Snips and clips from the Miami camp, plus:
- The Shade of a Tall Tree
- Haiku Game Review
- Fried Rice
- Blazers/Heat Recap
- Popcorn Machine
- The Basketball Jones
posted by Illmatic_Heat to RealGM Heat message board
I need a gif of Lebron taunting the crowd... ASAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by KevKP to RealGM Heat message board
Tonight, set some records. New big 3 total points in a game: 96 points.
Lebron's new highest points as a Heat player: 44 points.
Another record which is the biggest of them all on the way, tying the longest road streak in the history of NBA.
posted by El Alonzo scowl to RealGM Heat message board
People bitch about bandwagon fans but there is also such a thing as bandwagon haters. Blazers fans have no reason to boo LeBron, glad he shut their asses up.
posted by TheAnkh to RealGM Heat message board
Absolutely amazing game. LeBron and Wade on the same team....wow, such an amazing luxury. Seems like they were just taking turns and then LeBron decided nope I'm not passing anymore and drilled shot after shot to seal it. I can't imagine what the playoffs will be like.
Amazing efficiency for us too, against a good defensive team. I'm sad to say I was actually hoping for them to hit some shots at the end there so we could get to 100 points between the Big 3.
posted by Pimpwerx to RealGM Heat message board
Great win. I don't complain about the refs, but there was some homecooking going on. It was nice to see them overcome the odds in a tough environment.
Rio has had two bad games now, and Carlos has consequently stepped-up his defensive play. Chalmers better get on i t.
Bosh at center was interesting. He lacks the strength to cope with anyone stronger than Aldridge. He needed some help tonight, but it was also great for spacing. That's why Bron was getting to the rim to easy in the closing minutes. Spo needs to experiment with that.
Arroyo did fine today, but I couldn't help think how useless he was in OT, as he didn't bring the ball up at all. Wade and Bron were bringing it up and initiating the offense. Was Arroyo in there to space the floor? I know he's shooting a good percentage, but I would much rather have Miller in there for rebounding. Plus, Carlos missed his look. * * *
posted by Ira Winderman, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
There certainly was feistiness to the Miami Heat's approach Sunday.
But it wasn't exactly the feistiness one would expect from a team that entered on a 12-game road winning streak, with victories in 20 of its last 21.
Instead, it was LeBron James bickering at times with teammates and at the end of the first half with the coaching staff. At other times, there were glares and insolence directed toward the referees.
Through it all, the Heat battled back from an eight-point fourth-quarter deficit to force overtime and eventually escape with a 107-100 victory at the Rose Garden. * * *
Perhaps the feistiness was a frustration over the lack of a support system, with all but 11 of the Heat's points scored by James, Wade or Bosh. * * *
by Surya Fernandez, Hot Hot Hoops
A truly bizarre, unforgettable night where the Heat managed to surpass 100 points despite getting 11 combined points from everyone not named LeBron, Wade, and Bosh. Those three combined for an unreal 96 points with Wade leading the charge in the beginning with 15 of the team's first 19 points and LeBron almost singlehandedly erasing a 7 point Blazers lead late in the game. * * *
Blazers coach Nate McMillan didn't help his team in crunch time by taking out reserve guard Patrick Mills and inserting a largely ineffective Andre Miller back in the game and killing his team's momentum. This is in direct contrast to Erik Spoelstra's preference in the fourth quarter to stick it out with whichever of his point guards has earned it.
LaMarcus Aldridge had a terrific game against Bosh but the same iso play from the wing over and over again late in the game showed little imagination from the Blazers coaching staff. Just because Aldridge can have his way with Bosh doesn't mean he has to do it alone at the beginning of every possession in crunch time. There's plenty of time in the shot clock to swing it around to get the best look at the basket and still give it to Aldridge to keep the Heat's defense guessing. Nicolas Batum had a superb night but hardly had much of a chance to contribute late because of the focus to get Aldridge the ball and get out of his way. * * *
by Brian Windhorst, Miami Heat Index (TrueHoop)
It was not long ago that LeBron James was immersed in being a victim, covering it with a façade of defiance while making commercials and using Twitter to ask for sympathy that never arrived.
With the season's midway point in sight and the Heat as hot as any regular-season team in the last decade, James' attitude is undergoing a change. It is hard to determine whether it is permanent or convenient but it certainly is different.
With boos cascading down on him from the standard feisty crowd at the Rose Garden on Sunday night, James offered a public display of his mood swing. After nailing a 3-pointer that sealed the Heat's 13th consecutive road win -- 107-100 over the Trail Blazers thanks to his remarkable play in the fourth quarter and overtime -- James didn't walk to the Heat huddle when the Blazers called a mercy timeout.
Instead he looked up to the fans, raised his arms and encouraged them to continue booing. Which they did. And James smiled. * * *
"I like boos, I don't have a problem with the boos," James said. "I've grown accustomed to it. I enjoy it." * * *
by David Dwork, Peninsula is Mightier (SBN)
- Overtime shooting: Portland 2-for-7. Miami 5-for-7.
- The Big 3 combined for 96 of the Heat's 107 points. They put up 65 shots while the rest of the team put up just 14. * * *
- LeBron James at 12 points at halftime, scored a season-high 14 in the 4th quarter and added another 8 in OT. He finished with 44 to go along with 13 rebounds, 6 assists and a pair of steals.
- Not far behind was D-Wade, putting up 34 points, 8 boards, 5 assists and a block.
- LaMarcus Aldridge had a monster game (31 and 14), and scored 5 of the Blazers 7 points in OT.
- Portland had more rebounds, assists and steals then the Heat while Miami had more turnovers and missed free throws. Another example of how good teams find ways to win games... though it certainly helps to have LeBron James. * * *
posted by nba is the worst to Peninsula is Mightier recap
Great game to watch...
The Heat are making a living off of ramping up the pressure late in games, and watching mistakes by their opponents happen.
Offensively, LeBron was huge once again — phenomenal clutch shooting.
Two things I don't get though — one, can a team with 90% of the offense coming from just 3 guys realistically expect playoff success? (I've noticed the word "insane" being used quite a bit around the blogs about the game)...
And two, why were there no complaints from LeBron about the 42, 44, and 46 minutes played by the triofive?
by Tom Haberstroh, Miami Heat Index (TrueHoop)
Questions over the Heat's center position resurfaced during Miami's hard-fought win over the Portland Trail Blazers. And interestingly enough, Portland may employ Miami's long-term answer:
Greg Oden can become a free agent this summer.
Should the Heat pursue the former No. 1 overall pick to bolster their front line?
It's a complicated question with layers upon layers of uncertainty. But it's an intriguing proposition, nonetheless -- especially given that the Heat chose to play LeBron James at the 5 in Sunday night's battle against Portland than any member of their center rotation. * * *
Put it all together and you have one highly productive center. Oden's 23.1 player efficiency rating (PER) ranked third amongst all centers last season.
But the most eye-popping number of all is this one: 202 -- the number of regular season games he's missed since being drafted. * * *
by Joseph Goodman, Miami Herald
At this point, the Heat seems destined to set the NBA record for consecutive victories on the road.
Miami was taken to overtime for the second game in a row on Sunday at Portland's Rose Garden and for the second game in a row the Heat dominated an opponent in extra time, defeating the Trail Blazers 107-100. The Heat (30-9) has now won 13 straight games on the road, one win shy of the franchise record and three away from tying the NBA mark.
"The great escapes the last two games," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. "That was simply a resilient win to be able to hang in there and really clamp down defensively." * * *
James' 46 points and Wade's 34 points marked the first 40-30 point combination in Heat franchise history. It was the second time this season that both James and Wade scored at least 30 points each in the same game and the first time James has scored 40 or more points. Chris Bosh had 18 points and eight rebounds.
"I'm a fan of [James] on the court," Wade said. "I'm just glad I get to experience wearing the same jersey as he wears instead of being on the other end. We both understand that we got each other to make big plays, to do things that make you look at it and say, ‘Wow.'" * * *
by Israel Gutierrez, Miami Herald On the Beat: Miami Heat blog
When Wesley Matthews hit a three-pointer to put the Blazers up seven with 2:13 left in regulation, it seemed like the Heat's run of road wins would run out.
But a clutch LeBron James, a no-call on a double dribble (double crab dribble?) and a flawless overtime later and the Heat has now won 13 straight on the road. Three more and the Heat ties the mark set by the '71-72 Lakers. * * *
It's almost unfathomable that the Heat's Big Three scored 96 points in that game. Nobody other than them made more than one field goal.
It's still a tad disconcerting that the Heat shot 57 percent and needed overtime to win, and that the Blazers grabbed 15 offensive rebounds. But it's hard to pay attention to any of that when the Heat is winning in this entertaining a fashion.
The Bottom Line:
1. OUR TEAM IS THE HEAT AND YOUR'S ISN'T — ROFL HA HA HA HA HA!!! WE HAVE ALWAYS LOVED THE HEAT!!! THEY ARE OUR TEAM!!! WHOO HOO!!! YOU SUCK!!! LBJ RULES!!!!!!!!!!!
2. So, we're new to this... Do you get three points or two when the ball goes in the basket if they shoot it from outside that big circle thing on the floor?
* * *
A Clumsy Metaphor.
My grandfather — and later my father — used to own a Christmas tree farm for years and years. Once about 15 Christmases ago I had my old man score me a dozen sequoia redwood seedlings when he was doing his annual purchase of little Douglas firs to stick back into the ground to replace those that had been cut. I thought it would be cool to have a couple redwood trees growing by my house. Sequoias do really well in Western Oregon.
I popped the little 8-inch high seedlings here and there on the property back of my place. Predictably, the rabbits got most of them. A couple others died from lack of water, failing to take root well enough to survive the long, dry summers that we have. The best tree ended up getting girdled by some sort of varmint about five years ago. That really pissed me off.
Only two trees survived infancy, both planted about 20 yards apart in the same field. They come from the same stock, they share the same dirt and the same water — but today one stands at 15 feet tall and is growing daily while its sibling is at least 5 feet shorter and is obviously adding height much more slowly.
There is one significant difference, you see: the smaller tree was planted only about 15 feet from a big old ash tree, an ancient beast that stands like a sentinel at the corner of the small field. This tall tree steals much of the morning light and the young redwood below hasn't been able to develop at the rate it would have with unimpeded access to the rays of the sun.
We seem to have recently witnessed something similar with the Portland Trail Blazers. A giant ash tree — not that old, but a fine specimen, mind you — has suddenly been removed from the field. Smaller saplings, which had previously been stilted from their fullest development, now seem to be adding size at an accelerated rate in the newly unobstructed daylight.
LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Matthews, and Rudy Fernandez seem to be the chief beneficiaries in the wake of Brandon Roy's rather shocking "indefinite" shelving after the December 15th game in Dallas. Regular observers of the team have claimed to see obvious and dramatic progress in the offensive games of all three of these players in the absence of the 3-time NBA All Star. Opportunity has been created and an offensive void has been filled. Indeed, the new version of the team is acquitting itself well, running its Brandonless record 10 wins and 4 losses on the year.
But are these anecdotal observations about Aldridge, Matthews, and Fernandez accurate? Can we actually quantify a significant change in the offensive games of LMA, Wesley, and Rudy in Roy's absence?
This article is an attempt to do just that.
I have accumulated 2010-11 game-by-game statistics for Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Matthews, and Rudy Fernandez from Basketball-Reference.com. The statistics I am examining are total minutes played, points scored, and the number of shots taken to score those points, where "shots taken" is equal to the total number of field goal attempts plus the number of free throw attempts divided by two. Odd numbers are rounded down to account for AND ONE shots and the occasional technical attempt or three shot foul.
From these numbers I am calculating certain other statistics: average minutes played per game, average points scored per game, "points per shot taken" (a measure of shooting efficiency), and points per 36 minutes played.
The data set is broken into two parts — the 23 games in which Brandon Roy played (the Blazers winning 10 of these), and the 14 games in which Brandon Roy was on the shelf (with Portland emerging victorious in 10 of this latter group of contests).
We will examine how Roy's absence has affected playing time, shots available, scoring totals, and scoring efficiency for the three rotation players that the team's fans have anecdotally observed prospering on the court in his absence.
The Data Series.
(Click graphics to enlarge. Use your browser back arrow to return...)
Table One: Games in which Brandon Roy played...
Table Two: Games in which Brandon Roy DID NOT play...
We have previously taken a look at Brandon Roy's scoring and offensive efficiency in an article which I published on December 20, 2010 — "Brandon Roy's Bad Knees Revisited." In that piece we learned that in 7 of his last 8 games before being shut down on Dec. 15, Roy's scoring efficiency had fallen to a damned poor 0.8 points or less per shot taken.
We now see in the first table above the comparable scoring rates of Roy's teammates Aldridge, Matthews and Fernandez during the 23 games in which the star played this season. Wesley Matthews was the most efficient of the trio, scoring an average of 14.1 points per game in 28.0 minutes of court time and racking up 1.19 points per shot. Aldridge played the most minutes (37.7) and put the most points on the board per game (17.4), but did so with only modest efficiency (0.98 points per shot). Rudy Fernandez saw spot duty off the bench, averaging just 16.6 minutes per game to score an average of 6.2 points, hitting at a very similar rate to Aldridge, 0.99 points per shot.
On a points per 36 minutes of action basis, the scoring of these three rotation players was much more similar, with LMA scoring 16.6 points/ 36 minutes, Wesley Matthews scoring 18.2 points/36 minutes, and Rudy Fernandez racking up 13.4 points/36 minutes.
In short, despite having played 8 games in which he failed to score in double figures, Wesley Matthews was the best-integrated of the three players with the Roy-lead Blazers, both in terms of points scored per minute on the floor and in terms of using the fewest number of shots to get to these levels.
In the 14 games in which Brandon Roy has been physically unable to perform, we have seen some significant changes which confirm the undocumented observations of Blazer fans. While LaMarcus Aldridge's minutes on the floor have increased by a modest 2 minutes per game, his scoring in Roy's absence has skyrocketed from 17.4 to 24.8 points per game. Expressed in terms of points scored per 36 minutes of floor time, LMA has boomed from 16.6 to 22.4 — a gain of nearly 35%. Furthermore, Aldridge's efficiency in getting these points has shown marked improvement, with each shot used generating 1.09 points — a gain in efficiency of 11%.
If you want to think of a baseball analogy for LMA, an 11% gain of efficiency in the batter's box would be like a .250 batter suddenly starting to hit .278. A comparable scoring hike that he has shown in Brandon Roy's absence would be like a guy driving in RBIs at a clip of 70 per year suddenly bringing the runs home at a 95 RBI clip. LMA is hitting at a dramatically better batting average and with better power, in other words.
In order to come up with a historical benchmark for this season's "Points Per Shot Used" number, I calculated Aldridge's number for the entire 2009-10 season using the exact same methodology and came up with 1.07.
Wesley Matthews' most notable change has been in his amount of time on the court, up from 28 minutes per game during the Brandon Blazers period to an LMAesque 37.4 minutes per game in the absence of Employee No. 7. Matthews has, on the face of it, used this increased court time to score more points — up from 14.1 PPG to 19.0 — but when the increased court time is factored into the equation we actually see his Points Per 36 Minutes totals remain almost unchanged — up from 18.2 to 18.27 (rounded to 18.3).
Moreover, Matthews efficiency in getting to his scoring numbers has been tempered somewhat, falling from 1.19 points per shot to a somewhat more modest level of 1.12 — about a 6% fall in scoring efficiency. Using our easy-to-understand baseball analogy, Matthews' 6% decline at the plate has been the equivalent of a .310 hitter falling off to .291. He's still punching home RBIs in the same quantities, it's just that Matthews is now using more "outs" to get the job done. Hopefully that makes sense.
This is not in any way to disparage the superlative job Matthews has done thus far this year, by the way — it's simply a matter of pointing out that his extraordinarily high scoring efficiency is "falling to earth" a bit, as might be expected.
I was curious as to whether Wesley has been playing out of his head this year and calculated his "Points Per Shot Used" for last year as a rookie in Utah. I discovered, much to my amazement, that Matthews had scored an extremely efficient 1.18 points per shot used — which may in some way explain the infatuation of Kevin Pritchard and the Blazer brain trust with him in last year's free agent market. Simply put, Wesley Matthews has demonstrated an ability to put up points without shooting his team into oblivion. I've also learned that he gets the Andre Miller award for never yet having missed a game in his career.
Perhaps the greatest surprise in our little analysis is the lack of improvement shown by Rudy Fernandez. While Rudy's time on the floor has ballooned from an average of 16.6 minutes per game on the Brandon Blazers to 25.9 minutes today, his scoring average has only edged up slightly, from 6.2 PPG to 10.4. Expressed in Per 36 Minutes terms, this means that Rudy's scoring has moved from 13.4 Points Per 36 Minutes to 14.5.
However, this very modest increase in scoring has been marred by a decline in efficiency, from 0.99 points per shot to 0.92 — a fall of about 7%. Moving again to our baseball analogy, if Rudy was hitting about .250 like LMA, his batting average has tailed as part of the Royless Blazers to just .233. Rudy is using a lot more "outs" to generate his RBIs, staying with the baseball analogy, and he is further mired in a four game hitting slump.
While anecdotally it seems as though LMA is beasting (and he is) and that Wesley is a model of efficiency an stability (and he is), Rudy is still struggling even as he has gained more court time to "get in the flow" and "develop a rhythm." Obviously, the season is still young and these things can turn around, but my observation that he has NOT thus far prospered in Roy's absence seems factual and valid.
Calculating his "Points Per Shot Used" number for the entire 2009-10 season generated a figure of 1.08. In other words, Rudy's scoring efficiency this season, either before or after Roy, is greatly inferior to the way he put up the ball in the hole last year.
We are sometimes able to see things on the court with our eyes before enough statistics accumulate to either confirm or refute our observations. It has been evident almost from Day One that there has been a significant change in the style of play of the Portland Trail Blazers in the absence of Brandon Roy and it has seemed likely that this alteration of playing style has been expressed by the new-found low post prominence of LaMarcus Aldridge.
Other times, what we think we see with out eyes may be only partially correct. We can recognize that Wesley Matthews is exceptionally solid, yes, but he may not be the exploding dominant offensive player we think we are seeing. Or we could be wrong altogether, as is the case if we think we see Rudy Fernandez prospering offensively in the games without Brandon Roy. In short, even those fans who, like me, see basketball as more art than science must recognize that there is a place for statistical examination to confirm or refute what we perceive with our senses as fans.
LaMarcus Aldridge has indeed taken his game to a new level. Wesley Matthews does indeed remain a very efficient and dynamic player. Rudy Fernandez is still struggling. Hopefully those are three takeaways which will enhance your viewing experience which have been culled from the numbers stack here.
* * *
Overtime — not good
Gotta win in 48
Can't beat 2 monsters
Here's some more wackiness from the twisted tongue of goofy Uncle Mike...
Ronald McDonald knows how to get free TV advertising...
Rice (shoveling coupons for free stuff into his lap): "Ronald McDonald came through again!"
MB: "Always does."
A ball is tipped into the crowd...
MB: "For the first time all year we don't have any adult beverage spilled — they must have had a lid."
Rice: "I tell you, it's the regular season ticket holders here tonight."
Rice on the Miami running attack...
"In the open court it's like they have four Clyde Drexlers, and we all know how he closed."
Nicolas throws an elbow fighting for a board...
MB: "You don't want to see anybody hurt, but for Nicolas you like to see the aggressiveness."
Rice: "I'd like to see somebody hurt, just for a little while. HIs number might be 6. Just for a couple hours."
Rice is disappointed in the Rose Garden crowd tonight...
"I think the crowd's kind of watching this game like it's entertainment..."
A tough call on the boundary goes against the Heat...
Rice: "I think Wade tried to elbow the rookie official over there!"
MB: "Well, you've got to take out your frustrations on someone."
Patty from LMA in the paint for two and time out, heading for commercial. Ricey likes it!
Heat 100 at Blazers 107 (overtime).
January 9, 2011.
Blazers' record is now 20-18, The Heat are 30-9.
Got my bullets lined up and I'm ready to make my stand like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, baby...
- So the best player in the Eastern Conference and the quickest Shooting Guard in the Eastern Conference and, ummm, Chris Bosh are here with Spoelstra's Circus for one night only in the Octopus's Garden... I sure hope it's the Blazers don't get clowned.
- Juwan Howard in the pregame. I like him — he has holes in his game late in his career, obviously, but he plays hard and seems to be a good dude. Maybe he'll get his ring, who knows.
- Also in the pregame, Jason Quick contributed a "behind the locker room door" story about Juwan destroying a water bucket and throwing a tantrum to send a message to his teammates over a 4th Quarter collapse against the Thunder last year.
- Quick on how LMA can make the All Star Game this year: "A couple guys get traded out of the Western Conference..." Well put.
- I like Coach Nate's comments about how LMA can be an All Star in the future, published in this morning's Oregonian. Words to the effect: people will stop thinking of Aldridge as a Power Forward and start viewing him as a Center. That's somewhat likely, actually, particularly if Cho goes after an obvious PF to play next to him at some point.
- Replay of the package on OMSW: "I'm Wesley Matthews, I'm 6'5", whatever you need to get done on the basketball court, I'll do it." Nate: "He reminds me of me..."
- Quick on Matthews: "He's probably been the Most Valuable Player" of the Blazers. "People seem to be a little more high energy when he's in the game."
- Quick is starting to talk to the camera like a TV pro these days. It seems like he's at a fork in the road where he can either become another Canzano or a big time sports journalist. I can't stand him as the former, like him quite a bit as the latter. He's a smart and perceptive dude if he shoots for that.
- Quick: "You can tell there's a little extra buzz in the locker room, there's a little extra buzz in the arena. This game means a lot."
- Oh, thank god, the Ducks play tomorrow. Our long national nightmare is almost at an end... I'll call Ducks 45, Auburn 38. Then again, all of the teams that I root for in the NFL are now wiped out by the end of Wild Card Weekend, so don't listen to me...
- Timbo's Keys to the Game™: 1. LBJ gets hurt. 2. D-Wade gets hurt. 3. Blazers show up early and play hard.
- LBJ throw rosin. Boos erupt.
- Bosh and LMA say hi. I'll take LMA, thank you very much.
- It's GAMETIME, girls and boys — can I have a "WOOT! WOOT!!!"
- Heat 19-1 since the Cleveland game.
- Wade opens with a perimeter swish. Blazers start with a turnover and a forced foul to stop the break. Ugh.
- With 67 seconds elapsed there have already been 2 Blazers turnovers. This is a bad strategy to beat the Heat, I note.
- LBJ touches the ball for the first time on the next possession. More boos.
- In a scramble, rookie official James Williams declines to call a foul on St. James fighting for the ball. Veteran crew chief Bob Delaney promptly whistles a makeup call on Big Z seconds later. Who says there is no justice in this world?
- LBJ tries to make SportsCenter and fails; Nico shows him how it's done on the other end.
- Third Portland turnover at the 8:10 mark, but the Blazers still lead by two, 8-6.
- Dwayne Wade runs out again and scores on a long outlet pass, scoring his 8th point of the night. So far, it's 100% Wade, 0% other dudes in Miami unis.
- The Heat run out more than either the Knicks or the Suns. More than any other team I've seen this year by a factor of 2. Time to start getting back or the Blazers are gonna get run out of their own gym.
- At the first TV time out, Blazers hold a lead, 12-10. Not sure I wanna multiply that by 8 to project a final score of 96-80 though, ha ha.
- The rookie official, clearly deferential to royalty, misses a fairly clear block/charge call, sending Wade to the line more more Miami points. Of course the highly incompetent Comcast/BlazerVision telecast never shows a replay...
- Wesley misses a trey and Wade runs out once again for an easy breakaway bucket. Are we noticing a pattern here?
- Portland switches on a pick and Wade blows by LMA like he's Joel Przybilla in a cast. Wade has 15 points in the quarter and the rout is on. The Miami run is 9-2, their lead is 5, and Nate needs time out.
- The Heat are shooting 67% at the second TV time out. That equals massive defeat if it continues for much longer.
- Aldridge gets me screaming Fs and other bad words with a steal leading to a feed of Miami right under the bucket. That makes 5 turnovers for Portland in the quarter. That also equals massive defeat if it continues much longer.
- Rudy the Flying Squirrel bricks a technical Free Throw.
- Nico rejects LBJ. Crowd goes NUTS!!! Rice: "TAKE IT TO THE KING!!!"
- Patty throws a 25 foot pass to Przybilla. Somehow he catches it and the ball rotates back out to Patty, who misses a trey.
- Blazers get last shot and Patty Mills scores with a Anthony goaltend. Blazers finish the quarter strong. END OF THE FIRST QUARTER: MIA 27, PDX 26. Miami shooting 63%, but up only 1. Nic Batum with 9 points (!?!).
- Gorgeous rotation by the Blazers ending in a wide open try for a corner-3 by Wesley. He bricks it. The crowd groans.
- At 9:54 Rudy is sent to the line and scores the first points of the 2nd Quarter by either team. Blazers lead by 1.
- Rudy attempts to connect with LMA on an oop. Aldridge misses. The Blazers' shooting continues to plummet when Mills misses another longball, the team sitting at 0-for-6 in the quarter. The Heat are quickly up by 6 points and Nate needs time out, The Heat were still shooting 60% for the game, Blazers 39.3%. Would you like me to tell you how this game ends?
- Long human interest interview by Terry Porter with Brian Grant during game action. FIVE DEMERITS.
- Porter uses the word "transformated" in the interminable Brian Grant interview as in "tell us how LaMarcus Aldridge has transformated his game." Take the microphone away from Porter NOW. Hide it. NEVER give it back...
- Late in the 2nd Quarter Portland misses again to go 1-of-10 from the arc. That also equals massive defeat if it continues much longer. Miami again runs out on the miss, ending in an oop to Bosh for a flush.
- At the scheduled commercial break, the Heat are up by 8 and wondering exactly how the hell they are not up by 18.
- Shout out by MB to Paul Allen. They cut to the inert visage of the Octopus sitting courtside next to Larry Miller, apparently drooling on himself in his sleep.
- Nico comes up with a huge AND ONE at the shot clock buzzer at 4:51, keeping Portland in this thing for the moment.
- Blazers go zone, tempting LBJ to shoot and miss. He obliges. On the other end, Nic adds two more on a backdoor cut from Andre, prompting MB to call out "NEE-ko-la!" and Rice to answer "NIK-O-LAI!" The Blazers were on a 7-0 run and the Heat lead was down to just 1.
- Blazers going to a zone was effective with former Blazer James Jones contributing a miss to the cause. On the other end LMA drove along the baseline and drew a foul on Anthony. LMA hits the pair and at the 3:00 mark the Blazers actually lead! "DEE-FENSE!!! DEE-FENSE!!!" chants the crowd, but Wade ends up catching a pass for a clear dunk in the paint due to a lack of defense, defense.
- At 30 seconds, OMSW finally drops a 3-ball in the hole, tying the game at 44 points. Three goggles.
- LBJ hits in the last Heat possession, leaving 5 seconds on the clock. Andre pushes and actually gets a really nice look at a 3-ball, which clearly stuns the Heat. He misses off the front rim, which stuns no one. Still, given the C+ effort the Blazers turned in in the first half, the entire Pacific Northwest has to be downright ecstatic about the HALFTIME SCORE: MIA 46, PDX 44.
- Blazer bench was outscoring that of the Heat, 9 to 2. (Two points?!?)
HALFTIME ENTERTAINMENT: THE DAMNED
"Smash It Up, Part One" (live, reunion tour show, c. 2001)
"Smash It Up, Part Two" (live, Old Grey Whistle Test TV show, 1979)
- Welcome to the 3rd Quarter. So far, so good...
- Blazers opened with a Nic bucket and a LMA lob for the lead. If you play a really, really good game this team can be beat. Outside of LBJ and D-Wade and Bosh, this team is pretty meh. Not double-extra meh, just pretty meh.
- Nic and Camby simultaneously go up for a tip bucket. The ball goes in. Both simultaneously raise their hands for the scorer to take credit. On the rebound it's a tie — hell, give 'em one point each.
- The Heat seem de-energized somehow in the second half.
- As of the 8:30 mark the Big Three had scored all but 4 of Miami's points.
- Nic tries the crossover dribble and the ball goes out of bounds for the turnover.
- It's a steal and a Wesley Matthews runout dunk. "BOOOOM!!!!" I bellow. This team is fun. The Blazers lead by 6 points for the first time in the game and Portland native Eric Spoelstra needs time out.
- Nico drives the lane and gets fouled by LBJ.
- ANOTHER FAIL when the broadcast cuts away from a Nic foul shot to show a full screen graphic prepared in honor of the Miami demigods.
- LMA faces LeBron on a switch. LBJ decides not to challenge him and passes off. Nice.
- MB: "Arroyo a long two, but it's not one of the Big Three, so it's off the mark..."
- LBJ blows by Nic for a thunderous two-handed dunk going into commercial. Still, the Blazers lead by four. Wild.
- Is the GO DUCKS ad featuring the Eugene Mayor the most obnoxious commercial in the history of television? "I swear to god I would take two days off my life just for it to be Tuesday to have that [obscene emphatic] game over!" I tell my wife...
- Bad TO for the Blazers ends in an LBJ wide open breakaway two-hander. Ugh. MB begins to work up his urine flow.
- Blazer had a chance at a 4 point play when Dante was run down as Rudy hits an open three. He bricked the FT, sadly.
- Nico hit another J for his 20 and a 5 point Blazer lead at the 1:00 mark.
- James Jones hit a 3 in the last Miami possession, noteworthy because it made just 7 points not scored by the Miami Threetles.
- Portland wins the 3rd Quarter 23-19 and moves to the final frame with a two point lead. THIRD QUARTER SCORE: PDX 67, MIA 65.
- Toyota Tundra ranks higher on the American-made index than a Ford truck. Take that, bubba!
- Patty hits off the glass for Portland. Rice: "Patty Mills shows a lot of courage because he didn't have a big first half — and I'm being kind."
- The Blazers opened with their bench on the floor. They managed to hold their own.
- Dante puts a hard foul on LBJ and the crowd goes nuts. LBJ's neck was somewhat the worse for wear. The muscular one missed the first FT. Spoelstra reinserted Bosh in between shots and LBJ made the secon. It was a three point Blazer lead.
- Rice: "Boy, they really box out well, the Miami Heat."
- Bosh spikes Patty Mills into the cameras on a breakaway. Payback, anyone? MB and Rice agree that no flagrant should be called under the "LBJ Got Zonked And Nothing Was Called" precedent, which seems like sound logic to me.
- My wife likes Patty Mills. He hits for 3 and she is as happy as I am. She's actually watching this one.
- At 7:19 LBJ reenters, the Heat down 5 points.
- Rudy misses another bomb. The Blazers are 4-for-19 from the arc.
- At the TV timeout at 6:02 it's Portland up by 7. The crowd is fired up — loudest of the year, it would seem. "LET'S GO, BLA-ZERS!!! (thunk, thunk, thunk-thunk-thunk)"
- Matthews was cold. Miami run out after a miss, with LBJ tip-passing to Bosh for a flush. Patty answers with a sweet runner on the other end. "If there was ever a time when the Blazers needed 2, it was right there!" notes Rice. The Blazers get a stop and Nate wants time.
- I don't think The Cult of Blazer Dancer Christi is catching on, Vulcans. Care to try again?
- Out of the break, Wesley moved inside the arc and spalshed in a jumper. LBJ answered at the other end, seconds later.
- At 3:00 LMA scored a muscle move in the pain, putting the Blazer lead back to 6. LBJ answered again, putting his head down and driving the lane AND ONE. Fortunately LBJ missed the bonus point and Nico rebounded.
- Wesley made it rain at 2:11 — THREE GOGGLES!!! Eric Spoelstra needed time. "Oww, my heart!" declared the beloved Blazer color man heading for the Jack-In-The-Box ad. Portland's lead was 7.
- Gary Glitter in the break. Portland needed to stay hot.
- "Matthews was as cold as a frozen fish in the first half., but now he's coming back."
- An effortless LBJ trey, a nifty move by Wade in the lane, and the Blazer lead was down to 2. Nate needed time with 1:13 remaining.
- Do any of you remember the olden days, when we all thought this was "Brandon Time"? No??? Me, either.
- Wade sitting on 32, LBJ with 34. Those are the Big Two. Bosh is a pretty okay PF.
- Wesley shot a trey — MISS. Miami ran out and Matthews had to foul James Jones at the rim to stop the break. Tie game at 49.9, the Heat on a 7-0 run.
- MB: "The Heat on the season, in games decided by 5 points or fewer, are 1-and-5." which means this is a pretty darned good team if 5 of their very few losses were by that margin and so few of their many wins were so close.
- Miami is an astonishing 10-for-13 for the quarter to power their comeback. Pressure, pressure, halfcourt basketball: LMA posts up Bosh. He hits! No time out is taken... LBJ looks at a three but passes off for a give-and-go, drives the lane and is fouled. 24.6. LBJ hits the first, hits the second. Tie game 93-93 with 24.6 showing. Nate uses his last time out.
- Miller holds for the last shot near the midcourt line, so motionless that it's hard to tell where the ball is. Miami sits back, letting him go. With time running out, Miller drives around a pick, slips a bit, and shoots from the elbow — short! Rebounds his own miss with the clock expiring — and misses short! We are heading for overtime, boys and girls. Too bad... That was the big chance for the upset win...
- END OF REGULATION: PDX 93-MIA 93.
- Rice: "There was no pop because Miami stayed with LA — they were not going to let LA take that shot."
- Miami wins the tip. D-Wade with a fadeaway from the elbow, kicking his leg. He hits. On the other end, Wesley is forced out of bounds, no call. Delaney delivers a make up call to even the score.
- At 4:03 Patty Mills is inserted for Andre. Wacky. Rice: "I know Andre Miller doesn't love that, being the veteran that he is, but hey..."
- Bosh hits over Camby and with 3:30 the Miami lead is 4. The Heat were shooting 57%.
- Out of a Blazer time out, the Miami defense locked down and Wesley got trapped for a prayer airball against the 24 second clock. The Heat went for the kill, but Arroyo missed a wide-open three ball from the corner.
- LMA drove the lane and dunked for his 28, bringing PDX back from the grave.
- LBJ hit a bomb from 3 feet behind the arc and with 2 minutes remaining the Miami lead was up to 5.
- LMA drove it again and was fouled. He missed the first shot, screaming "AAAAAAAAAAAH !!!" The second shot fell, cutting the lead to 4. LMA had 29 for the night.
- Patty went for a charge but got called for a block on a good call, LBJ planting him. This was followed seconds later with a Nic foul up top and LBJ went to the line, where he calmly hit two. The lead was 6. He was up to 41.
- LMA was sent to the line again. Are we noticing a pattern here? With 1:25 remaining, Andre Miller was reinserted. Aldridge made the pair, cutting the lead to 4.
- "They MUST get a stop right here," opines Rice. I agree. Unfortunately Bosh hit a long J putting the lead back up to 6. Miami was shooting 14-of-18 in the 4th Quarter and Overtime.
- Nic hit a jumper from 10 with just 57.7 remaining. Nic had 22 points on 9-for-16 shooting. "He was the aggressive Blazer early," notes Mike Barrett.
- Wade miss but LMA was called for a travel with 34.4 remaining. What a terrible DAGGER. LBJ hit a 3 with 16.3 remaining and strutted like the cocky piece of crap arrogant peacock that he is. I will never like that sewage doughboy, ever. But he's a good basketball player, let there be no mistake... My wife: "He's VERY arrogant." I added more colorful commentary, which I regret to say Blazers Edge site rules prevent me from recounting.
- FINAL SCORE: MIAMI HEAT TRIO 107, PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZER MIGHTY MEN 100.
- 96 points out of Miami's 103 scored by the Big Three.
Let's take at this thang graphically, shall we?
Orville has it popped up hot and fluffy... Here's the pretty pictures and a set of totally unsolicited observations by yours truly. CLICK THE LINK first...
A. This game was all + or - 8 points. The Heat won the first half and the Blazers won the second, but couldn't finish. Overtime was All Heat — per expected.
B. LBJ — 44. D-Wade — 34. Compare and contrast with Ilgauskas — 0. Arroyo — 2. If either of the Big Two go down, this team won't even make it out of the first round of the playoffs. Period.
C. Cunningham was bad, Przybilla seems to be finished, Camby was bad, Rudy was weakish, Matthews was inefficient... Yet this team held their own with one of the best teams in the NBA? How can you not consider this a promising outing despite the loss?
D. LMA with 16 second half points and 5 in overtime as this team's new go-to player. He'll do.
Finally, let's gather round for another installment of THE GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD, eh?
The Basketball Jones is a NBA blog and video/audio podcast, written and recorded five times a week by J.E. Skeets, Tas Melas, Jason Doyle and Matt Osten. Assume that there will be a couple Not Suitable For Work words used in any given episode.
Photo Credits: Sequoia seedling: Franco Atirador, Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0. Image heavily tweaked in Photoshop by Tim Davenport.