Pat Riley is gifted with supernatural powers. I don’t know that for a fact, but it seems the most logical explanation for how the Miami Heat not only landed all three of the biggest free agents on the market, but also filled out the roster with quality players.
Now the more practical question becomes: Who do they suit up? The Heat will carry 14 or 15 players, but come opening night they can only suit up 12. Then what are the rotations?
Our own Ira Winderman took a look into this in the Sun Sentinel.
First, start with the definitive active players. Center: Joel Anthony, Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Power forward: Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem. Small forward: LeBron James, Mike Miller. Shooting guard: Dwyane Wade, Eddie House. Point guard: Mario Chalmers, Carlos Arroyo.
The positions aren’t exact, but you get the idea. And that’s 10. Most coaches don’t go 10 deep in a regular rotation. So who would sit of that group? Big Z and the Heat go with a small lineup off the bench?
And then what about those last two spots on the roster?
So that potentially leaves center Jamaal Magloire and forwards Juwan Howard and James Jones looking at two roster spots on game nights. The sense is Howard would not have signed and Jones would not have re-upped merely to sit in a suit on game nights.
So that could leave Magloire as the odd man out on game nights, along with second-round pick Dexter Pittman, the burly center out of Texas.
It also means guard Kenny Hasbrouck and forward Shavlik Randolph could have a training camp battle for the 15th spot on the roster. Or the Heat may carry just 14 players, leaving room for later moves.
See, there are interesting things on the Heat roster past the big three.
NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA has denied the Toronto Raptors’ protest of their 102-99 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Nov. 20.
The league announced the decision Friday.
Toronto argued that the game officials incorrectly called for an instant replay review of whether the Raptors’ Terrence Ross released a 3-point shot prior to the expiration of actual time remaining.
The Replay Center official reviewed video of the play using a digital timer and determined the actual time remaining in the game expired before Ross released his shot, and the shot therefore did not count.
The league found that calling for an instant replay review in this case was consistent with the playing rules because the game officials determined that there was a clock malfunction.
Nobody can stop the Zeller brothers!
Well, that’s not exactly true. But in this case, Bismack Biyombo tried and Cody Zeller threw it down with authority over him.
I’m not starting a “Cody Zeller for the dunk contest” campaign, but this was impressive.
Pop quiz: Which team complains the most to the referees in the NBA?
You probably answered “the Clippers.” Most fans do. So do most NBA referees — And everyone else. Which is why after a recent loss to Golden State, veteran Marreese Speight (a Warrior last season) pointed to the Clippers complaining about the officiating as part of the problem.
He went on to say that the scouting report is you can get in the Clippers’ heads by knocking them around a little. Which seems pretty obvious when you watch teams play them. Shockingly, Clippers coach Doc Rivers disagrees with that. Via NBCLosAngeles.com.
“The officiating thing, I don’t think, is our issue. I will say that,” said Rivers about the technical fouls. “If that were the problem, then, Golden State would be struggling. They’ve been No. 2 the last two years in techs, too. I think we need to point fingers in another direction than that.”
Doc may not like it, but Speights is right.
The Warriors do complain too much, but they also have a ring so more is forgiven. The problem for the Clippers is that reputation for complaining starts with Rivers — he complains as much or more than any coach in the league. Then it filters down through Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.
Is it fair that more is forgiven with winning? Moot question. Welcome to America. The Clippers complain a lot and have yet to get past the second round with this core. And at times there standing there complaining to the referees does get in the way of them getting back into defense, and they seem to go in a funk.
Want to prove all that wrong? Win. In the playoffs.
The Pelicans are disappointing this season — it is Anthony Davis vs. the world down there. Which is the main reason they are 7-16 this season. While things have gotten better since Jrue Holiday‘s return, Davis is averaging a league-best 31.4 points per game, it then drops off to Holiday at 15.4, and then E'Twaun Moore at 11.1.
When a team struggles, usually that is a bad sign for the coach. Not because it’s always their fault, but because GMs choose not to fire themselves for poor roster construction. Which leads to the question: Alvin Gentry, are you concerned about your job? (Warning, NSFW)
Gentry with classic coach-speak: Control what you can control.
New Orleans’ struggles are not on Gentry, certainly not completely. He’d like a roster that can play uptempo, that has depth. What he got instead was a good point guard, an elite 4/5, a rookie in Buddy Hield that maybe pans out down the line, and then… nada. And the roster Gentry has often is banged up.
If anyone is in trouble, it is GM Dell Demps. Remember, Danny Ferry was hired last summer for the vague role of “special advisor.” Gentry is in his second year, and the issue is the roster he was given. But the Pelicans are a patient organization that values continuity, so… who knows. But the clock is ticking on Davis;, it’s years away, but the Pelicans need to build a team around him and are far from that right now.