On June 23rd, 2011, Brian Robb and I stood around a high top bar table in Tommy Doyle’s in Kendall Square. Before us lay one of the biggest mounds of buffalo chicken wings I had ever endeavor to make disappear. These 25 cent flappers- one of the few indulgences afforded to the participants of our [...]
There are a number of contextually-appropriate ways to craft this post. One would be to forgo words entirely, and represent Chris Wilcox’s entire season with a series of videos. That would involve one part of this: For every eight parts of this: Note the headline on that second clip. Someone was so amused/enraged by Wilcox’s [...]
Here’s a sweeping general statement involving super specific statistics that may or may not mean anything: In the 1423 minutes Rajon Rondo played this season, the Boston Celtics were outscored by 1.3 points per 100 possessions. When he sat (including all contests after he tore his ACL), Boston was better than their opponents by 1.8 [...]
Avery Bradley has been a standout defender for the past couple seasons…in the regular season anyway. Now he has a trophy to prove it. The NBA announced this afternoon that the third-year guard has been elected by coaches around the league to the second-team all-NBA defensive team for the first time in his career. Bradley [...]
The first domino to fall this offseason is Paul Pierce’s contract. Until Danny Ainge figures out what he’s doing there, little else matters. As we wait for this decision, we also must face the rest of the offseason, which means it is also rumor season. With that time of year, comes plenty of information floating [...]
In his third year in the league, in which promising players often make brash leaps from benchwarmer to starter, from starter to star, Avery Bradley took a big step back. But his regression might be deceptive. When he returned to the Celtics’ lineup on January the 2nd after two in-season months recovering from offseason shoulder [...]
I’m going to go out on a limb and say most fans were happy to see the Dallas Mavericks win this year’s NBA Finals. The Mavs are old school: one bona fide superstar (Dirk Nowitzki), a couple of guys past their prime (Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion), guys that have accepted their roles (DeShawn Stevenson, Tyson Chandler), and two exciting spark plugs (Jason Terry, J.J. Barea). They are the quintessential team.
Unlike the Miami Heat. The three headed superstar monster that have agreed to reject the notion of “team” for as long as they are together. Assuming the collective bargaining agreement somewhat resembles what it is now (or makes it even harder for teams to sign free agents) the Heat will be over the salary cap each of the next five seasons. In 2015-16, 65 million clams will be tied up in the three man “team” known as the Heatles.
Just because Miami’s front office decided to allocate their money in a certain way does not on its own explain the Heat hate. There’s the over-the-top celebrations of dunks and three point shots. Then there are the on-the-court moments that show a blatant disregard of a sound offensive strategy (hesitation/fake crossover dribble pullups for three don’t exactly whet a basketball fan’s whistle).
But for me, it’s been the constant theme of this team always counting their chickens before they hatch. Whether it’s LeBron James counting future championships before the season or Dwyane Wade and James engaging in a Championship-caliber embrace after they beat the Boston Celtics in five games. This type of attitude seemed to permeate everything about the Heat. It even got to their coach- the supposed level-headed, even-keeled, salt-of-the-earth-type guy. Here’s Erik Spoelstra giving advice to Craig Sager trailing the Celtics in the fourth quarter of Game 5:
To paraphrase The Big Lebowski, “You’re not wrong [Spoelstra], you’re just an asshole.”
I originally cut this in preparation for a “gotcha” post. And then the Heat won and I questioned the existence of “the basketball gods”. Instead of posting the video anyway, I tried to think of ways to emphasize the likeness to “-olestra” in Erik Spoelstra’s name.
One of the only redeeming qualities about this Heat team had finally bought into all their hype.
I’m not sure how long this feeling will last but I think it’s best if we use this time productively by dissecting the things we as Celtics fans hardly had a vested interest in.
Anyone notice the highlight of Erik Spoelstra’s postgame presser? “Dallas wasn’t known as a defensive team.” Whatttt? This could have been the single most revealing thing I have ever heard a losing coach say. Dallas not a defensive team? Tyson Chandler? Shawn Marion? Jason Kidd? DeShawn Stevenson? Were any of these names mentioned in a Miami Heat locker room these past two weeks? That’s a lot of question marks.
Is it weird that one of the first things I thought about following the game were the psyches of Udonis Haslem and Erick Dampier. Dampier, longtime Maverick, was not welcomed back to Dallas after the Mavs signed Tyson Chandler and Brendan Haywood. And then there was Haslem, who turned down a pretty lucrative offer from the Mavericks during free agency and took less money to stay with the Heat. Both of these guys could theoretically have a Championship ring right now. Haslem may never have injured his foot and he and Stevenson could have called people “studio gangsters” together instead of turning on each other.
And then there’s Mike Bibby. The 6 million dollar man. As in, the 6+ million dollars he gave up next season to sign with the Heat and not get a Championship. Ouch.
Chris Bosh’s reputation can not catch a break, huh? Maybe he knew the cameras were there and he’s just as much a showman as James and Wade, but to get caught going fetal in the tunnel after the game and balling his eyes out? That’s not going to play out well.
Aside from Dirk, so many awesome/deserving players won rings last night: Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion, Caron Butler, Jason Terry, Peja Stojakovic….and those are just the players that either should have already won one or have been good enough to win one for a long time.
Lots of people are immediately saying “trade Bosh! Trade Bosh!” To which I say, “to whom and for what?” Rather than trade Bosh, I say trade James. Wade and Bosh make a much more natural match than Wade and James despite the collective talent begging to say otherwise. And then there’s the fact that Bosh has little to no value right now in terms of the Heat getting something in return. He has a maximum contract and he does not play like a maximum player. James, on the other hand, is the best player of bunch and could net a superstar and multiple first round picks in return. If Miami are going to blow it up, I say sell high. Get a superstar center or point guard, draft picks, and another piece. I welcome your trade machine attempts in the comment section…