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Friday, May 18th, 2012 at 10:20 am  |  117 responses

Post Up: Panic Time?

Indiana takes a 2-1 lead over the Heat and San Antonio breezes past the Clippers in Game 2.

Pacers 94, Heat 75 (IND leads 2-1)

Pacers coach Frank Vogel warned his team after Game 2 about not straying from their “tough guy” mentality upon returning to Indianapolis. He wanted the Pacers to continue to play with an edge and a chip on their shoulder, using their “Gold Swagger” to push them over the top. He received his wish and more on Thursday night with a nearly 20-point victory against the Eastern Conference pre-season favorites.

On a night when everything, and I mean everything, was clicking for the Pacers, the fans brought incredible energy to Bankers Life Fieldhouse and sported their new “Gold Swagger” t-shirts in the stands. They fittingly brought their A-game the same night the Pacer players brought their A-game, and hometown hero George Hill showed love for all Pacer fans in attendance. “Without them (the fans), this building wouldn’t have been electrifying; we wouldn’t have had all the juice we had. We rallied behind them.”

The Pacers came out swinging from the start and opened the floodgates in the second half. They broke open a lead that stretched past 20 thanks to the dominating performance of Roy Hibbert. Hibbert’s 19 points, 18 rebounds, and 5 blocks showed how valuable of a weapon he can be in this series. The Heat simply sport no players on the roster who can fairly match up with Hibbert on either side of the floor. Give Pacers coach Frank Vogel credit for exploiting the glaring Heat frontcourt weakness without the injured Chris Bosh.

The Heat, on the other hand, now have some big time problems. They played three games in a row and failed to come up with a solution on stopping the Pacers’ own version of the “Big Two” of Hibbert and David West. Two of their starters failed to score a single point all game. The Pacers outrebounded the Heat by 15 and shot 37 percent higher than the Heat from beyond the arc. Most importantly, Dwayne wade finished the game 2-13 with 5 points, the lowest he has scored all Playoffs by a gaping wide margin.

The Heat really dug themselves in a hole after Game 3. Losing Game 4 puts them in a “lose and go home” situation heading back to Miami. Winning Game 4 cleans the slate with 2 out of 3 potential remaining games being at home. The insane amount of minutes LeBron has played thus far definitely shows during the games. Spoestra’s “You flat out can’t get tired, period” strategy will not hold up much longer in a series against a team much, much deeper than the Heat. Without any help from Wade, the Heat laid an egg and need to completely wipe the slate clean. Questions do arise, however, when a top-10 player in the league scores 5 total points.

How many people predicted the Heat down 2-1 after three games against the Pacers? The Heat can go one of two ways: fold or attack. They will either throw in the towel and get run off the floor by the Pacers, or Wade will own up to his lackluster performance and ignite everyone’s play en route to the Eastern Conference Finals. —Dave Spahn (@DaveSpahn)

Spurs 105, Clippers 88 (SAS leads 2-0)

This is getting ugly. Embarrassing. Chris Paul knows it. His play in the Western Conference Semifinals has been poor, at best, thus far and reached a new low Thursday. He appeared lost, at times, and the Clippers struggled as a result in a 105-88 loss against the San Antonio Spurs. It’s time for CP3 to take some accountability. He needs to man up.

After taking a look at the box score, it’s difficult to believe that Paul had 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting from the field. He jacked up the ball less than 10 times, that stat must change when the Clippers return home Saturday for Game 3 and Sunday for Game 4. Moreover, Paul had 4 assists to 8 turnovers on Tuesday, a career Playoff-high. Or low, when you think about.

There’s plenty of blame to go around in the Clippers camp, mind you. It’s not as if if his teammates played with much, if any, intensity. This is the playoffs, after all. It’s win or go home. Blake Griffin had 1 rebound. DeAndre Jordan had 7. Both need to crash the boards. Randy Foye and Caron Butler combined for 20 points. That output needs to increase.

When Paul struggles, the Clippers go into the tank, it seems. Take Game 1 against the Spurs, for example: CP3 was 3-13 from the field for 6 points in another lopsided loss, 108-92. Sure he had 10 assists and 5 steals. But turnovers were a problem once again, he had 5. The Chris Paul everyone watched during the regular season is not the Chris Paul we’re seeing in the NBA Playoffs. At least, not against the Spurs.

“I don’t ever recall having that many turnovers,” Paul said.

Perhaps something else is going on with Paul that we don’t know about. For the record, the Clippers haven’t been in Los Angeles for a week. They’ve played seven games in 13 days. After Sunday, it will have been nine games in 16 days. Maybe the shortened season is catching up with him and his hip and groin problems are bothering more than he’s letting on. We haven’t even started to talk about Tony Parker having outplayed Paul in every facet of the series.

“I’m sure he’s going to come back stronger in Game 3,” Parker said. “I’m sure he’s going to bounce back.”

Regardless, CP3 needs to take some ownership of his poor play and turn things around. Sooner rather than later, that is. If he doesn’t, the Clippers are going to get swept out of the Western Conference Semifinals by the Spurs. Things appear to be heading in that direction as we speak. Talk about ugly and embarrassing. “He’ll get loose here soon,” Del Negro said of Paul. “We need him to.” That could be the understatement of the year. Time for CP3 to step up. —Sean Ceglinsky (@seanceglinsky)

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  • LA Huey

    Heat can’t score enough without Bosh. They will not get past Boston should they both meet in the ECF. This year’s Larry O’Brien will find a home in the midwest.

  • T-Money

    i really tried to go easy on spo this year. that was before he started dexter pittman – who hadn’t played nba basketball for a month – in a pivotal playoffs game and then yanked him after 3 minutes. WHAT’S THE PLAN, SPO?

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    I have a few things to say. The criticism of Kobe in this round is well deserved – in a sense. The previous round of the playoffs against Denver, Kobe averaged 29, 5, and 5… at age 33. He has lost speed, vertical ability, a quick step, and also has a multitude of injuries, yet he puts his heart and soul on the floor. Having zero excuses after every game on why he had a bad game. After two games against one of the fastest, youngest, most athletic teams that have ever played in the NBA with two great defensive centers, Kobe is struggling a bit. At age 33, I would hope he would struggle a bit against a great coach, two defensive centers, the second in MVP voting and possibly best player in the NBA, a great wing defender, the best scoring pg in the nba, the sixth man of the nba and a heck of a bench. 3 games ago, Chris Paul was praised for being the best player in the playoffs. He is now turning the ball over at a tremendous rate, shooting horribly, having Parker destroy him and frustrate him, not to mention that every quarter so far, Chris Paul hasn’t had even a 6 minute stretch where he has played anywhere near his own ability. Has he fallen off as well? Danny Granger is down in points. So is Wade. Kobe. Blake. That is how the playoffs go. You try and shut down the best players. Kobe is the best player on the Lakers. The coach for OKC, is suppose to try and shut him down and let the other guys win the game for them. In the playoffs, Kobe has had a lot of playoff experience. Over 200 games… if he doesn’t fail in a lot of those games he would have more than 5 championships. So would Jordan. Maybe the 33 year old Kobe is tired, sore, and run down from the short seasoned, the divorce, injuries, who knows. Maybe Chris Paul is actually hurt worse than expected, same as Blake. Enjoy the game fella’s, for g0d sake.

  • whooo!

    Honestly, I don’t know if Chris Paul can take full blame. The spurs have just executed a clinic in how to shut him down with team defense, kinda like the Nuggets did against him a couple years ago. Vinny doesn’t know how to adjust, and the team and Blake are getting exposed for their flaws.

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    I’m sorry but Spo is out of his league. You start Pittman over Haslem? I he’s bigger but really? And Haslem played just 7 minutes? Terrible but the Pacers should feel good about themselves. I still think it goes 7 in favor of MIA. Wade will bounce back and James will go ape sh*t in game 4 then take care of business in at home, lose game 6, then come back to South Beach to close it out. As for the Clippers you can make injury excuses all you want bottom line the Spurs are just the better team period. Out classed and out coached with more production.

  • http://slamonline.com Datkid

    Smh the heat were disgusting last night.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I can easily see MIA losing Gm4, winning Gm5 at home then losing Gm6 and the series in IND. You can not win in this day and age without 3pt shooting and MIA is getting nothing from their so-called 3pt shooters. Also, it doesn’t help that Spo has a bad habit of taking out guys that are on a roll offensively (took out Miller after he made a couple and took out LeBron after he started out hot with 11 in the 1st)

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    No Bosh = no post scoring = no series win. Plain and simple. I hate seeing injurys affect the outcome of the playoffs…Chicago, Orlando, Now Miami, have all been dealt terrible blows.

  • http://www.google.com/news BETCATS

    I feel bad for the Heat, but it just goes to show you how weak the team’s construction is. You can’t rely on ONLY 3 guys to be consistent when sh*t happens.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Its more about floor spacing than post scoring. Bron could score in the post if he so desired.
    Bosh spreads the floor and opens up better driving lanes. Since Spoelstra barely plays James Jones and Battier and Miller can’t hit jack, and Haslem has struggled all year, well the Pacer are doubling LeBron and Wade like crazy with no hesitation. Bosh is the perfect outlet for both of them, plus he could allow the Heat to go small and pull Hibbert away from the basket with more efficiency.
    Hey, there is no shame in losing when a key guy goes down. It happened to the Spurs last year and Chicago this year. That’s life.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    Keep telling you folks: As Mario Chalmers goes, so does the Heat! On to serious business, I never quite understood this Granger-Bron beef. I mean I get it but I don’t get it. Sometimes it feels like Granger is spoiling for something to happen so he can stand up to Bron.

  • T-Money

    this would be my line up for sunday: rio/wade/jones/bron/turiaf. w miller, anthony and battier off the bench. no minutes for haslem and cole. bron exclusively at the 4. miami won’t get it done with 75 pts.

  • Drig

    I find it funny when Heat fans crib about injuries and act like none of the other top teams in the East haven’t got problems of their own. Not saying they don’t deserve better health ( seriously, who hopes for a team to limp into the POs?!?! ) but when DRose, Noah, PP, Jesus, Dwight and one other guy I’m missing here are also not 100% healthy…… Anyways, the Heat could’ve still produced in the post and could’ve still played the inside out game with LBJ in the post ( AS IT SHOULD BE!!! ). However, Wade had a bad night. I still expect the Heat to come out on top the next game but whoever takes the 3-2 lead IMO is gonna win. And Spurs are coasting………

  • Drig

    Before everyone comes at me with a flurry of posts saying I hate the Heat, no. I think they’re flawed, they still haven’t corrected what went wrong last season and I simply love the West more than the East. So, if it ain’t the Lakers ( who had their own injury troubles last season with Kobe ), I don’t mind seeeing the Spurs ( who lost Manu last season ) take it this season as well. I hate the Spurs, but beyond that , I revere what Pop and his big 3 have managed to do there.

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    Drig I doubt anyone comes at you unless they’re Heat fanboys. You made a good point as far as injuries go and the fact who ever goes up 3-2 will take it.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Spoelstra is awful. Starting Dexter Pittman was the most ridiculous decision I have ever seen a coach make in a playoff game. What the hell are you doing to your teams confidence when you announce that Dexter Pittman will be starting? What’a terrible, horrible decision. And I don’t care if Udonis sucks on offense, he’s still your best big man on the team with Bosh out. All of the Center minutes should be split between Haslem, Turiaf, and Anthony. All of them. And everyone on that team knows that. Announcing Pittman as the starter makes everyone second guess their teammates, themselves, and their coach. Not saying the loss is Spoesltra’s fault, but he could not have put Miami in a more confusing position to start the game then he did last night. Awful.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Who said the East didn’t have problems with injuries. Wayno and myself both mentioned the injuries to several key players on teams. I’m not a Heat fan in the traditional sense, but I did want to see their partnership be successful because I like the idea of player choosing where they play and who they play with.
    Plus, I thought this was going to be a good year for the playoffs. Oh well. Boston vs San Antonio would still be awesome.

  • Drig

    Allen, I didn’t mean you or Wayno. I’ve noticed a few Heat fans around here who’re whining about injuries to Wade and Bosh ( the same guys who ridiculed me and LAL last season ). Meant it in a more general sense. In hindsight, I should’ve mentioned that earlier……..BTW, you think, IF the Heat do manage to come back and win ( and I think they can ), that they can’t get past Boston??? I do understand that Boston’s weaknesses cannot be taken advantage of by Miami and the injuries factors but do you think KG, Rondo and a limited combo of PP and Ray Ray will be enough to overcome LBJ, Bosh and a limping Wade???

  • t-sizzle

    Pittman is still in the league? Good for him. Heat in 7. You heard it here first. Bahhh-ston ain’t making it out the east.

  • TheWhiteMarkPrice

    Heat & Pacers looking like a 7 game series. Mario Chalmers is gonna be the key for Miami.

  • Ill Smith

    Whats poppin SLAM fam? Glad I wasn’t the onyl one questioning Spoe for starting Pittman. How dare Shaq call Stan Van Jeremy the choke master & this guy can’t even stay comfortable with a lineup in TWO stright playoffs? He has no remote idea what he’s doing (maybe that’s what DWade was telling him). & I feel you all about the whole ‘Bosh is out it’s affecting them’ crap….but cmon man. This is the almighty Miami Heat here! The ones you all crowned before the season even started (for the 2nd straight year) that walks around like they got not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 11, not 36 but 52 rings when in fact they have none. Bosh or no Bosh they still have 2 of the best 5 players in the world on their roster going down to a team whos only AllStar is Roy Hibbert. Read that again…….Roy Effing Hibbert. They’re just losers & choke artists that can’t take the heat (so much pun intended) when the pressure build up.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVM11tMaMWg LakeShow

    Completely underestimated the Pacers. My bad.
    Completely overestimated the Heat sans Bo$h. My bad.
    Holler at James The Baller. I see you. Just remember though, Kobe is no Dwayne Wade!… …
    I went from not giving a sh*t about the Pacers and thinking they were just a scrappy team that would annoy “real contender”, to absolutely loving their style of play and seeing their grit… WOW! Just wow. They totally remind me of last years Grizzlies. That’s a nice compliment.

  • t-sizzle

    Yea i bet you see James naked muthaf*ckah.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    If KG keeps doing what he’s doing the Heat would have been hard pressed to beat Boston at full strength, let alone without Bosh.

  • Kadavour

    Bosh’s absence really illustrates how important a consistent 15′+ jumper is. It opens up the floor for everyone and keeps the defense honest. With LeBron relegated to that space on the floor (15 foot +), he’s been very guard-able. Those are the shots he can’t kill the Pacers with. Wade can (06 Playoffs), but I don’t know what’s up him lately.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I don’t really see Boston losing. Unless LeBron turns into a 35PPG guy during that series (or maybe even this series) I don’t think any East team beating Boston at this point. But I wouldn’t be confident enough to bet on it.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cheryl

    The Spurs have lockout champion pedigree.

  • T-Money

    let’s be real, miami can still very much beat indiana. if i had to bet, i think i would bet on miami to pull it off. but lebron needs to have the ball in his hands for 48 minutes and spoelstra has to find minutes for the shooters (rio, miller, jones).

  • Ill Smith

    SMMFH I’m out of giving LeBron excuses. Are we really gonna sit here & excuses getting blown out by ROY HIBBERT’s Pacers cuz Bosh is out? Ain’t this the 3-time MVP here? Excuses, excuses, excuses damn son JUST WIN & STOP FOLDING. I used to have hella love for Bron & even picked his Cavs against my Celtics in 10 becuz I wanted to see him win one & have everybody get off his back. But he just keeps showing us over & over the sole reason he ain’t won it all: HIMSELF.

  • T-Money

    see this is why i don’t understand about fandom, explanations are not excuses. blame lebron for the finals, blame lebron for game 5 vs boston two years ago. but how can you blame lebron for last night when wade scored FIVE FREAKING POINTS?!?! that’s completely irrational, you’ve just decided that he was going to be the one to blame if miami loses.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVM11tMaMWg LakeShow

    T-Money, I completely agree. You know what’s funny? That’s essentially his team in Cleveland that your saying he needs around him.
    nbk, I also agree with you. Bron needs to be Cleveland Bron right now. He needs to drag this team to wins. He needs to put the Heat on his back and MAKE them win. I know those are tall expectations,(like, “You can’t get tired EVER”) but that’s what we have for 3 TIME MVP’s…
    He also needs to be MIA Bron. Even taller expectations right? What I mean by that is that he needs to utilize his post moves that we were all bragging about all year. He needs to be the ball dominant player he was in CLE combined with the post scoring threat that he can be. Sans Bosh this team is desperate for a real post player. They will get plenty of points in the point, but they need legitimate back to the basket, post play, inside out style, to win this series.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVM11tMaMWg LakeShow

    T-Money maybe if Bron put up his averages you could say he doesn’t deserve blame, but he put up a crappy night also. Wade was straight up TERRIBLE, he was awful. But was Bron a 3 time MVP last night at all? 22,7,3 on 45% shooting(dam close to 10% less than he shot during the year.) No he wasn’t. I would put this one equally on Bron as much as Wade because of their positions with the team. Bron is the #1 guy, Wade #2. They both play a bad game, they both get equal blame. IMO (Wade more so because of his incident with Spo in this case.)

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Lakeshow, did you watch the game last night? How can you honestly say you would give Wade and LeBron equal blame? Not only did Wade play terribly, but he didn’t seem to even be trying. You ever walked into a room where an angry person is just fuming? You know how you can feel the energy in the room being sucked out by that one upset person? It’s the same concept with a basketball team. Wade was playing bad, and acting worse. Which i’m sure, killed the energy on the rest of the team. Wade was the problem last night. He was such a non-factor on both offense and defense that he put all the pressure and attention on the rest of his teammates to make up for his awfulness. He’s to good to force his team into that situation. His teammates also know how good he is, plus he’s the teams captain (him and 7 minute Haslem) he can’t act that way and play that way without getting the brunt of the blame. That wouldn’t make sense.

  • Ill Smith

    @T-Money I wasnt blaming LeBron for last nite’s loss that was all on Wade. My point was don’t grant him the ‘Bosh is out’ excuse like he ain’t the MVP. He has to find a way to win it somehow some way & he’s ran out of passes in my eyes for why he & his team can’t get the job done.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Because of the dynamic of the team. Bron is unquestioned #1 right? D-Wade is #2. So if Wade has an awful game and Bron has a bad game then you have your #1 with a bad game and your #2 with an awful game. If Bron took over and tried to drag his team to the W I would not think so, but he did not. I have this as an equally bad night just as I would if say Kobe went for 20 points on 40% with no inspired play and Pau had a stinker with a 9,5 night. Bryant may not have played as bad, but since he didn’t play great he would deserve as much blame as the #2 guy.
    I’m not saying this is the way you all should think, but to me this is equally on the 2 Superstars on the Team.
    As I said at the end of my last comment the only reason why I blame Wade slightly more is because of what you referred to with his “energy sucking” play and the Spo BS. There’s no reason why a 3 time MVP would not be a teams captain so I don’t buy that. Bron is the teams captain on the court. Wade only is in title.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    We basically agree then. I wouldn’t feel how I feel if Wade didn’t just give up. But he didn’t give a damn so I give him the brunt of the blame. If he played hard and just didn’t perform well then I would blame both guys not playing well.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    According to the Miami Herald Dwyane Wade said to Spoelstra “get out of my f*cking face”

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I just pointed out the captain thing to make my point. Not that it actually makes him more important as a leader than LeBron on the court.

  • T-Money

    i just wonder what phil jackson is thinking right now. he’s got the hitch, jeanie buss confirmed it last week.

  • Lower East Scribe

    He’s got the hitch? How’d he get it? Did she give it to him? I knew she was a cheating beyotch.

  • LA Huey

    LeBron needs to activate “God Mode” if he wants to win a chip with the obstacles ahead of him this year.

  • Duke

    What could help Miami would be if Wade starts from the bench with the second unit so they can balance the score out. Also let Lebron James play the small forward and coach Spo should probably let Curry start the center.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    If the stats were reversed though, so Wade had 22/7/3 and LeBron had just the 5 points.. well.. can you imagine the hate and jokes on here today?

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Heard an interesting proposition from one of my friends. He said that a Wade for Melo trade would help both teams. I thought it incredibly stupid for the Heat, but what do you guys think?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Incredibly stupid for the Heat.

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    Caboose let me know when your friend is having another smoke session.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Haha just making sure. This is the same guy who claims: Jimmer would be a 15+ppg scorer this year, Anthony Randolph just needs PT to be a stud, and that LeBron could start at shooting guard.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Jimmer is never ever ever ever ever ever going to be that. I would still like to rub it into everyone who tried to justify him being a lottery pick, you people are CRAZY for thinking that. CRAZY. And that’s the nicest adjective I can think of.
    Anthony Randolph did get PT, he wasn’t a stud. So now he doesn’t get PT.
    LeBron could start at any position. doesn’t mean he’d be a great fit.

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    That sour diesel is a hell of a drug. Btw what’s up with all these trolls out today? Is there a convention I don’t know about?

  • T-Money

    i remember drew gooden and ben wallace used to call bron “video game james” when he would go into beast mode with cleveland. i haven’t seen beast mode a lot lately even though this was his most efficient season (maybe the 4th quarter in nj like 2 months ago). for lebron to play at his optimal level, he needs total control of the basketball. can wade step aside on sunday? will his ego let him?

  • T-Money

    caboose, i’d be curious to know why you think lebron couldn’t start at the 2. he’d play the same way on offense at the 2 or the 3… so the main difference would be guarding, say, kobe and james harden instead of ron artest and kd. what’s so far fetched about that? aren’t joe johnson and paul george 6’8 2-guards?

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    He could start, but Bron doesn’t play out of position nearly as well as we think he does. He doesn’t have a pure enough shot to play consistent minutes at the 2, nor the off-ball skills. Could he play there? Yeah. Would he be anywhere close to where his at small forward? Nope.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Paul George is 6’11″ — Dude grew 2 inches last summer. Fa real.

  • T-Money

    um… he’s a much better shooter from midrange and deep than most starting 2s in this league, including dwyane wade – this is not 2005. you still haven’t explained why is offensive game would change one bit at the 2. in most sets, the two wings are interchangeable – the difference is who you guard and bron can guard any wing. and on what do you base your assumption that he doesn’t play well at other positions? his PER and +/- when he plays at the 4 are astronimical.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    You fo real nbk? Haven’t seen kid standing directly next to anyone. You saying he and Durant are exact same height?

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I guess you already said fa real, but fa real fa real?? lol

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    Yea dude shot up 2 more inces during summer and that’s crazy considering he was already tall now he’s damn near a PF

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I agree with T-Money, LeBron has to rise up to the challenge and dominate the ball/game on sunday. I just don’t see Wade having a breakout game for the remainder of the series becaues of who is guarding him (PGeorge). You have to remember before last night’s debacle, the man was shooting 35% in the first 2gms of the series. If LeBron comes out on some buddy buddy sh*t on sunday and tries to get wade going, MIA will lose badly but if he comes out with the same mindset he had with the Cavs and during the 1st half of Gm3, there’s a chance MIA steals GM4.

  • https://www.google.com/search?aq=0&oq=Paul+George+gr&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=paul+george+grew nbk

    Yeah Lakeshow, click my name. – he’s listed at 6’10″ but that is based off of his pre-draft height, which was taken without shoes. Dude is 6’11″ on a basketball court.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    People always make excuses for CP3, I’ve noticed its never his fault when he sucks. Last night was Lebrons moment to take over that game and show people why he’s the best player in the game.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    that doesn’t make a damn bit of sense. No body questions why he is considered the best in the game….because he has already proven it. What he should have proven was that he was willing to do everything he could to win despite how horrible the people around him are playing. Which he didn’t do. We already know he’s better than everyone else. If we didn’t, then this conversation would not even be happening, all the blame would just fall on Wade.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Co-Sign JT. MIA needs ball dominating Bron.
    Crazy nbk, I still thought dude was 6’8, 6’9″ tops. Wow, that is seriously a “skill.” Being able to effectively play 2 guard and being closer to 7 feet than 6’10 is nuts… No wonder you were so high on kid. He’s a stud. Now if your boy Faried can get another inch or two you will really be in good shape predictions wise haha. Double double Machine right there!

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    T-Money: Players at shooting guard have different offensive responsibilities than small forwards. LeBron, in these playoffs, has been most effective when utilizing his blazing first step and not his post strength. He can break through doubles with slower players on the perimeter but still struggles with post doubles. If he played 2, his speed advantage is nullified, forcing him to rely on strength/post skill. I’d rather have him play the position he always has. Just to throw this out, if he can play SG no problem, why hasn’t any coach ever played him there?

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Question for y’all: who do you want in 3 years, Paul George or James Harden?

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    Considering Harden’s playmaking ability and consistent pick and roll play he gets my vote over George.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Lake, i feel that i am pretty damn solid at evaluating talent. I did have Faried as a darkhorse for ROY. And said if he played over 30MPG he would average a double double…Per 36 minutes, he averaged 16 and 12.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Caboose, James Harden. As good as George will be, I don’t know if he will ever be a go-to guy. Harden will.

  • http://sdfjklc.com Jukai

    Interesting…
    So people fully admit that if Lebron doesn’t totally control the ball and take every shot, the Heat will lose.
    If Lebron DOESN’T do this… will he get blame?

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    So I think I’ll talk about my little theory about basketball opinions: Basketball Political Spectrum. This has nothing to do with real life politics, it’s just a metaphor for describing our own preferences when watching the game. Here’s how it looks:
    -
    –Conservatives–
    -Prefer skills to athleticism
    -Place high value on experience
    -Much credit given to coaches
    -Dislike players who appear arrogant in interviews
    -Prefer efficiency stats to raw stats
    -Use stats to prove points
    -Team record is excellent evaluation of talent
    -Greatly upset by Melo/Paul saga
    -
    –Liberals–
    -Prefer youth and athleticism
    -Experience is auxiliary to physical gifts
    -Players dominate the team, not the coach
    -Applaud confident players
    -Point to raw stats as they are unfiltered
    -Prefer to argue from generalizations
    -Team record is simply a matter of chance management
    -Support actions of Melo/Paul
    -
    –Independents–
    -Hard work trumps talent or athleticism
    -Experience is valuable but not crucial
    -Coaches should look to players for advice
    -Players should stick to game and not fan service
    -Observation is more important than stats
    -Offer points but dislike arguments
    -Team record is a function of effort; talent difference is negligible
    -Melo/Paul had right to leave, but their actions were bad
    -
    So, where do you guys fall? I tend to be Conservative-Independent.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Uhm, all 3?

  • http://sdfjklc.com Jukai

    Caboose: Er… nice try there!

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    It’s not about taking every shot, it’s about going out and dominating the most important game of the season. If you want to walk around here and have people comparing you to Bird/Magic/Moses, you have to dominate entire playoff series/runs like those cats did numerous times.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    A Conservative…that’s that sh*t I don’t like, don’t like. I’m towards the lines of an Independent-Liberal.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    .I prefer skill to athleticism. Which goes hand in hand with preferring hard work to athleticism.
    .Experience is crucial, but not imperative. (if that makes sense to anyone but me)
    .Coaches should be given a lot of credit both ways, but players decide games
    .Confidence is necessary. Arrogance is acceptable but not preferable.
    .Prefer efficiency stats AND observation
    .Stats are imperative to any player comparison.
    .Team record is a combination of the 3
    .I support Melo/Paul actions. But not how they necessarily handled those actions.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    OK, so if that statements makes no sense and he undoubtedly the best player unquestioned, it should be nothing for him to be aggressive and take over that game even with wade struggling because he had helped with Chalmers. With the big mental deficiencies that lebron has, he is not undoubtedly the best player.

  • http://sdfjklc.com Jukai

    Slick Ric: There’s no more Bird, Magic and Jordan in the NBA dude. Kobe just laid and egg in LA, he’s just too old. Despite his flaws, Lebron is the best player in the NBA. Ya gotta deal.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    Liberal-independent

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Or you can still be the best player without being able to win a game with Mario Chalmers as the only other serviceable player on the court.
    .
    This is like saying Kobe Bryant isn’t an all-time great for never winning a playoff series without Shaq or Pau Gasol. Would you make that argument too? Would you say he wasn’t the best player in the league in 2005-06 or whatever you consider his best season just because he didn’t lead a group of nobodies to the promise land?
    .
    -Should LeBron have done more? Yes.
    -Does that change the fact that he is still the best player in the world. And obviously at that? No.

  • http://sdfjklc.com Jukai

    NBK: I must say though… two years in a row now, Lebron is dropping heavily in my eyes. I feel like he’s going to go more down as a Wilt Chamberlain rather than a Michael Jordan. An unstoppable force: when he wanted to be.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Jukai, I am floating toward that opinion as well. Dude still has time to redeem his reputation, but he is definitely on that path.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Gotta cosign Jukai and nbk on the Wilt/LeBron comparison.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    With all that being said, he still has a lot to prove. Is he the best player? yes. Undoubtedly? No. Like I stated previously, he has big deficiencies so that title isn’t secure as far as I’m concern, just a difference in opinion.

  • http://sdfjklc.com Jukai

    NBK: He really doesn’t have that much time left. Wilt eventually turned it around at the end of his career and began doing everything he had to do to win, stopped disappearing randomly.
    Lebron needs to have that a bit more than just the tail end of his career.

  • http://sdfjklc.com Jukai

    Slick Ric: Yeah, “best player” is an opinion. Everyone in the league has big deficiencies, it really is Lebron’s title.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Jukai, at this point in Michael Jordan’s career (27 years old) he had 1-MVP and 1-DPOY. Those are all of his accomplishments. And his ability to win was just as big of a question mark. So….

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Slick, he is the clear cut best player in the league, despite his deficiencies. All the other “best players” are not as well rounded, and have bigger deficiencies. LeBron’s is just highlighted, because, again, he’s the best player in the league and everyone knows it.
    .
    The guy is criticized for not winning a championship.
    .
    Does anyone realize how ridiculous that criticism is? His competition for best player in the league is Durant, Kobe, Wade, Chris Paul, and Dwight. Which of those guys has had more recent success then LeBron? lol. You have to go back 2 years to find one of those guys getting further then LeBron got just last season. So….

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    Are they necessarily skill or mental deficiencies which happens to hold lebron back from being what people expect, KD has things to work on but no one questions his heart nor psyche. And Nbk, you know that argument is weak because lebron has been in the league for almost a Decade now, so the age doesn’t matter.

  • http://sdfjklc.com Jukai

    NBK: That’s true, but Lebron has a lot more mileage on his legs. And uh, Michael kinda also won a championship that year.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Naw, Mike was 28.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    LeBron is built like a tank. And he won’t retire when he’s 30 and take a year and a half hiatus. I don’t think you can really say his years in the league are going to change much in his career. And honestly, nobody discounts Kareem for accomplishing what he did in 20 years. You don’t say, Kareem wasn’t as good as Shaq (poetry) because he played more seasons. Kareem accomplished what Kareem did, and his legacy actually benefited from the longevity of his career.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    That was supposed to say Hakeem. Kareem wasn’t as good as Hakeem (poetry). I fugged that up. (I am not a good poet).

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    It’s looking like either the Spurs or Thunder will win the championship, should be a fun WCF.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    He’s not a good poet, but at least he know it! Buh dump sahhhh!

  • Lower East Scribe

    He was better.

  • http://sdfjklc.com Jukai

    NBK: Well, Lebron is built like a tank but he plays above the rim. He relies a lot on his first step. I think he can easily transition and become a more below-the-rim-get-space-with-his-passing ala Magic Johnson, but I’ve had high expectations for Lebron before and he hasn’t exactly pulled through. Jordan had saved his legs enough so that he could still be the MAN at 36. I’m not sure Lebron has that energy. He needs to start being the man and winning soon, like a year or two, or else he’s gonna win one and then start to drop off.
    Also, I assume that Kareem/Hakeem thing was for Slick Ric because I don’t understand the hell yer trying to say.

  • http://sdfjklc.com Jukai

    I did not mean to say first step, I meant just regular speed. I’m just throwing out basketball keywords at this point. Gotta be put out to pasture.

  • Lower East Scribe

    Lakeshow’s mom on the phone. She wants to b*ne. Told her once I hit it, b*tch I’m gone. Rug burns on her knees, ‘b*tch where’s my keys?’ She tells me to stay. Begs me…’please’.

  • http://slamonline.com Datkid

    That loss was very much wade’s fault, Idk what the h*ll was wrong with him but he should’ve been taken out immediately. Lebron was well defended, that’s why he didn’t hit avgs IMO. plus he can’t play off wade(which he occasionally does) if wade basically refuses to play ball. as a side note though? no more 3′s for either. However spoestra deserves some blame for going away from what was working. Lebron. + shooters and a big guy. maybe

  • Lower East Scribe

    Poor lil Jukai. Made his mama cry. Now she can’t see. Skeeted in her eye.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    35* Jukai. But I get your point. And yeah, the Kareem/Shaq(Hakeem) thing was just to prove that the years a player plays aren’t what determine their legacy. It’s how much they accomplish during those years. So the fact that LeBron has played 2 more seasons at the same age is basically irrelevant. If he wins 6 in a row (just an example) then he will be in the conversation. No matter how many years it took him to get his 1st.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    Even if he never wins one (unlikely I know).. he’s still a first ballot hall of famer.

  • http://slamonline.com Datkid

    Melo and paul had different sagas IMO caboose.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    @ Caboose: Communist.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    F*ckin commies.

  • Lower East Scribe

    ^^^Truth. Melo was a bit worse in that he didn’t even attempt to be professional about it. Paul was able to at least keep his mouth shut the whole time. It’s kinda like the difference between caboose’s mom swallowing the bat, and his dad putting the bat in his bunghole. Same bat, different orifice.

  • Sarah

    It’s great how the entire summary is about CP3 and the only Spur even mentioned is Tony Parker, briefly. Chris has played poorly. The Spurs have played very well.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Now you know you are not good at trolling when you use the same stupid comment on two different people.
    #trollbetter 8)

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    That Lakers game was one of the worst officiated games I’ve seen in a long time. LA had that game gift wrapped for them with a special gift for Kobe.

  • washtub

    nbk: when mj was 27 he might have had only had 1mvp and dpoy
    but at the end of his 9th nba season he was on the way to his first threepeat.
    it’s not really fair to compare nba accomplishments based on a players age but rather how many pro years it took them ro get there

  • Drig

    @Caboose…….seriously?!?!?! Did you also miss the video TNT showed when Kobe didn’t get foul calls as well??? There were lots of bad calls on BOTH sides. LAL went to the rack like crazy. And shot ridiculously well on the FTs.

  • Drig

    Hell, Harden himself got 12 FTs. And I’m pretty sure a few of them were flop calls too. Kobe and Bynum had bad shooting nights but lived inside the paint for almost the entire game and rightfully forced the issue there even if they’re shots weren’t falling. This is how I want LAL playing vs OKC every game. Man up in the paint and get to the line. Because those young cats are gonna bite at every pump fake Kobe and Pau are gonna try out lol.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    I already addressed that

  • Drig

    Another thing were the screens by KPerk. Hell, he even set an illegal screen on the last play to get Durant an open look….If they call things like that ( which they should ), OKC would be done down low.

  • Drig

    Speaking of officiating, I’d like to know if ANY ref would like to work the LAL-Heat games in the Finals if it happens. Long shot I know but it’d be hilarious personally lol.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Don’t know who posted, but that wasn’t me…anyways, yeah, the refs were inconsistently bad on both sides tonight. That Durant back court followed by the craziest non-foul from Harden to Kobe was just pathetic.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    I feel so sorry for the Heat losing Bosh…They’ve lost one of their big three. Just terrible. smh

  • http://moontain.org Fredd

    wao everyone forgot to comment on the Spurs lol

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