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The NBA Playoffs start this weekend and here are my 1st Round predictions.

Eastern Conference

1 Indiana defeat 8 Atlanta in five games.

2 Miami defeat 7 Charlotte in four games.

3 Toronto defeat 6 Brooklyn in six games.

4 Chicago defeat 5 Washington in seven games.

 

Western Conference

1 San Antonio defeat 8 Dallas in five games.

2 Oklahoma City defeat 7 Memphis in five games.

3 LA Clippers defeat 6 Golden State in six games.

4 Houston defeat 5 Portland in seven games.

 

At the beginning of the year, the Nets were in shambles. They were at the bottom of the East, KG and Paul Pierce were doing horrible, and Jason Kidd seemed overmatched as a head coach. However, that changed as the season went on.

The Nets have had one of the best records in the East since the All-Star break. The Nets are playing small ball with Pierce at the 4, KG at the 5, and Shaun Livingston playing the 2. With some luck, the Nets could win the East. Here is what needs to happen:
-Beat the Raptors: The Nets will have a 1st round match-up against the Toronto Raptors. I do think the Nets will win this match-up easily because of one thing: veteran experience. KG and Pierce have been in the playoffs numerous times and will need their experiences to win.

-Hope the Pacers continue their funk: After beating the Raptors, the Nets would have to beat the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers have been mired in a funk for the past month. If this continues, I see no way they make it past the 2nd round. Pierce will be too much for David West down low.

-Make LeBron abdicate his throne: To make the finals, the Nets would have to beat the Heat. However, they can do this for multiple reasons. First, the Nets are 4-0 against the Heat this year. The Nets have the Heat’s number. Second, the guards for the Nets are great in the post. Livingston, Deron Williams, and Joe Johnson will own Mario Chalmers, Dwyane Wade, and Ray Allen down low. Lastly, Paul Pierce has been on a rampage for the 2nd half of the season. He will give LeBron a very hard match-up down low.

Filed under: Columns Tagged: David West, Deron Williams, Dwayne Wade, Heat, Jason Kidd, Kevin Garnett, LeBron James, Mario Chalmers, Nets, Pacers, Paul Pierce, Raptors, Ray Allen, Shaun Livingston

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The Miami Heat and the Chicago Bulls faced off at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. It was a close call the entire game. Chicago locked down Lebron James for most of the game holding him to 17 points. James’ averages against Chicago this season before the game was 19 points, Chicago held him to just 17 points, compliments of Jimmy Butler’s outstanding defense. Dj Augustin and Joakim Noah were a huge part of Chicago’s success against Miami. Augustin would finish with 22 points. On one occasion in the game Lebron James attempted to crossover Noah, who considerably is the best defending big man in the league, Joakim played it as good as you see it. As Noah denied James’ crossover effort the crowd of the United Center roared, James would then drive pull up for a shot and miss it as the Bulls came down with the rebound got the ball to Butler who would drive it looking for a layup, he missed it but Noah rebounded it and got fouled as he went up, Noah was fired up screaming as you could see the veins of his neck popping out, the crowd once again had an enthusiastic roar and began chanting MVP! MVP! Joakim’s father was cheering loudly from the stands.  The score was close for almost the entire game besides when Miami had reached a 12 point lead. With just seconds left in the 4th quarter tied up at 82 James attempted to drive the lane for a winning bucket, but the ball was stripped from him by Butler which would force overtime. Chicago would have a surge and take care of business in overtime as the Bulls defeated the Heat 95-88. Joakim Noah would finish with 20 points, 12 rebounds, 5 blocks, and played 42 minutes of the game.

 

Bulls forward Joakim Noah already publicly stated that he is trying to recruit Carmelo Anthony to come to Chicago and sign with the Bulls in the off-season.  Noah even talked to Anthony during All-Star weekend to pitch the idea to come play for the Bulls by presenting him with the notion that if he wants to win a championship, Chicago is the place to come. Apparently Noah is not the only one interested in Anthony coming to Chicago! According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, Derrick Rose has also expressed his interest and desire in having Anthony come to Chicago. http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10560963/nba-carmelo-anthony-land-los-angeles-new-york-chicago

Obviously the Bulls would have to make some other moves in the off-season in order to sign Anthony. The Bulls would most likely have to amnesty Carlos Boozer and trade Mike Dunleavy in order to make room for Anthony. Besides Chicago, the L.A. Lakers have also expressed interest in signing the all-star, but Anthony has not ruled out returning to New York if the price is right. Should the Bulls get Carmelo, they will have their own “Big Three” in Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, and Carmelo Anthony and would quickly become favorites once again to contend for an NBA Championship!

 

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A lot has happened in the NBA over the past 24 hours with non-stop talk and praise for LeBron James after dropping 61 points in the Miami Heat’s 124-107 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats. I and many others have noticed that Carmelo Anthony’s performance from over a month ago when he put 62 points in a 124-95 victory for the New York Knicks over coincidentally the Bobcats as well. Not that James performance does not deserve praise and admiration, but  many are asking why did not Carmelo Anthony get the same type of media buzz? I see people talking about Lebron James 61 points and looking back and reflecting on Kobe Bryant’s 81 points during a game in 2006. I never saw the media make any references between Anthony’s 62 points and Bryant’s 81 points, and if there was, it was barely mentioned.

Lets not beat around the bush here though because the answer is simple, James is the poster child for the NBA and they will use and market his name because they know it will draw attention and money. Not that Carmelo does not draw any revenue for the league in his own rights, but the truth is Lebron James is the NBA’s meal ticket. Also, look at it this way as well, a lot of people may not like LeBron because they feel he is catered to during games and by the league in general. The NBA can still take a negative and turn it into a positive because they know if you are not watching LeBron to cheer for him, you are watching in hopes to see him fail. Like a sore tooth, even though you should not touch it you continue to do so to see if it still hurts!

 

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Video highlights of LeBron James’s career high 61 points against the Bobcats last night.

Full Highlights of LeBron James’ (with mask!) Career High 61 Points and 8 Three-Pointers! He made 22/33 FGs (66.7%) and also had 5 assists and 7 rebounds!

The Chicago Bulls will take on their bitter rival the Miami Heat today, in Miami, Florida. These two teams have a bitter rivalry of games in the past that have been nothing short of phenomenal. Lebron James of the Heat and Jimmy Butler of the Bulls are both a game time decision on whether they will play today or not. Lebron broke his nose when playing in Oklahoma City while Butler suffered a rib injury against the nuggets on friday. If Jimmy Butler does not play Chicago will most likely put rookie Tony Snell at the starting position. Gametime is 3:30 pm eastern time zone.

 

Just recently, both Kobe Bryant and LeBron James offered each of their own NBA versions of Mt. Rushmore. Both Bryant and James’ list were almost exactly the same. Both picked Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson. Kobe picked Bill Russell while LeBron went with Oscar Robertson. So the question I want to bring up is who would be your NBA Mt Rushmore? Any similar picks as Bryant and James? Any differences? Feel free to share your NBA version of Mt. Rushmore!

My NBA Mt. Rushmore-  1. Michael Jordan  2. Wilt Chamberlin  3.Kareem Abdul Jabbar  4. Hakeem Olajuwon

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Miami Heat All-Star point guard Dwyane Wade is questionable for the 2014 All-Star Game that takes place this sunday evening.  Wade has been experiencing a aggravated nerve which has caused numbness in his left foot. The condition of this foot injury is noted as “drop foot”  Wade is questionable up to this point.

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Everyone knows that the Miami Heat have not played like their usual selves as of late.  With losses to Brooklyn, New York, and Washington in January, people have been wondering what’s wrong with the Heat.

Since the new year has begun, Miami is 7-5, which is respectable for most teams, but not the two-time defending champion Miami Heat.  It’s not just the five losses that Heat fans should be worried about, but how close some of their wins against below average teams have been.  For example, The Heat were losing most of the game in Charlotte; it then took them overtime to beat the Bobcats!  Ramon Sessions even had this poster-dunk over King James: http://youtu.be/fGAEXz8ouUA !!

Another example of Miami barely surviving games against mediocre teams is against Boston Tuesday night in Miami.  The Heat struggled to beat a Celtics team by seven, in a game in which Rajon Rondo was 0-8 from the field with only one point.  Boston’s leading scorer that night was Kris Humphries with only fourteen points.

But don’t worry, loyal Miami Heat fans; the Heat are NOT on “cruise control” as many speculators are suggesting.  The reason for their recent struggles is simple: they are an NBA team!  It could happen, but an NBA team will not normally go undefeated!  The Heat are the reigning champs, but they are not perfect.   The Heat will STILL be a top two seed in the East when April comes around (2-seed behind Indiana in my opinion), and they will STILL be one of he hardest teams in the NBA to beat when the playoffs start.

So don’t even think about the five losses in 2014, Miami fans, because Lebron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade will prove on the court that they just had a stretch in which they struggled; almost every team in the NBA has a bad stretch at some point.  The Heat, are a good team, and will still finish as one of the top three teams in the NBA this season.

 

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158

Today the Boston Celtics traded away guards Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks to the Golden State Warriors, who in turn dealt guard Toney Douglas to the Miami Heat, with the Heat sending Joel Anthony and Philadelphia’s future 1st, and 2nd round pick to the Celtics. Now that the confusing stuff is over, here’s what the trade means for each team, and how it will affect the rest of the NBA season.

Let’s start out with the Warriors, who made out like thieves in this deal. They acquired Crawford, and Brooks, two scoring guards, something that they felt like they had been really missing since Jarrett Jack bolted for Cleveland this past summer. Crawford has been really, really good for the Celtics this season, averaging 14 points, and almost six assists. What he brings is unpredictability. The ability to go off in a game, and get hot out of seemingly nowhere, sparking the rest of the team. Brooks is just kind of a throw in, a player who many thought would become a very good scorer before he was buried away at the end of the bench in Brooklyn and Boston. This was fantastic for the Warriors considering all they gave up was Toney Douglas.

Let’s look at the Heat now. The Heat acquired Douglas, and dealt away a 1st and 2nd round pick along with Joel Anthony. This also worked out quite well for the Heat, considering they saved quite a bit of money with Joel Anthony, 10 million total, giving them some flexibility for later this season. Toney Douglas makes a player like Roger Mason Jr. and his non-guaranteed contract very expendable, and this would also give them a free roster spot to work with. I see this as a precursor to Andrew Bynum signing with the Heat, or that Greg Oden is nearly ready. If it’s for Bynum, it gives the Heat extra money to throw at him, while staying under the luxury tax, and if it’s just for Oden, it makes the front court a little less crowded. Losing a 1st round pick is never fun, but the Heat really don’t care about a pick two years from now. They need to win now, and that’s what this deal will help them accomplish.

Finally, let’s look at how the Celtics made out. They dealt away two young, cost controlled guards in Crawford and Brooks, and brought in Anthony and those two 76ers picks. It’s not as clear, but the Celtics didn’t do too bad here either. Anthony is a cap problem, but he has only one more year on his deal after this year, so it’s not too bad, and those picks could be valuable as well. They get the 1st rounder only if the 76ers make the playoffs in the next two year, if they don’t it becomes two second rounders. In the Eastern Conference, anything can happen, so next year it’s somewhat realistic to say the 76ers could make the playoffs. This is all about tearing the Celtics down, getting picks, and rebuilding through the draft.

In the end, the Warriors look like the winners of this trade now, but we will have to see how it affects each team for the rest of the season.

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Miami Heat center Greg Oden played Wednesday night for the first time since December 5th, 2009. Oden has had multiple knee surgeries and has been recovering ever since.  This past off-season the Heat signed him to a one-year deal just to see what he could do when healthy.  He played in one preseason game for Miami with 2 points.

Greg Oden was drafted number one overall in the 2007 draft by the Portland TrailBlazers.  In his two years from 2007-2009, he only played in 82 games, as a result of multiple knee injuries.  After 2009, he stayed quiet and out of the NBA, slowly trying to gain his strength back.  Then, in the 2013 off-season, he suddenly emerged as a free-agent center, with several NBA teams trying to sign him.  The Miami Heat eventually were able to get him on a one-year deal.

On Wednesday night, the Miami Heat took on the Washington Wizards in Washington D.C.. Greg Oden was listed as active for this game, and, with Chris “Birdman” Anderson out with an injury, Oden had a good chance to earn his first minutes of the season.  As it turns out, Oden DID get to play his first minutes of the season, first eight minutes, that is.  Eight minutes is not bad for a guy that hasn’t played in 5 years. Oden scored his first points of the year in the second quarter with this pretty awesome put-back dunk: http://youtu.be/aFthAbEUUb4 . Oden finished with 6 points and 2 rebounds while going 2 for 3 from the field and 2 for 2 from the free-throw line in his mere eight minutes of play.

Oden could have a big impact for Miami this year. Not only does he provide a true center down low , but he helps the Heat by moving Chris Bosh back to his natural position of power forward.   This will help Bosh to improve his already stellar season thus far.  All I’m saying is, watch out for the Heat because they will soon have another consistent post presence to help them try for that 3rd straight title!

Filed under: Miami Heat Tagged: Greg Oden, Miami Heat, Portland Trailblazers

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LeBron James was feeling awfully gracious during the Heat’s win over the Pelicans last night.  While going into the stands he decides to give a lady a quick little kiss.  I’m guessing this didn’t turn any King haters into fans, but still a sweet gesture.

 

I’m probably one of the biggest Miami Heat & Dwyane Wade apologists in the nation, but I’m not even sure I can defend this one.  A fan captured Flash Wade in a gif taking a casual stroll with the ball and not dribbling once.  No wonder college announcers are saying “he would have gotten away with that travel in the NBA”.

Dwyane Wade Travel Gif

135

LeBron James’s kids do their best lob city impersonation followed by a King James celebration.

These boys going crazy on they nerf hoop! @cp3@blakegriffin32. Bronny and Bryce gone hold down Lob City until y’all get back. Cool? It’s like the both of y’all but we gone keep it in our room. Haha

 

LeBron James and Xavier Henry have had two of the most monstrous dunks in the NBA so far this season, but who’s was more filthy? The NBA has given us a look at the too throw downs side by side so we can take a look at who’s was better.  Watch the video of LeBron and Xavier’s dunks below and vote on who you think had the best dunk.

 

online poll by Opinion Stage

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Is this considered hazing?  LeBron James throws down an absolutely filthy slam on the King’s rookie, Ben McLemore, during the Heats 122-103 butt whooping. When asked about the dunk, Lebron said he wished it wasn’t Ben that he dunked on.

“It sucks that it’s him,” James said of the rookie out of Kansas, “because I like him. I knew I could get to the launching pad.”

“I just went over there to try to take the charge,” [McLemore] said. “He dunked the ball. Afterwards, I thought I should have just fouled him.”


4894

Jordan Crawford is hot off his Eastern Conference Player of the Week and now he has the defending champion Miami Heat sniffing at acquiring him from the Celtics.  Jordan won the player of the week by averaging 23.3 points per game and 6.7 assists per game last week while leading the Celtics to a 3-0 record.

The New York Daily News’s Mitch Lawrence reported:

Miami is looking to deal for a young wing player who can score and take some of the load off of Dwyane Wade.  A few GMs have identified Boston’s Jordan Crawford as a player the Heat will go after in the coming days/weeks.

The Heat surely didn’t go into panic mode after just one game, but the news of them looking for scoring help came after the Pacers shut them down on NBAtv just four days ago, much like the Pacers have every team they have come up against this season.  It may have led them to believe they need an extra piece to the puzzle this season, with an aging Wade and no  Mike Miller off the bench, to get past the Pacers and back to the NBA Finals.

 

 

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Here is a looped gif specially for all the LeBron James haters out there (and I know there are a lot of you).   This wasn’t exactly King James shining moment as he airballs a three point shot during the last minute of the Heat’s 84-90 loss to the first place Pacers. LeBron was only 6 for 16 from the field for 17 points in the game, off most of the night that also included a missed layup in the final minutes.  Enjoy what you can when you can King haters, it doesn’t happen very often and it won’t happen in the playoffs.

LeBron James Airball Gif

lbjair

Pacers Heat Highlights

 

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