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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Wednesday, Jun 19 2013)

  • [New York Times] Column: Spurs’ Collapse Starts at the Top With Pop (Wed, 19 Jun 2013 08:29:31 GMT)
    The sly smile on Erik Spoelstra’s lips said it all. If only this once, the Miami coach couldn’t wait to field questions.    

  • [New York Times] 5 Things Learned From Game 6 of NBA Finals (Wed, 19 Jun 2013 07:44:36 GMT)
    Five things to learn from the Miami Heat’s 103-100 overtime win over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night:    

  • [New York Times] Game 6: Heat 103, Spurs 100 (OT): Heart-Stopping Survival as Heat Force Game 7 (Wed, 19 Jun 2013 07:08:32 GMT)
    LeBron James, his much-debated legacy still intact, posted a triple-double and led a late charge, propelling the Heat to an overtime victory against the San Antonio Spurs.    

  • [New York Times] Allen Magic Keeps Heat Title Hopes Alive (Wed, 19 Jun 2013 06:17:17 GMT)
    Ray Allen has made more three pointers than any player in the NBA but with five seconds left and his team three points down on Tuesday, he had not made a single one in the crucial Game Six of the NBA Finals.    

  • [New York Times] Heat Rally From Brink to Set Up Game Seven Decider (Wed, 19 Jun 2013 06:11:18 GMT)
    The Miami Heat forced an already absorbing NBA Finals to a deciding Game Seven after a thrilling 103-100 overtime victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday tied the series at 3-3.    

  • [New York Times] Spurs Left to Rue Missed Opportunities Against Miami (Wed, 19 Jun 2013 05:59:23 GMT)
    The San Antonio Spurs were inconsolable after the NBA championship was ripped from their grasp in Tuesday’s stunning overtime loss to the Miami Heat.    

  • [New York Times] Game 6: Heat 103, Spurs 100 (OT) (Wed, 19 Jun 2013 04:32:10 GMT)
    Back on their court after falling behind, 3-2, in the series, LeBron James and the Heat forced Game 7 against the Spurs with an overtime victory.    

  • [New York Times] Spurs and Heat Tied at 95 to OT in Game 6 (Wed, 19 Jun 2013 03:59:30 GMT)
    LeBron James shrugged off a poor start to get 30 points, nine assists and eight rebounds and Ray Allen hit a 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds to play that helped put Game 6 of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs into overtime tied at 95 on Tuesday night.    

  • [New York Times] San Antonio Lead Miami by Six Points at Halftime in Game Six (Wed, 19 Jun 2013 02:26:18 GMT)
    Tim Duncan scored 25 points as the San Antonio Spurs snatched a 50-44 halftime lead over the Miami Heat in Tuesday’s Game Six of the National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals.    

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Labels Don’t Fit Duncan, but Championship Rings Do (Wed, 19 Jun 2013 00:00:21 GMT)
    For years there have been questions about Tim Duncan’s true position with the Spurs, but it’s safe to say that he would not have objected to being called a point guard if that would have assured him the fifth championship ring of his career.    

  • [New York Post] Isiah’s high on Knicks (Wed, 19 Jun 2013 01:58:58 -0500)
    MIAMI — Former Knicks president and coach Isiah Thomas said coach Mike Woodson’s team had “a great year” despite a second-round KO, and believes it will get better by using the Spurs’ blueprint of improving role players.
    “I think they had a great year, won the Atlantic, got eliminated by…

  • [New York Post] Knicks looking at S.D. State’s Wolters (Wed, 19 Jun 2013 00:02:30 -0500)
    Nate Wolters has always stood out wherever he has been, but the gifted guard’s journey through St. Cloud, Minn., and Brookings, S.D., left him under-recruited, underexposed and under the radar.
    Now, after four mostly unseen seasons at South Dakota State, Wolters could be transplanted to the middle of…

  • 90 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Wednesday, Jun 19 2013)

    1. d-mar

      Amazing how close the LeBron narrative was to being completely different if SA closes out that game. He had a great 4th quarter, but had 2 really bad turnovers in the last minute that should have cost the Heat the game. Oh and he also bricked his first 3 pointer before he got another chance.

      The talk this morning would have been all about the “clutch gene” and how LeBron couldn’t come up with the big play in the biggest game of the season. Instead, he’ll likely celebrate back to back championships on Thursday night.

    2. Hubert

      I feel like it just goes to show you how stupid narratives are. Bosh gets a rebound and Allen hits a 3 and the narrative about LeBron changes drastically.

      I hate Michael Jordan for many reasons. 80% of them are for things he did do the Knicks. 10% is for the fact that he just seems like an asshole. But the other 10% is for the way he changed the way everyone talks about great basketball players. “Jordan would have this”…”Jordan would have that”…It’s like that scene in Braveheart where they tell Mel Gibson he can’t be Wallace because Wallace is 7 feet tall and kills men by the hundreds with fireballs. In 10 years, Jordan will have shot 65%, covered the other the teams best player, and hit the game winning shot in every game he won. And Scottie Pippen wasn’t even there.

    3. Hubert

      I have irrational hatred for Michael Jordan, by the way, which normally makes me a social outcast at parties when the conversation turns to basketball. I would imagine (hope) other people here (especially those 35 or older) share my disorder.

    4. johnno

      Hubert: I would imagine (hope) other people here (especially those 35 or older) share my disorder.

      You are not alone…

    5. Frank

      That was quite possibly the best basketball game I’ve ever seen – the only one that comes close (given what was at stake) was the Duke-UNC Christian Laettner game. I couldn’t sleep for an hour afterward.

      I actually think Game 7 will be a very good game. And I have trouble believing Ginobili will not come out and have a positive impact. No way a guy like that goes out like this. He was by far the worst player on the floor yesterday.

      Feel bad for Kawhi Leonard — he played unbelievably well but missed that crucial free throw and had a good chance at both of those offensive rebounds that led to the 3′s in the final minute if I remember correctly. Man does that dude have a bright future.

    6. Frank

      And by the way – not that anyone here disagrees with this necessarily, but the reason Lebron is held to such a high standard is that there probably has never been a better player in the world when he’s on like he was in the 4th — scoring passing rebounding stealing blocking guarding 1-5. He’s just freaking amazing. When it looked like the Spurs were going to win last night, I actually felt bad for the first time for Lebron — because he literally gave it everything he had, and no one had stepped up to help him (until Bosh made those huge huge plays and Allen hit that backbreaker).

    7. Hubert

      As he was getting ready to shoot the 2nd FT, I thought to myself “I hope he doesn’t miss this and go Nick Anderson afterwards.” But he drilled it. Great player. Tough last 30 seconds.

      I’m really surprised people think Miami will win game 7 handily. San Antonio has more things that work for them that don’t require superhuman effort. Miami really has to dial it up to 11 to be effective.

      It’s really hard to go against the home team in a game 7, but I think Pop managed his guys minutes in game 6 well (and Miami played all out, balls to the wall) so the Spurs will have an edge in stamina that will negate Miami’s home court edge.

      From there it will come down to who executes better. And I think San Antonio is better at executing their designs than Miami. Miami has been relying on their desperation. When they win games, it’s because something incredible happens (a 35-5 run, Dwyane Wade dials it back to 2006, and pretty much everything that happened from the 4Q on last night was amazing). When SA wins, it looks easy.

      I think the Spurs are better, and they somehow find a way to win game 7 on the road.

    8. johnno

      Frank: I actually felt bad for the first time for Lebron — because he literally gave it everything he had

      I agree that he gave all he had in the 4th quarter, but what the heck was with his total passivity for the first 3 quarters? Through three quarters, he had only taken 12 shots. I was screaming at the TV, “Shoot the damn ball LeBron! What the hell is wrong with you? Go to the rim!” I was rooting hard for the Spurs, but it was driving me crazy the way he looked like he was just going to let his team lose. He seemed more than happy to let the other guys try to win the game. I don’t know what happened at the end of the 3rd quarter to make him realize, “Hey, I’m the most gifted athlete on the planet earth and maybe the best basketball player who ever lived. Maybe I should show it.”
      P.S. to Hubert — there is nothing at all irrational about your Jordan hatred. I assume that you also despised Roger Staubach. Totally rational if you ask me.

    9. Hubert

      Frank:
      And by the way – not that anyone here disagrees with this necessarily, but the reason Lebron is held to such a high standard is that there probably has never been a better player in the world when he’s on like he was in the 4th — scoring passing rebounding stealing blocking guarding 1-5.He’s just freaking amazing.When it looked like the Spurs were going to win last night, I actually felt bad for the first time for Lebron — because he literally gave it everything he had, and no one had stepped up to help him (until Bosh made those huge huge plays and Allen hit that backbreaker).

      I don’t mind that he’s held to a high standard, I just hate when people start doing the “Jordan wouldn’t have missed that shot” bullshit. It’s like every time LeBron fails, Jordan gets better.

      I’m watching the 4Q last night seeing LeBron do EVERYTHING on BOTH ends of the court. Orchestrate, score, protect the rim, guard Tony Parker, rebound. And then he misses a 3 at the end and people say Ray Allen bailed him out, or that Jordan wouldn’t have missed.

      I’m not going to get into a who’s better debate, but it seems obvious to me that LeBron’s job is far more diverse than Jordan’s was. LeBron plays the Jordan AND the Pippen role on this team. (And despite having an irrational hatred of Jordan, I developed a great – albeit begrudging – respect for Pippen during our wars with them.) Pippen did most of the heavy lifting on defense and that was a major factor in Jordan being so effective on offense. LeBron doesn’t get that benefit. And yet he’s constantly judged entirely on whether or not his final shot goes in, even though his clutch record in the playoffs is on par with MJ’s.

    10. Hubert

      Johnno, I’m 36, so Roger Staubauch was before me. Instead, I developed a hatred for Randall Cunningham, Buddy Ryan, and the entire city of Philadelphia. It was entirely rational, though.

      My later hatred of Troy Aikman seems not worth mentioning. Everyone hates Troy Aikman.

    11. njasdjdh

      johnno: I agree that he gave all he had in the 4th quarter, but what the heck was with his total passivity for the first 3 quarters?Through three quarters, he had only taken 12 shots.I was screaming at the TV, “Shoot the damn ball LeBron!What the hell is wrong with you?Go to the rim!” I was rooting hard for the Spurs, but it was driving me crazy the way he looked like he was just going to let his team lose.He seemed more than happy to let the other guys try to win the game.I don’t know what happened at the end of the 3rd quarter to make him realize, “Hey, I’m the most gifted athlete on the planet earth and maybe the best basketball player who ever lived.Maybe I should show it.”
      P.S.to Hubert — there is nothing at all irrational about your Jordan hatred.I assume that you also despised Roger Staubach.Totally rational if you ask me.

      The Spurs are throwing multiple guys at him/packing the paint because they are (just about) not guarding Wade at all.

      From Jared Dubin:
      @JADubin5 Full series LeBron with Wade: 35-90 (38.9%), 17-32 in RA. Without Wade: 20-37 (54.1%), 13-14 in RA. 194 min w/ Wade, -56. 62 min w/o, +48.

      RA is the restricted area.

    12. d-mar

      My point at the beginning of this thread was that when you are considered the best player on the planet (by a wide margin), no matter what you do for 3 7/8 quarters you will be remembered by how you finished the game. LeBron committed 2 awful turnovers and missed badly on his first three point attempt in the final minute. If the Spurs grab that rebound, LeBron would be taking a lot of heat (pun intended) for coming up short in the closing minutes. Plus, as someone pointed out earlier, why so passive for the first 3 quarters anyway to put your team in a double digit hole?

      Remember game 6 against Indiana where Melo carried the Knicks on his back for 3 quarters and then had a poor 4th? No one was throwing him kudos for playing out of his mind for 3 quarters.

    13. Hubert

      njasdjdh: The Spurs are throwing multiple guys at him/packing the paint because they are (just about) not guarding Wade at all.

      From Jared Dubin:
      @JADubin5 Full series LeBron with Wade: 35-90 (38.9%), 17-32 in RA. Without Wade: 20-37 (54.1%), 13-14 in RA. 194 min w/ Wade, -56. 62 min w/o, +48.

      RA is the restricted area.

      That’s not what was happening in the first 3 quarters, though. Johnno is referring to something I commented on last night in the previous thread. LeBron was playing weird. They were guarding him straight up with Boris Diaw and daring him to shoot, and it was very effective. He would get the ball and just sit there and think for 2 seconds, and then do something not good. He’s seen this defense all series, it shouldn’t be that confusing for him anymore.

      And then in the 3Q, while the Spurs were building a lead, he would basically go stand on the weak side away from the ball and hide either in the corner or at the wing. And the Spurs were not respecting him as a shooter so Diaw was playing WAY off him (practically in the paint). So it was actually LeBron who was messing up Miami’s spacing in the 3Q. They treated him like Shane Battier, and he was content to hide away from the ball. It really made you think he was going into 2011 vs Mavericks or 2010 vs Celtics mode on the big stage.

      Then the 4Q happened, and I think it became clear he was kind of biding his time and saving his energy. Because the things he did in that quarter were ridiculous.

      He did run out of steam with about 2 minutes to go, though, and I thought they were finished when they were down 5.

    14. flossy

      LeBron played great for most of the 4th quarter, but Ray Allen may have single-handedly saved LeBron from another summer of every basketball fan on the planet questioning his mental fortitude.

      To be honest I thought Pop lost this game with the too-clever-by-half offense/defense substitutions at the end of regulation. Do you really not trust Tim Duncan to make the right play in a prevent defense? Hell, why not just foul to take away the 3?

    15. flossy

      It was a fantastic game though, which is amazing because both Manu and Wade really, truly sucked. Manu must have had like 27 turnovers and Wade was given any shot he wanted outside of about 12 feet and couldn’t make the Spurs pay.

    16. njasdjdh

      d-mar: Plus, as someone pointed out earlier, why so passive for the first 3 quarters anyway to put your team in a double digit hole?

      There’s no use in comparing LeBron and Melo in this way and I really wish people would stop doing this. SAS is tilting its entire defense towards LeBron, his reaction to this is to move the ball. If guys hit shots and it works, he will be praised for being unselfish and trusting his teammates. Melo’s reaction to this would probably be to keep shooting. If Melo’s strategy works, he will be praised for being a great scorer and having no fear. If LeBron’s strategy fails, he will be killed for being heartless. If Melo’s strategy fails, he will be killed for being a selfish chucker. I think people just need to recognize that LeBron plays the game very differently than we are used to seeing from the archetype of the elite wing and just accept that and stop trying to ascribe elaborate narratives about trying versus not trying and fearlessness versus being heartless, etc.

    17. thenamestsam

      Before I say anything else I have to say: Basketball is awesome. I was lying in bed wide awake for about two hours after the game just straight wired on adrenaline. If the Knicks had been playing in that game last night…man I’m not sure I make it to the morning.

      On Lebron: I couldn’t agree more with what Hubert is saying. I also think Lebron’s absurd physical gifts are held against him to a certain extent. He’s the only basketball player I ever remember where everything he does is seen as a reflection of his state of mind. If he misses a shot or plays the distributor for a quarter he’s being passive and you can tell how nervous he is and that he’s happy to let his teammates try to do everything. When he makes a shot its because he’s finally focused and he decided to take it on his back. It can never be just about basketball, it always has to be about his mental state and the reason for that is that he’s so physically gifted that the default assumption is that he would never fail unless he choked or couldn’t handle the pressure or wasn’t mentally engaged. It’s absurd.

      The second thing is that rushing to define the legacy of a guy who’s 28 is absurd on its surface. His legacy was that he would never be able to handle the big moments after 2011 until it was that he’d vanquished all his demons after last year until it reversed last night through 3 quarters until it reversed in the start of the 4th until it reversed at the end of the 4th until it went back into neutral when they tied the game.

      It’s a product of our modern culture with so much airtime and column inches to fill that we constantly feel the need to sum everything up and put a nice bow on it. But you can’t sum something up that is still happening. Regardless of what happens on Thursday people are going to say that it has defined Lebron once and for all….until they’re saying the same thing about a playoff game next year.

    18. Hubert

      d-mar:
      My point at the beginning of this thread was that when you are considered the best player on the planet (by a wide margin), no matter what you do for 3 7/8 quarters you will be remembered by how you finished the game. LeBron committed 2 awful turnovers and missed badly on his first three point attempt in the final minute. If the Spurs grab that rebound, LeBron would be taking a lot of heat (pun intended) for coming up short in the closing minutes. Plus, as someone pointed out earlier, why so passive for the first 3 quarters anyway to put your team in a double digit hole?

      Remember game 6 against Indiana where Melo carried the Knicks on his back for 3 quarters and then had a poor 4th? No one was throwing him kudos for playing out of his mind for 3 quarters.

      You’re right, but it’s wrong. It all boils down to your premise:

      “no matter what you do for 3 7/8 quarters you will be remembered by how you finished the game.”

      This is a correct statement of the way things are. But the things are fucking stupid. And it’s because of this ridiculous need to compare everyone to Jordan, which gets harder and harder to do because as time goes by we keep giving Jordan credit for everything his teammates did.

      Carmelo Anthony was heroic in game 6 vs Indiana, doing all that with a torn labrum, no less. If people want to tarnish that because the Pacers pulled out a game thanks to JR Smith and Mike Woodson being idiots, so be it. I, personally, will not take those people seriously and I don’t think you should either.

    19. johnno

      njasdjdh: SAS is tilting its entire defense towards LeBron,

      The Spurs were giving him W I D E O P E N 17 foot looks the entire game and he was standing there looking like he was afraid to shoot. It was just plain bizarre. It’s almost like he forgot that he has become a great jump shooter in addition to all of his other talents.

    20. Hubert

      flossy:
      Hell, why not just foul to take away the 3?

      Did you see his postgame conference? A foreign reporter asked him that question.

      Q. Did you take into consideration fouling up by three with the final seconds of regulation?
      COACH GREGG POPOVICH: That’s a European question, right?
      Q. Yes. We usually do in Italy and Europe, anyways.
      COACH GREGG POPOVICH: Right. We don’t.

      And that was it. Classic Pop. He also had a great answer to how he would get his team ready to play game 7. You can see it here:

      http://larrybrownsports.com/basketball/gregg-popovich-press-conference-game-6-video/192429

    21. thenamestsam

      njasdjdh: There’s no use in comparing LeBron and Melo in this way and I really wish people would stop doing this. SAS is tilting its entire defense towards LeBron, his reaction to this is to move the ball. If guys hit shots and it works, he will be praised for being unselfish and trusting his teammates. Melo’s reaction to this would probably be to keep shooting. If Melo’s strategy works, he will be praised for being a great scorer and having no fear. If LeBron’s strategy fails, he will be killed for being heartless.If Melo’s strategy fails, he will be killed for being a selfish chucker. I think people just need to recognize that LeBron plays the game very differently than we are used to seeing from the archetype of the elite wing and just accept that and stop trying to ascribe elaborate narratives about trying versus not trying and fearlessness versus being heartless, etc.

      +1. What he was doing is running the offense. Which calls for him to do a lot of things other than score. He set screens. He cut. He passed. He moved the ball when they helped aggressively towards him. He exerted an extreme amount of energy on defense. But unless he shoots he’s passive and playing hot potato.

    22. thenamestsam

      Hubert: Did you see his postgame conference?A foreign reporter asked him that question.

      Q. Did you take into consideration fouling up by three with the final seconds of regulation?
      COACH GREGG POPOVICH: That’s a European question, right?
      Q. Yes. We usually do in Italy and Europe, anyways.
      COACH GREGG POPOVICH: Right. We don’t.

      And that was it.Classic Pop.He also had a great answer to how he would get his team ready to play game 7.

      There was also really too much time left to foul I think. There were still like 18 or 19 seconds left when the Heat inbounded. Spurs didn’t have any timeouts left to make sure they could get the ball inbounded if the Heat made both either. I think it’s too much time to start playing the foul game.

      In an ideal world they foul Bosh as soon as he brings down the offensive rebound there, but the play was completely helter skelter at that point. I think not having Duncan in for rebounding was way more questionable than not fouling.

    23. flossy

      Hubert: Q. Did you take into consideration fouling up by three with the final seconds of regulation?
      COACH GREGG POPOVICH: That’s a European question, right?
      Q. Yes. We usually do in Italy and Europe, anyways.
      COACH GREGG POPOVICH: Right. We don’t.

      Ascerbic come-back aside, why not? It’s all well and good to say “it’s ‘mericuh, we don’t do that” but he’d be soaked with champagne if they had just given a foul to save the 3.

    24. Hubert

      njasdjdh: SAS is tilting its entire defense towards LeBron, his reaction to this is to move the ball.

      I’m sorry, man, but that was just not happening in the first 3 quarters. Especially in the 3Q. I wish I could post a screen shot from my phone. At one point I started taking photos of it to send to my buddy who was listening on the radio.

      LeBron was standing on the weakside, with his man (Diaw) was playing FAR off him, time after time after time.

    25. Hubert

      flossy: Ascerbic come-back aside, why not?It’s all well and good to say “it’s ‘mericuh, we don’t do that” but he’d be soaked with champagne if they had just given a foul to save the 3.

      I agree. He had no good answer. He just acted like it was some weird foreign thing that wasn’t worth doing. He basically equated fouling up 3 to having a $1 coins instead of bills.

    26. flossy

      johnno: The Spurs were giving him W I D E O P E N 17 foot looks the entire game and he was standing there looking like he was afraid to shoot.It was just plain bizarre.It’s almost like he forgot that he has become a great jump shooter in addition to all of his other talents.

      Yeah, seriously, fuck that noise. LeBron shouldn’t be praised for passing the ball when SA was single-covering him with Boris Diaw and begging him to shoot anything beyond 15 feet. It makes it easier to set up your teammates if the defense takes you seriously as a threat to score. There would have been no superhuman comeback effort in the 4th if LeBron hadn’t played like a warm turd for 3 quarters prior.

    27. Hubert

      thenamestsam:
      The second thing is that rushing to define the legacy of a guy who’s 28 is absurd on its surface.

      At age 28, Michael Jordan’s legacy was defined by the book Chuck Daly had written about him, which basically said he’d never win a title because he was a selfish chucker who didn’t trust his teammates.

    28. jon abbey

      LeBron held Parker to 6 for 23, no one does that. not PGs, and certainly not a PF. and not to prolong the Jordan comparisons, but I am pretty sure he never switched onto Stockton or Kevin Johnson when they were going off in the Finals. and could someone mention that Duncan did nothing after halftime, please?

      some terrible turnovers from LeBron down the stretch, some stretches of too passive play on offense in the first few quarters, but I don’t think even Jordan could stand up to this kind of minute by minute analysis. how many times did Jordan go 30/10/10 in the Finals? that’s right, none.

    29. Hubert

      Hubert: At age 28, Michael Jordan’s legacy was defined by the book Chuck Daly had written about him, which basically said he’d never win a title because he was a selfish chucker who didn’t trust his teammates.

      OK, this is completely wrong, and shows that I should never trust the memory of 12 year old me.

      I was confusing and combining “The Jordan Rules” (written AFTER his first title) with part of Daly’s autobiography that came out in 1990.

    30. thenamestsam

      jon abbey:
      LeBron held Parker to 6 for 23, no one does that. not PGs, and certainly not a PF. and not to prolong the Jordan comparisons, but I am pretty sure he never switched onto Stockton or Kevin Johnson when they were going off in the Finals. and could someone mention that Duncan did nothing after halftime, please?

      some terrible turnovers from LeBron down the stretch, some stretches of too passive play on offense in the first few quarters, but I don’t think even Jordan could stand up to this kind of minute by minute analysis. how many times did Jordan go 30/10/10 in the Finals? that’s right, none.

      This is part of what I mean about how our media cultures constant evaluation of everything has really changed how people perceive Lebron. As you say he had 32-11-10 with 3 steals and a block while playing frequently exceptional defense against arguably the league’s best PG (oh, and by the way, he guarded everyone from Parker to Splitter at times in this game) but because parts of it weren’t good we’re disecting it instead of being in awe of it. Maybe some day we’ll be able to take the wide view on his career. If we do I have a feeling we’ll say just “Wow” instead of “Well he didn’t really dominate the 3rd quarter”.

    31. flossy

      It’s too bad the Spurs waited until there were 10 minutes left in the season to sign McGrady. Call me crazy, but if he were up to speed and not just on the bench for laughs, you could do a lot worse than giving T-Mac some minutes when you need a second threat who can score and pass when LeBron is torturing Tony Parker and Manu is having a nightmare game.

    32. Hubert

      jon abbey:
      LeBron held Parker to 6 for 23, no one does that.

      I wouldn’t give him too much credit for that. I think he covered him for maybe 2-3 minutes in the 2nd half. The fact that he did it at all is amazing, and it doesn’t diminish your point. But this wasn’t like him smothering Derrick Rose down the stretch of every game in 2011.

      His defense on parker was extremely impressive on that play when Miami was up 89-86, but Parker still managed to hit a step back three over him. That was just great basketball from both of them.

      The one thing I really wanted to see, perhaps just out of curiosity, was LeBron guarding Duncan when Duncan was just overpowering Bosh and Anderson.

    33. johnno

      jon abbey: and could someone mention that Duncan did nothing after halftime, please?

      What was really weird is that, in the first half, the announcers couldn’t stop talking about how great he was and, in the second half, they barely mentioned that he had completely disappeared. They showed a graphic of his points by quarter (5 in the 3rd and 0 in the 4th) and Van Gundy barely acknowledged it.

    34. Hubert

      I noticed Duncan stopped being effective but I failed to notice why (probably because I was so caught up in watching LeBron). Did anyone notice any Heat adjustments? Or did he just run out of steam?

    35. jon abbey

      flossy:
      It’s too bad the Spurs waited until there were 10 minutes left in the season to sign McGrady.Call me crazy, but if he were up to speed and not just on the bench for laughs, you could do a lot worse than giving T-Mac some minutes when you need a second threat who can score and pass when LeBron is torturing Tony Parker and Manu is having a nightmare game.

      Stephen Jackson is an even better fit here, if he and Pops had been able to stay buddies.

    36. jon abbey

      Hubert:

      The one thing I really wanted to see, perhaps just out of curiosity, was LeBron guarding Duncan when Duncan was just overpowering Bosh and Anderson.

      yeah, I really thought this was going to happen. fantastic block by LeBron on Duncan with about six minutes left, though.

    37. thenamestsam

      Hubert: I wouldn’t give him too much credit for that.I think he covered him for maybe 2-3 minutes in the 2nd half. The fact that he did it at all is amazing, and it doesn’t diminish your point.But this wasn’t like him smothering Derrick Rose down the stretch of every game in 2011.

      I think it was significantly more than you’re remembering and other peoples comments seem to back that up.

      Chris Herring tweeted: “1 thing being downplayed abt last nite: Parker’s LeBron-induced fatigue. Often had to run P&R 2X/possession just to break free from James.”

      Haralabos Voulgaris tweeted: “This is how high a bar LBJ sets, he played 50 mins, defended TP most of the night, put up 32, 10 and 11, and I’m harping on the late to’s”

      Would have to rewatch to say for sure but I think it was significantly more than 2-3 minutes.

      Hubert:
      I noticed Duncan stopped being effective but I failed to notice why (probably because I was so caught up in watching LeBron).Did anyone notice any Heat adjustments?Or did he just run out of steam?

      I think part steam and part regression to the mean. In that first half he got some easy ones by beating Bosh down and getting great position. Those were basically cut out in the 2nd half. But there was also an element of everything he was throwing up was going in. He made hook shots over double teams. He made fadeaway jumpers over Bosh. It seemed like every rebound was finding him. You’re never very likely to do all that two halves in a row.

    38. Hubert

      He was excellent defensively, and I don’t mean to take that away from him. But Scottie handled the toughest assignments the way LeBron does for the Heat.

    39. thenamestsam

      yellowboy90:
      I think people forget how defensively sound MJ was.

      Phenomenal 1 on 1 defender but the way defenses were structured was completely different then and because of that I don’t think he was asked to do nearly as much work as Lebron is on the defensive end. MJ could be a terror on the defensive end, but for the most part Pippen took the toughest matchup and Jordan mostly was just required to shut down the 2nd best wing 1 on 1. That meant that in plenty of matchups he could effectively rest on the defensive end. The heat’s system relies a lot on how absurdly good Lebron’s rotations are and because of that he’s asked to do a ton of work on that end.

      I don’t think it’s in any way a slight against Jordan’s defense to say that the Heat ask more from Lebron on that end routinely than the Bulls did from Jordan. It has more to do with the evolution in the rules than with the individuals.

    40. jon abbey

      also as great as a defender as Jordan was (and he was incredible), he didn’t have nearly the range of positional flexibility on D. James can guard centers and point guards, not sure Jordan could really do either.

    41. d-mar

      I’m not a big Bosh fan, but I have to give him credit for big defensive plays and offensive rebounds at the end of that game. (Of course, it helps when Tim Duncan is out and you’re way taller than everyone on the floor.)

      On the flip side, is it possible to have a worse game than Ginoboli? 8 turnovers, and most of the idiotic variety. Very JR like.

    42. Frank

      Wow – SI has us taking Rudy Gobert with our #24 pick– I can’t think of a player that I think we’re less likely to take. A total project European player — even though his upside looks tantalizing. He’s not an athletic stiff, but he is so skinny and weak looking. He’ll be posterized about 10x his rookie year, and will get mauled inside until he puts on about 30 lbs.

    43. Brian Cronin

      SportsCenter was doing a good job mocking the Miami fans last night. They showed a shot of fans filing out of the arena after the game was over and noted, “These fans are leaving after the game was actually over.”

      I really cannot believe that anyone left that game early. Down 5 with 26 seconds left and the ball?!? Who leaves a home game with that scenario?!

    44. massive

      Brian Cronin:
      SportsCenter was doing a good job mocking the Miami fans last night. They showed a shot of fans filing out of the arena after the game was over and noted, “These fans are leaving after the game was actually over.”

      I really cannot believe that anyone left that game early. Down 5 with 26 seconds left and the ball?!? Who leaves a home game with that scenario?!

      That fan base does not deserve LeBron James. I mean, their fans are the type of people who wear shades indoors. Miami is a party city and not a sports town. They wanted to get to the parties earlier, I guess.

    45. massive

      Frank:
      Wow – SI has us taking Rudy Gobert with our #24 pick– I can’t think of a player that I think we’re less likely to take. A total project European player — even though his upside looks tantalizing. He’s not an athletic stiff, but he is so skinny and weak looking. He’ll be posterized about 10x his rookie year, and will get mauled inside until he puts on about 30 lbs.

      As a Knicks fan, I am 100% against taking French big men.

    46. Brian Cronin

      Wow – SI has us taking Rudy Gobert with our #24 pick– I can’t think of a player that I think we’re less likely to take. A total project European player — even though his upside looks tantalizing. He’s not an athletic stiff, but he is so skinny and weak looking. He’ll be posterized about 10x his rookie year, and will get mauled inside until he puts on about 30 lbs.

      The only thing I can think is perhaps that they don’t think that the Knicks have enough room on the roster next season to work a rookie into the rotation, so that perhaps they plan to stash Gobert for a year or so. But yes, I agree that I think that the Knicks plan on taking a rookie who can make an impact in 2013-14 and Gobert is not that guy.

    47. flossy

      massive: That fan base does not deserve LeBron James. I mean, their fans are the type of people who wear shades indoors. Miami is a party city and not a sports town. They wanted to get to the parties earlier, I guess.

      Miami is a sports town as long as the sport is football.

    48. Frank

      Brian Cronin: The only thing I can think is perhaps that they don’t think that the Knicks have enough room on the roster next season to work a rookie into the rotation, so that perhaps they plan to stash Gobert for a year or so. But yes, I agree that I think that the Knicks plan on taking a rookie who can make an impact in 2013-14 and Gobert is not that guy.

      if we’re looking for a guy who is a rim protector/rebounder, there is a guy named Marcus Camby on the roster. And if we’re looking for a younger guy with ridiculous physical measurables, Jerome Jordan seems like a much better and immediate prospect than Gobert. JJ actually averaged ~17p/10r/3 blocks per 40 in the D-League, shooting with TS in low 60s. And his standing reach is only 2″ shorter than Gobert.

    49. yellowboy90

      This draft seems tailor made for playoff teams. I wouldn’t mind Gobert if they can get an extra pick later.

    50. johnno

      Brian Cronin: I really cannot believe that anyone left that game early. Down 5 with 26 seconds left and the ball?!? Who leaves a home game with that scenario?!

      I was at one of the 2001 World Series games that the Yankees won with a homerun in the bottom of the ninth (it was either game 4 or 5 — I can’t remember which). At least 20% of the fans left the game in the eigth inning. I was stunned.
      P.S. Pleeeeease no French centers…

    51. thenamestsam

      While I’m definitely a never leave early person I do have some sympathy just because of how incredibly late these games start. I mean it was already midnight. I’ve never been to the arena in Miami and don’t know exactly what the transportation situation is like but I assume basically everyone is driving and I’m sure we probably all have experienced that particular parking lot hell that can occur after a big sporting event. It’s not inconceivable that leaving then is the difference between being in bed at 1:00 vs. 2:15 for some people. If you have be up at 6:30 or 7 to get your kid ready for school that extra hour and fifteen can starts to look pretty tempting. Not to even bring up how far past your kid’s bedtime it already is if they’re with you at the game. For a potential lifetime memory – yeah, stay at the game and call in sick the next day, but I understand the temptation. Botttom line is that 9PM local time is just way too late to start a long, slow finals game.

      And if we can be perfectly honest here: people would have been filing out of MSG in the exact same scenario. Not as many (in my biased opinion) but it would have been happening. Lets not act like this never happens in other cities.

    52. Hubert

      Yeah, the games start way too late. I’m on my 4th cup of coffee. F you, David Stern.

    53. thenamestsam

      Hubert:
      I feel like the Heat fans may be getting a little bit of a hard rap on this early exit thing.Just look at this GIF of the final play:

      http://www.diehardsport.com/2013/06/19/chris-bosh-blocks-danny-greens-shot-time-expired-ot-game-6/

      That doesn’t look like an arena that cleared out.

      Re: the video of people heading to the exits, there’s probably a bar or TV inside and they were playing it halfway and went back. That’s not inexcusable.

      Also this. If you look up at the exits exactly as 2% of all the people in the arena simultaneously get up to leave it can look like people are streaming out. But regardless of the stories about people trying to get back in the arena was clearly still at least 95% full. It’s not like the place emptied out.

    54. Hubert

      OK, that’s enough defending Heat fans.

      They still don’t deserve LeBron.

      I do give them credit for finally pushing the Seven Nation Army thing to “ridicule anyone who does it” status, something that should have happened a long time ago.

    55. Frank

      very interesting, though I can’t figure out how to make it work– but Chad Ford just said in his chat that he’s heard the Knicks are in play for Dallas’s #13 pick. he also mentions that to get it a team would need to either trade a 2014 #1 (which we don’t have) or take on Marion’s contract which is $8.6MM.

      Really not sure how that happens unless Dallas is willing to take on someone like Camby who has all ~4.4MM guaranteed in 13-14 but only ~1MM guaranteed in 14-15. I guess if we traded Q+White+Camby and then Dallas waived Q+White they’d still end up with a net benefit of about $4MM, with a valuable trade piece in Camby’s 14-15 partially guaranteed and sizeable contract.

    56. massive

      Frank:
      very interesting, though I can’t figure out how to make it work– but Chad Ford just said in his chat that he’s heard the Knicks are in play for Dallas’s #13 pick. he also mentions that to get it a team would need to either trade a 2014 #1 (which we don’t have) or take on Marion’s contract which is $8.6MM.

      Really not sure how that happens unless Dallas is willing to take on someone like Camby who has all ~4.4MM guaranteed in 13-14 but only ~1MM guaranteed in 14-15.I guess if we traded Q+White+Camby and then Dallas waived Q+White they’d still end up with a net benefit of about $4MM, with a valuable trade piece in Camby’s 14-15 partially guaranteed and sizeable contract.

      So Shawn Marion and the #13 is possible? Best news I got all day.

    57. massive

      I think (more like hope) the Earl Barron contract is of the same ilk as the James White/Quentin Richardson contracts.

    58. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      thenamestsam: Also this. If you look up at the exits exactly as 2% of all the people in the arena simultaneously get up to leave it can look like people are streaming out. But regardless of the stories about people trying to get back in the arena was clearly still at least 95% full. It’s not like the place emptied out.

      Keep in mind also that we’re talking about a particularly kind of sports fan, here.

      The NBA Finals are not priced for the average fan. We’re not talking about early 1980s basketball fans who were largely middle-class folk who got really into Roundball. We’re talking about Miami Beach retirees and vacation-home multi-millionaires who have the cash to drop $5k on a pair of tickets down on the floor.

      These are the same people that you see at courtside at every NBA arena: wealthy, pampered people who want to do other things than follow, in blog-level depth, the lives of a few athletes who bounce and throw a ball for a living. Mostly make more money and party.

      We are obviously not those folk.

    59. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      And for the record: I love sports, and I love (some of) the Knicks, but I wouldn’t drop a down payment on a new car on 2 1/2 hours of basketball. Maybe I’m miserly, but I’d rather buy a 70″ TV and a six-foot sub to enjoy hundreds of games with pals than have one experience.

      Although if it were Game 7 of the Finals, I might think twice.

    60. yellowboy90

      everywhere I look I see Q & Earl as FAs but I would do that deal in a hurry plus send future cash considerations

    61. BigBlueAL

      In the 1991 Finals Jordan covered Magic for basically the entire series. Pippen famously “shut down” Magic for one small stretch during Game 2 because Jordan was in foul trouble but that was it. In 1992 Jordan covered Drexler the entire series.

      Pippen started doing the heavy lifting on D during the 2nd 3peat since MJ was approaching his mid-30′s by then. But the Bulls didnt really play a team with great wings during that stretch. I mentioned this in the past but look at MJ’s stats in the late 80′s on defense. In back-to-back seasons he averaged 2.9 and 3.2 stls/g along with 1.5 and 1.6 blks/g. 6 times he averaged at least 2.7 stls/g. He averaged 8 rebs/g in a season too. That same season he also averaged 8 asts/g.

      1984-1993 Michael Jordan is by far the greatest basketball player ever. 1995-1998 Jordan wasnt too shabby either.

    62. flossy

      massive: So Shawn Marion and the #13 is possible? Best news I got all day.

      We can’t possibly be lucky enough for that, right?

    63. thenamestsam

      Can’t really see Dallas going for these deals. Chad Ford specificailly said they’re looking for a team that can take back Marion into cap space, meaning giving back zero salary in return. Even if we give back half cuttable salary I really can’t see that being enough. They’ll have an offer from a team under the cap that’s willing to eat Marion or a team willing to send back a 2014 1st rounder. We’d have to find a team under the cap willing to take Camby as part of the deal but that would mean shipping out an asset.

      Maybe there’s a team out there under the cap willing to eat Camby’s salary in exchange for our late first pick (in which case we’d be turning #25 into #13 while adding Marion at the cost of Camby, a nice bit of work) but then you have to ask yourself why that 3rd team that’s willing to take dead salary for a pick doesn’t just cut us out of the deal and take the slightly larger salary to get #13 instead of #25.

      Bottom line is plenty of other teams (including specifically Cleveland who Ford also mentioned as interested in the pick) can make a trade work more easily and while giving Dallas more. It would take a borderline miracle for us to end up with that pick in my opinion.

    64. BigBlueAL

      Listening to JVG on the radio with Dan Le Batard and they asked him if he was announcing the game last night with a Knicks jersey on since he was being bias against the Heat according to them and he replies “We used to beat the Heat all the time, why would I be bitter towards them.”

      Freaking love JVG.

    65. Hubert

      BigBlueAL:
      In the 1991 Finals Jordan covered Magic for basically the entire series.Pippen famously “shut down” Magic for one small stretch during Game 2 because Jordan was in foul trouble but that was it.In 1992 Jordan covered Drexler the entire series.

      I’d love to research this. Is there a way?

      Here’s what I recall about the 91 Finals:

      Jordan started off the series on Magic and it was everyone’s wet dream. The Lakers won game 1, though. Prior to game 2 Phil realized it was too much work to put on Jordan and switched to Pippen, who I thought had that assignment for the rest of the series.

      I tried a simple google search. I found one article from a guy who claims he watched all the tape and declared the MJ guarded Magic but cited no evidence. I did find the official Bulls website on NBA.com credits Pippen with guarding Magic:

      “In the Chicago’s first-ever NBA Finals appearance, Scottie Pippen took the primary responsibility of guarding Magic Johnson in 1991 versus the Los Angeles Lakers.”

      http://www.nba.com/bulls/history/pippen10_1991.html

      Re: Drexler, I definitely agree that Jordan guarded him, but that had a lot to do with Drexler being scared shitless of Michael Jordan. I don’t even think that was a hard assignment for him. MJ loved kicking Drexler’s ass.

    66. jon abbey

      Drexler and Jordan were both 2 guards, of course he guarded him. who else would he guard?

    67. Hubert

      Understood. The original premise was that Pippen typically took the tougher assignment. If that were true in 92, he would’ve switched onto Drexler, but it wasn’t always the case.

    68. Hubert

      jon abbey:
      this is pretty interesting along those lines, Hubert:

      http://chasing23.com/did-scottie-pippen-always-guard-the-other-teams-best-player/

      That’s the article I mentioned in post 71. But I didn’t consider it credible. It appears to be one person’s blog, he says he watched all the tape and this is who the primary defender was, but he doesn’t give us any details.

      If he actually watched the tape and wanted his article to be taken seriously, I would think he’d cite: Jordan was the primary defender on Magic on X possessions, Scottie on Y possessions.

    69. Hubert

      For example:

      “It turns out that even the genesis of the myth itself is entirely flawed. After reviewing the game film from the 1991 NBA Finals, it turns out the Jordan – not Pippen – guarded Magic Johnson for nearly 85-90% of that series. The exception was the first half of Game 2 and the 2H of Game 3.”

      I mean, “nearly 85-90%” sounds to me like a guy who didn’t do all the homework he says he did. Perhaps I’m being overly cynical.

    70. GHenman

      Anybody have any idea why we didn’t get the second year team option on Copeland and Prigioni? I can’t imagine either one of them would have turned it down. I think that should be standard procedure for us until the league changes the rules to shut us down, the way they stopped us from buying picks.

    71. johnno

      thenamestsam: They’ll have an offer from a team under the cap that’s willing to eat Marion or a team willing to send back a 2014 1st rounder.

      I’m not so sure about that. An $8.6 million salary (plus the salary of the #13 pick) is a lot to take on for a team under the cap — wouldn’t they want to preserve cap space to try to sign a free agent? Specifically regarding the Cavs, I read somewhere they don’t want any more young guys (so they’re not real crazy about ht #13 pick). Also, I don’t think that a team would trade a 2014 pick (supposedly a loaded draft) for the #13 pick in a supposedly weak draft. Then again, maybe I am just convincing myself that the Knicks are the only team that makes sense for Dallas to do a deal with…

    72. BigBlueAL

      The 1991 Finals is (was) available in its entirety on DVD. I bought it awhile ago cause I saw it for real cheap (forgot from where, Wal-Mart maybe??). Watching every game is where I came up with what I said about Jordan covering Magic for most of the series.

      I wont put a % or anything on it but for the most part I was very surprised that Jordan covered Magic almost the entire time because I had always thought Pippen covered Magic from Game 2 on too. But from what I recall he covered Magic in Game 2 initially because Jordan got in early foul trouble if I remember correctly.

    73. GHenman

      Didn’t magic pull a hamstring during the 91′ finals which severely limited his effectivness?

    74. BigBlueAL

      My point is MJ had just as much responsibility as LeBron did at the same point in their careers. LeBron defensively only covers the opposing best player in the 4th quarter, which is smart because you dont wanna burn him out. But hell last season vs the Knicks in the playoffs he hardly ever covered Melo, Battier did most of the time. Down the stretch of Game 4 (the only close game in the series) the Heat went small and had LeBron on Chandler for the most part. Against the Pacers this year people were questioning why Wade was covering George most of the time and not LeBron.

      LeBron is amazing and will go down as one of the best players ever (hell he already is) but his 2 AWFUL possessions in the final minute of regulation last night were mind-boggling to say the least. Couldnt even get a shot off. No way will I ever put him (or any player) in Jordan’s class. Ever.

    75. BigBlueAL

      GHenman:
      Didn’t magic pull a hamstring during the 91? finals which severely limited his effectivness?

      No, Worthy and Byron Scott both got injured and missed Game 5. Dont recall Magic being injured or limited.

      Magic for the series averaged close to 45.6 mins/g with 18.6 ppg, 8 reb/g and 12.4 ast/g. If he was limited then shit lol.

      Jordan averaged 31.2 ppg, 6.6 reb/g and 11.4 ast/g. He also averaged 2.8 stl/g and 1.4 blk/g. Not bad.

    76. yellowboy90

      johnno: I’m not so sure about that.An $8.6 million salary (plus the salary of the #13 pick) is a lot to take on for a team under the cap — wouldn’t they want to preserve cap space to try to sign a free agent?Specifically regarding the Cavs, I read somewhere they don’t want any more young guys (so they’re not real crazy about ht #13 pick).Also, I don’t think that a team would trade a 2014 pick (supposedly a loaded draft) for the #13 pick in a supposedly weak draft.Then again, maybe I am just convincing myself that the Knicks are the only team that makes sense for Dallas to do a deal with…

      That’s the only saving grace I can think of is that there are not many teams that would want to take on Marion salary. Its not that it is outrageous but why added it. Now a playoff team that could use Marion would add him but most playoff teams don’t need Marion.

    77. BigBlueAL

      Looks like the Doc/KG trade to the Clippers is back on again. Hope it happens so the final image of Doc/KG/Pierce together as Celtics is getting eliminated at home vs the Knicks. Small consolation lol.

    78. flossy

      According to ESPN Stats & Information, over the previous 15 seasons (including the playoffs) teams that held five-point leads with between 20 and 30 seconds left on the clock went a tidy 1,850-27. Basically, the Heat had a 1.4% probability of pulling that one out, and they did it. Amazing.

    79. yellowboy90

      What if the Knicks/Minny and Knicks/Dallas rumors are both true.

      Knick: 13th pick, Marion, Williams, Ridinour, and 26th pick/future 1st

      Minny: Chandler

      Dal: White

      That gives Dallas the cap space they need without taking anything back. I don’t like it for NY at all though. However, Marion, Williams, and Ridnour would come of the cap after the year.

    80. massive

      yellowboy90:
      What if the Knicks/Minny and Knicks/Dallas rumors are both true.

      Knick: 13th pick, Marion, Williams,Ridinour, and 26th pick/future 1st

      Minny: Chandler

      Dal: White

      That gives Dallas the cap space they need without taking anything back. I don’t like it for NY at all though.However, Marion, Williams, and Ridnour would come of the cap after the year.

      Well, when you put it that way….

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umDr0mPuyQc

    81. Z

      massive:
      So Cuban is clearly adamant about trading the pick away. I’m really gonna hold onto hope that he’s sending it and Shawn Marion to us.

      How could that possibly work? The Knicks only have James White’s non-guaranteed contract to offer as salary relief to the Mavs. Maybe enough to absorb Vince Carter but not Marion, right?

    82. MeloDrama

      We’d have to send them some non-guaranteed deals and allow them to shed some cap space. No idea if we can work it or not. The Chandler thing above would never fly, Cuban let Chandler walk cause he didn’t want to pay these later years on his deal.

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