Celtics, 2013 Miami Heat). Now a free agent, Allen is not ready to call it a career just yet, and it has been already speculated that he would sign with whomever LeBron James decided to play for. (http://espn.go.com/nba/truehoop/miamiheat/story/_/id/11129947/ray-allen-leaning-playing-19th-nba-season ). James announced that he would be returning home to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers on July 11th. Though Allen has not yet signed with Cleveland, one of LeBron’s former teammates, Mike Miller, signed with the Cavaliers and is doing all he can to get Allen to jump aboard.

Miller is a close friend of James, and wants to do everything he can to give the Cavaliers a good veteran and bench presence to complement LeBron and the group of young talent surround them. Miller knows that Allen is more than capable of providing a team with pivotal role, as evident of his game tying three pointer in Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals.

“With LeBron James, you are going to win 55 to 60 games regardless. Now it’s about what you do in the playoffs. For us, even with the young talent that they have there, you’ve gotta bring guys that have been there before, even if they are not giving you heavy minutes,” Miller said of Allen.

Despite his apparent interest to continue to play alongside LeBron, Allen appears to be taking his time and is in no hurry to sign with a team just yet. For all intent and purposes, Allen could be waiting to see what happens in regards to the rumors surrounding a possible trade involving Cleveland dealing Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love before deciding on his future.

Other Sources: http://www.inquisitr.com/1363849/ray-allen-being-recruited-by-cavaliers-heat/

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75
LeBron to Cleveland?!

Friday afternoon as I drove from Atlanta to Savannah to enjoy a slow, lazy and, of course, spirit-filled weekend (it’s Savannah, after all), we heard BREAKING NEWS: LeBron James is returning home!

Well color me surprised! Just kidding, I’m not. Had LeBron chosen to stay in Miami I would have been shocked, because I believe that ending up back in Cleveland was always LeBron’s plan. LeBron was forced to leave Cleveland in the first place because they didn’t fully realize his worth and wouldn’t build a championship team around him.

After the 2014 Finals,
who didn’t see this coming?

LeBron always wanted to end up back in Cleveland, but with the power to get what he needed to bring a championship to his hometown team. He could only get that power by leaving and doing it elsewhere. He had to make a point to Dan Gilbert: even though he loves his hometown, if they weren’t going to surround him with talent to win a championship, he was going to find somewhere that would. Because he did that in Miami—with two championships and back-to-back MVP awards (bringing his total to four, just one behind MJ)—Cleveland will now get him the players he needs to build a championship team. Before, Gilbert seemed to think either LeBron could do it on his own with minimal surrounding talent, or that LeBron loved home so much that he would just accept Gilbert’s refusal to spend the money necessary to bring the right players to Cleveland. Now that Gilbert has seen what a LeBron-less Cavs team looks like, and that his superstar won’t sit back and just take it, his wallet is flying open.

But there’s another reason LeBron left Cleveland. It’s because a superstar of his caliber can’t be in a town like Cleveland forever. It’s not like Jeter with the Yankees or Kobe with the Lakers – he couldn’t stay with one team his whole career because his team was in Cleveland, not New York or LA; he had to get out and live somewhere a superstar lives for a few years to become “LEBRON JAMES.” Miami gave him the prestige, the “it factor” to go along with the name. He lived it up for four years, and now he’s ready to settle down back home. LeBron got everything he wanted out of his time in Miami – two rings, the superstar lifestyle and the pull necessary to make this move back to Cleveland, where they will do what he wants.

The old sweatshirt that was the
2014 Final’s Miami Heat

It was clear to me during this year’s Finals that Miami had become LeBron’s favorite old sweatshirt — warm and cozy but, in reality, all worn out and he knew it was time to get rid of it. The magic was gone and would not return. The past four years with LeBron, Wade and Bosh were truly special, but by this year’s Finals they were running on fumes. I knew LeBron was gone because you could read the frustration on his face; he had gotten what he wanted out of his time with the Heat and he was done with Miami.

There was no “Decision” this time. In fact, I don’t think there was much of a decision for LeBron to even make; his return to Cleveland was inevitable and inescapable. When a superstar like LeBron James keeps a home in AKRON, there is a reason: because it is home and that’s where—excuse the pun—his heart is.
Now that Cleveland lost LeBron once, they are going to do everything in their power to make him happy. What makes LeBron happy? Championships to add to his legacy. Cleveland has a better foundation upon which LeBron can build numerous more championships, with young talent like Kyrie Irving, Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins. They also have the cap room with which to bring in key role players, and LeBron is someone people will take a pay cut to play alongside.

Every NBA player over age 30.

Now LeBron looks to cement his legacy as one of the greatest of all time, by bringing Cleveland, his hometown, its first title in any sport in 50 years. I don’t think there is anyone who doubts he will do it.

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When the Miami Heat drafted Shabazz Napier, LeBron James supported the decision and praised Napier for his performance in the 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament, where Shabazz led the UConn Huskies to their second national championship in four years. With the selection at this year’s NBA Draft, both the Miami Heat and Shabazz Napier hoped it would persuade LeBron to return to Miami.

“I would hope so,” Napier said. “He’s one of the best players in the world. So if me going there helps him come back, it just betters our chances of being a complete team.” 

Unfortunately for Miami and Napier, LeBron decided he would return home to the Cleveland Cavailers on July 11th. After a sense of betrayal, Napier took action to Twitter and unfollowed James and deleted all of his tweets related to him.

For more go to http://blacksportsonline.com/home/2014/07/shabazz-napier-unfollows-lebron-deletes-tweets-to-him/

http://espn.go.com/nba/truehoop/miamiheat/story/_/id/11142763/2014-nba-draft-miami-heat-trade-guard-shabazz-napier

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Despite missing out on the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes, the Chicago Bulls looks like they are going to be able to capitalize on their backup plan, by obtaining Pau Gasol in a sign and trade deal. Now, it appears that the Bulls may be in on Miami Heat and Chicago native Dwyane Wade to tow, according to Yahoo Sports Adrian Wojnarowski’s  http://sports.yahoo.com/news/sources–bulls-show-interest-in-dwyane-wade-204001221.html

But is Wade worth it? Apparently Wade would be brought in to provide additional scoring in the back court alongside Derrick Rose. Rose has missed the last two seasons however and Dwyane Wade’s knees have been issue for a while now. Wade gave up $42 million when he decided to opt out of his current contract with the Miami Heat. If he is looking for the same kind of money, Chicago should definitely look elsewhere. With Rose’s durability being a concern for the Bulls, the last thing they need is having another player not at 100%. Rose is the face of the team, and getting him back to his best playing level should be one of Chicago’s focuses right now without having to also worry if another one of its players status is a concern as well.

Maybe I am a little dramatic, and if the price and situation is right Wade could provide some veteran leadership. Other options for Chicago could be Lance Stephenson, Jordan Crawford, and perhaps even former Bull, Luol Deng.

 

 

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Lebron has made his decision. He is going back to Cleveland.

This time there was no hour-long show or anything completely extreme, but there was an article. The news broke early Friday morning with an article by LeBron James (as told to SI’s Lee Jenkins).

LeBron explained how Ohio is very close to him and how this time, he is ready to accept the challenge and bring a championship to the city of Cleveland. He thanked the Heat front office for the past four years and said “The hardest thing to leave is what I built with those guys.” He also recognized the youth on the current Cavaliers team with players like Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins as he stated “I’m not promising a championship. I know how hard that is to deliver. We’re not ready right now. No way. Of course, I want to win next year, but I’m realistic. It will be a long process, much longer than it was in 2010. My patience will get tested. I know that. I’m going into a situation with a young team and a new coach. I will be the old head. But I get a thrill out of bringing a group together and helping them reach a place they didn’t know they could go. I see myself as a mentor now and I’m excited to lead some of these talented young guys.”

So now the rumors and speculation can end. He will join a young Cleveland Cavaliers team with a lot of potential and are arguably the favorites to win the relatively weak Eastern Conference. Their potential starting line-up would be Kyrie Irving, Andrew Wiggins, LeBron James, Tristan Thompson, and Anderson Varejao. But what if the Cavs try to get Kevin Love? ESPN’s Chris Broussard reported earlier that Love would “100 percent” stay in Cleveland if the Cavs were to sign James.

LeBron making his decision will probably have a domino effect as now players like Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Love, and Carmelo Anthony will make their decisions. Now that LeBron has left Cleveland, multiple reports say that Bosh will go to Houston. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith recently reported that Melo will decide between Chicago and New York and that Los Angleles has been eliminated as a favorable option.

Here is some of the reaction to LeBron’s decision

Lebron has made his decision. He is going back to Cleveland.

This time there was no hour-long show or anything completely extreme, but there was an article. The news broke early Friday morning with an article by LeBron James (as told to SI’s Lee Jenkins).

LeBron explained how Ohio is very close to him and how this time, he is ready to accept the challenge and bring a championship to the city of Cleveland. He thanked the Heat front office for the past four years and said “The hardest thing to leave is what I built with those guys.” He also recognized the youth on the current Cavaliers team with players like Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins as he stated “I’m not promising a championship. I know how hard that is to deliver. We’re not ready right now. No way. Of course, I want to win next year, but I’m realistic. It will be a long process, much longer than it was in 2010. My patience will get tested. I know that. I’m going into a situation with a young team and a new coach. I will be the old head. But I get a thrill out of bringing a group together and helping them reach a place they didn’t know they could go. I see myself as a mentor now and I’m excited to lead some of these talented young guys.”

So now the rumors and speculation can end. He will join a young Cleveland Cavaliers team with a lot of potential and are arguably the favorites to win the relatively weak Eastern Conference. Their potential starting line-up would be Kyrie Irving, Andrew Wiggins, LeBron James, Tristan Thompson, and Anderson Varejao. But what if the Cavs try to get Kevin Love? ESPN’s Chris Broussard reported earlier that Love would “100 percent” stay in Cleveland if the Cavs were to sign James.

LeBron making his decision will probably have a domino effect as now players like Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Love, and Carmelo Anthony will make their decisions. Now that LeBron has left Cleveland, multiple reports say that Bosh will go to Houston. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith recently reported that Melo will decide between Chicago and New York and that Los Angleles has been eliminated as a favorable option.

Here is some of the reaction to LeBron’s decision

 

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Two of the top free agents this NBA off-season are Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James. Both have had a number of teams pursue them, many even being the same in hopes of bringing the two together. James agent Rich Paul talked with other teams about potentially having him play either alongside Carmelo Anthony or Chris Bosh. I even wrote about the (small) possibility of the two going to the Lakers to play in L.A. alongside Kobe( http://kcsportsninja.com/l-a-lakers-to-form-a-new-big-three-by-signing-lebron-carmelo-to-play-alongside-kobe/  ). Though most of that was probably mere speculation on my part, I did hear maybe one or two other mentions elsewhere about that possibility. For me it was because of the Lakers strong interest in Carmelo Anthony that I thought maybe James agent would try to arrange something to have his client play alongside Anthony (and Kobe) in Los Angeles. (As mentioned Paul spoke to teams about having James team up with Anthony.)

But I think we can put a ribbon and bow on that option, and put it to bed as it appears that LeBron is down to two teams, Miami Heat and (drum roll please) the Cleveland Cavaliers. Yes, even after the big decision that James made four years to leave him hometown and bolt to South Beach, James maybe looking at forming a family reunion in Cleveland. Should LeBron come back home though, there will be patches that will need a bit of sewing. After feeling betrayed by James, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert issued the following statement when LeBron made the decision to join the Miami Heat in the 2010 off-season

Dear Cleveland, All Of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight;
As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.
This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his “decision” unlike anything ever “witnessed” in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.
Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing to all of us.
The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.
There is so much more to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be communicating much of that to you.
You simply don’t deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.
You have given so much and deserve so much more.
In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight:
“I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE”
You can take it to the bank.
If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our “motivation” to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.
Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.
Sorry, but that’s simply not how it works.
This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown “chosen one” sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And “who” we would want them to grow-up to become.
But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called “curse” on Cleveland, Ohio.
The self-declared former “King” will be taking the “curse” with him down south. And until he does “right” by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.
Just watch.
Sleep well, Cleveland.
Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day….
I PROMISE you that our energy, focus, capital, knowledge and experience will be directed at one thing and one thing only:
DELIVERING YOU the championship you have long deserved and is long overdue….
Dan Gilbert
Majority Owner
Cleveland Cavaliers
Very cold and harsh words. Whether Gilbert meant what he said or was merely venting his frustrations and emotions he was feeling at that moment is anyone’s guess. Two things have or need to come from this. 1. Obviously the “King” won a championship before Cleveland did. 2. Gilbert and James would need time to talk and sort things out from what happened four years ago. But if that happens, obviously James will have to make the announcement that he will be returning to Cleveland, so how can we be sure that that is what exactly he will do?
Well according to Chris Sheridan of Sheridan Hoops there is a strong chance LeBron will leave Miami to return to Cleveland ”

“A plugged-in source tells me there is a 90 percent chance that LeBron James will return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and it will be announced on www.lebronjames.com if it happens.

That is my latest intelligence, and it comes from the same league source who told me Monday that he felt there was a 75 percent chance James returns to his original NBA team.”
Another situation according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst that may give an indication of where James plays next year, is that Ray Allen has said he will go wherever LeBron goes. http://espn.go.com/nba/truehoop/miamiheat/story/_/id/11129947/ray-allen-leaning-playing-19th-nba-season )/

Interestingly enough, the Cavaliers are pursuing Allen according to Chris Broussard. Cleveland also made a trade freeing up some cap space by sending big man Tyler Zeller and a 1st round pick to the Boston Celtics and Jarrett Jack to the Brooklyn Nets. (http://www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/extras/celtics_blog/2014/07/report_cavaliers_pursuing_ray_allen_probably_for_lebron_jame.html ).

 

With all of these statements from other players and moves made by Cleveland to create cap space, one would logically think if you put two and two together the Cavaliers have something big in their cards, that being the return and reuniting with “King James”!

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In the biggest, an only Hornets free agent news, starting power forward and fan favorite signed a 4 year 23 million dollar deal with the Miami Heat. The move may seem surprising, but a deeper look may shed some light.

From McRoberts side of the deal, the 27 year old had a very good year with the Hornets, playing a point forward role that many teams like. This also is very likely to be his last chance at a long term, big money deal. Throw in the possibility of joining Lebron James and company, the deal was just to good to pass up.

The Hornets however, have their eye on a big fish in the free agent market, and signing McRoberts to a large contract may have made that impossible. They also have used two first round picks in two years on power forwards, and may feel comfortable giving the young players more playing time.

The fact is the NBA is a business, and no matter how difficult it is for fans to understand, sometimes the only way to get better, is to move on and take a risk.

Filed under: Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat, NBA Free Agency 2014, Southeast Division, Uncategorized Tagged: free agents, Heat, Hornets

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Los Angeles is a big market city for all of professional sports. A lot of Hollywood stars and celebrities make their presence’s noticed, especially at Lakers games. The spotlight is greater, superstar treatment, not too mention the money that comes along with it! Speaking of the Lakers and money, they have reportedly offered Carmelo Anthony a max contract of 4 years worth $97 million. Some reports suggest Anthony will re-sign with the Knicks. New York has reportedly offered him a max contract (5 years $129 million), but playing alongside Kobe Bryant while trying to capture an NBA title might be something Anthony may think is worth considering.

If there is one possible thing that could put this over the top and sell Anthony the idea of coming to Los Angeles to play with Kobe, would be the opportunity to play alongside LeBron James too! LeBron’s agent Rich Paul, has already talked with a couple of teams and discussed the possibility in finding a way to make a deal work so his client can play alongside Anthony. Like Carmelo though, most think LeBron will return to the same team. But if LeBron cannot get the max contract he is asking for from the Miami Heat, then it is likely possible James could explore his other options and leave South Beach.

If Carmelo decides to take his services to Los Angeles, will Rich Paul get on the phone immediately with the Lakers to try and workout a deal so LeBron can in fact play alongside with Anthony, (which again, he has discussed with several teams about the idea of that possibility)? If he can, not only would Paul get his client to team up with Anthony like he has originally discussed with several teams, but he would give him an extra incentive by having him play alongside Kobe Bryant as well!

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Many reports had LeBron James returning to the Miami Heat as a sure lock. As noted in my article the other day (http://kcsportsninja.com/where-will-lebron-go-latest-speculations-and-rumors/) James is (or was) most likely waiting for Pat Riley to make some moves to improve the Heat roster while seeking a max contract. ESPN.com’s Chris Broussard has said that James’ agent met Rich Paul, met with Suns owner Robert Sarver to discuss a possible plan of bringing LeBron to Phoenix to play alongside either Carmelo Anthony or Chris Bosh.

ESPN’s Marc Stein also mentioned that Rich Paul had met with the Phoenix Suns as well, along with visits with the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, and Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron’s agent is obviously trying to play his cards right to get the max money he can for James while still putting his client in the best position to win a championship. It should be noted that the Heat were looking at either signing Kyle Lowry or Marcin Gortat, but since both have re-signed with their respective teams. One suitor says LeBron may start seriously exploring his options!

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Source via CBS sports

 http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/24607027/lebron-james-free-agency-update-suitors-make-pitches-to-agent

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images North America)

LeBron James opted out of his current contract with the Miami Heat, thus becoming a free agent. While not ruling out a return to Miami, James reportedly said he is looking for a max contract. What that could mean for Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh (who both also opted out of their contracts) is not exactly clear. During the NBA Playoffs, speculation began that all three would opt out in order to take pay cuts and bring in another star caliber player to Miami, such as Carmelo Anthony. Still, that has not stopped other teams and its players from contacting LeBron in efforts to recruit him to their team.

Philadelphia 76ers 2014 1st round pick Joel Embiid contacted LeBron through Twitter to get him to come “The City of “Brotherly Love”.

The 76ers have the cap space, but are not in a ‘win now’ mode, and would be long shots at landing James.

ESPN’s Chris Broussard has brought up both the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets attempting to acquire the free agent (and in the process both teams wanting to sign Carmelo Anthony as well)

I think it should be important to note in regards to Broussard’s tweets, specifically in the one regarding the L.A. Lakers is that their “dream is to add LeBron & Melo this summer” Big difference in “dreams” and reality. The Phoenix Suns have also reportedly tried to put together a pitch for both James and Anthony according to Yahoo! Sports/FOX Sports 1 NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/lebron-james-carmelo-anthony-eyed-by-phoenix-suns-062914

The Cleveland Cavaliers, despite being spurned by James in 2010, are open to welcoming back their former star and face of the Cavaliers franchise. Cleveland by all accounts could be very enticing. They signed Kyrie Irving to an extension and recently drafted Andrew Wiggins,  which could be a great sales pitch in bringing James back home. Perhaps Cleveland can also consider creating its own fabulous four. Apparently Kevin Love (who has been the talk of trade rumors to the Cavaliers) would accept a trade to Cleveland if they were to sign LeBron (http://www.vcpost.com/articles/24323/20140630/2014-free-agency-trade-rumors-kevin-love-to-the-cleveland-cavaliers.htm ). Just imagine, LeBron James, Kevin Love, Kyrie Iriving, and Andrew Wiggins altogether in one lineup! While that scenario is interesting to say the least, it is all going to depend on what James will do.

Rumors and more speculations will continue to develop, but the most logical scenario as of right now is that LeBron is waiting to see what Pat Riley does in efforts to put the best team together possible in Miami before he makes a decision.

 

 

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The sports world is going to be crazy on July 1st. The U.S. Men’s Soccer Team plays in the World Cup’s Round of 16, and both the NHL and NBA begin free agency. For the Chicago Bulls, they have had one player set in their sights for a while now, that being Carmelo Anthony. Anthony in return has shown similar interest in coming to Chicago and plans to meet with them first when free agency officially begins. It should be noted during this past season’s All-Star Break, Bulls center Joakim Noah was doing a bit of recruiting of Anthony, and would welcome him in Chicago, and feels he would be a good fit for the team.

Chicago already has a well defensive oriented team and is looking for someone to provide additional scoring, which Carmelo is able to do. (lets not forget he dropped 62 points against the Charlotte Bobcats (now once again “Hornets”). It may not be as easy though as it seems for the Bulls to convince him to come to Chicago. Anthony will likely receive less money if he goes to Chicago than if he were to re-sign with the New York Knicks, and having Phil Jackson running things could be enticing for Carmelo to come back to the “Big Apple”.

Chicago is obviously one of the front runners to land Carmelo, but if they cannot land him then Kevin Love may be another route the Bulls may look at, as there has been reported interest in him as well. Other teams such as the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, and Houston Rockets have been linked to Carmelo Anthony, but most sources and news outlets believe it will come down to Chicago and New York.

Where do you think Carmelo Anthony ends up this off-season? Please feel free to leave a comment letting us know what you think!

 

 

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The Miami Heat came out strong at the start of the game led 8-0 before the Spurs took a timeout.    The Heat made some 3 point shots leading 22-12 when the Spurs took another timeout.   Then Patty Mills and Kawhi Leonard each made a three to cut the Heat led 22-18, but Lebron James made a three to increase the lead to 25 to 18.  Then he made two free throw to a 27-18 lead for the Heat.    The first quarter ended with the Heat leading 29-22. Lebron James had 17 points in the first quarter.    The 2nd quarter was going to the Spurs when they cut the lead to 35-32 on the strength of their defense and their bench.   Then they went on a 7-0 run when Leonard made 3 three-point shots, and Manu Ginobili got 14 points off the bench to give them a 47-40 lead at halftime.   In the third quarter, the Spurs defense kept the Heat off the scoreboard, and led the Heat 56-42 midway through the quarter.  Patty Mills made some three points shots and the lead increased to 77 to 58 going into the fourth quarter.   Tony Parker who was scoreless in the first three quarters got 16 points in the 4th quarter as the San Antonio Spurs won 104 to 87 to win their 5th NBA title in franchise history.    The Spurs were led by Kawhi Leonard 22 points and 10 rebounds, and was named the Finals MVP.    Tim Duncan had 14 points and 8 rebounds, but the bench outscored the Heat 41-9.   It was led by Manu Ginobili  who had 19 points and Patty Mills had 17 points.  The Heat was led by Lebron James 31 points and 10 rebounds.    The San Antonio Spurs could go down as one of the greatest teams in NBA history with winning 5 titles in 15 years, and with some of the young talent they have it would not surprised me if they are back next season.   As for the Miami Heat, James, Dewayne Wade and Chris Bosh could be free agencies and maybe more changes as well.

The at&t center will be jam-packed and loud as the spurs get ready to host game 5 of the nba finals leading the series 3-1 and needing just one win to be crowned as the world champions and ruin Miami’s hope of being just the second team to three-peat since the Michael Jordan-Chicago Bulls era. Chris Bosh guaranteed a win tonight which is easy to say but not hard to do. Who will take game 5? We will find out in just hours. Game time is 8:00 pm eastern time on abc.

The San Antonio Spurs have been a championship caliber team for the past 15+ years since they won their first NBA Championship in 1999. Tim Duncan was there when the Spurs won their first title. Both Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker aided in the Spurs next three championships in 2003, 2005, and 2007. The next wave of stars for San Antonio seem to becoming together with the likes of Danny Green, who had a major breakthrough for his career in the 2011-12 season, emerging as the starting shooting guard for the Spurs, and a promising young talent in Kawhi Leonard.

Kawhi Leonard, who was named to the NBA All Rookie Team in 2012. In fact, before the start of that season, Head Coach Gregg Popovich stated that Leonard would be the next face of the Spurs

(1.) “I think he’s going to be a star. And as time goes on, he’ll be the face of the Spurs, I think. At both ends of the court, he is really a special player. And what makes me be so confident about him is that he wants it so badly.

“He wants to be a good player, I mean a great player. He comes early, he stays late, and he’s coachable, he’s just like a sponge. When you consider he’s only had (two years) of college and no training camp yet, you can see that he’s going to be something else.” 

Popovich may very well be right! This past season Leonard was named to the NBA All Defensive Second Team, but has also come up big recently on the offensive side in the Spurs past two games against the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. Leonard scored 20+ points both in each game, and lead all scorers with 29 in Game 3 ( A career high, both regular season and playoffs). Leonard also had a strong game on the boards in Game 4, collecting 14 rebounds, nearly doubling his total from the first three games combined (8)!

With more time, experience, and the eventual retirement of Tim Duncan, Leonard will be molded into a complete player that reaches his full potential and like Gregg Popovich said, become the next face of the team. And being under the guidance of a Head Coach like Popovich, not only will he reach it, (Here comes my bold statement) but perhaps go above and beyond and end up as one of the all time greats when his career is over!

UPDATE: Kawhi Leonard recorded 22 points, 10 rebounds in Game 5 of the Spurs 104-87 win. Leonard was named the NBA Finals MVP!

Kawhi Leonard Averages in 5 Games of NBA Finals (17.8 PPG (61.2% FG), 6.4 RPG, 1.6 SPG) is the 2014 NBA Finals

 

Source: (1.) http://www.sportingnews.com/nba/story/2012-08-31/gregg-popovich-kawhi-leonard-tim-duncan-tony-parker-san-antonio-spurs

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Game 4 was a dominating night for the San Antonio Spurs.  They got off to another hot start just like in game three leading 13-4 when the Heat took a timeout.   The Heat cut the lead to 13-10 and the momentum was with them.  Then the Spurs took a timeout and went on 13-7 run and led 26-17 after the first quarter.  The Spurs pushed the lead to 33-20 early in the second quarter.   Ray Allen came off the bench for the Heat, and made two 3 point shots to cut the lead to 37-28.   The Spurs went on a 11-5 run to end the first half with a 55-36 lead.    Lebron James had 10 points to start the third quarter to cut the Spurs lead to 61 to 48.   However, the Spurs dominated  the rest of the quarter and extended the lead to 81 to 57 at the end of the third quarter.    The fourth quarter belonged to the Spurs and they won 107 to 86 and took a 3 to 1 series.   For the Spurs,  Kawhi Leonard had an outstanding game 20 points, 14 rebounds, and 3 assists.  Tony Parker had 19 points, Patty Mills had 14 points, and Tim Duncan had 10 points and 11 rebounds.   The Heat was led by James with 28 points,  Chris Bosh had 12 points,  James Jones had 11 points, and DeWayne Wade had 10 points, but for him it was his worst game every in the NBA Finals.    The Heat have to have get a better first quarter or the Spurs will finished them off game 5 Sunday night at the AT&T Center with the tipoff at 8:00 P.M.

Kawhi Leonard had  an amazing game and paced the San Antonio Spurs to 111-92 win over the Miami Heat in-game 3 of the NBA Finals.  Leonard had 16 points in the first quarter to give them a 41 to 25 after the first quarter.   The Spurs had an amazing first half overall on offense.   They were 76% from the field, 70% from the 3 point line, and 82% from the free throw line.    The Heat made a run when they played good defense, and the Spurs stop attacking.   They were able to cut the deficit to 87-75 going into the fourth quarter.   However, the Heat had too many turnovers and didn’t play the defense that made them a two-time defending NBA champions.   For the Spurs Leonard had 29 points, Tony Parker and Danny Green has 15 points each, and Tim Duncan had 14 points and 6 rebounds. Off the bench for the Spurs Manu Ginobli had 11 points.  The Heat were paced by Lebron James and Dewayne Wade each with 22 points.  Rashard Lewis had 14 points and Ray Allen had 11 points on the bench.   The Heat point guard play has been struggling in the first 3 games, and could Head Coach Erik Spoelstra make a change to get better play.  The Heat need to make adjustments going into game 4 Thursday night at the American Airlines Arena with the tipoff at 9:00 P.M.

(Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

During Game 1 of the NBA Finals, in which the San Antonio defeated the Miami Heat 110-95, Lebron James developed cramps and and was assisted off the courts after the air conditioning unit went out in the A&TT Center. Quickly social media was buzzing and sports fans were mocking James’ situation of being helped off the court, which would go on to coin the term “Lebroning”. Even Gatorade took a shot at LeBron (which you can see here http://kcsportsninja.com/gatorade-takes-jab-at-lebron-james-after-developing-leg-cramps/ )

Through all of the adversity and the mockery, James was able to shrug it off, and came back even stronger, recording a double-double along with a game high 35 points in the Heat’s Game 2 98-96 win over the Spurs. You did not see LeBron get short with anyone or people in the news media, James simply said “My body failed me”. You can chalk it up as just as an excuse, but there is also no denying James’ ability and the talent he possess to take over a game much like he did in Game 2 against the Spurs.

 

http://espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2014/story/_/id/11043152/lebron-james-disappointed-game-1-exit-says-ready-game-2

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Game 2 of the NBA Finals was outstanding with both teams playing defense better than game one.     Lebron James had an outstanding game with 35 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 assists.    Tonight’s performance will put to rest the aftereffects being out of the last 4 minutes of game one with cramps.   Chris Bosh returned to form with an 18 points performance, Dewayne  Wade and Rashard Lewis each had 14 points.    The San Antonio Spurs were led by Tony Parker 21 points and Tim Duncan had 18 points and 15 rebounds.   Manu Ginobili had 19 points off the bench.   However, the Heat made the necessary adjustments defensively and James was outstanding in the last three-quarter of the game.   It added up to at 98-96 Miami victory and the series is tied at one game apiece.    The scene shifts to American Airlines Arena for game three Tuesday night with the tipoff at 9:00 P.M.

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