The Miami Heat are going to be very good. Nobody questions that. This team is going to win a lot of game this year. Put LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on one team and you’re going to get that.
“I would say this: With the guys they got, they’re going to be a hell of a team,” (Karl) Malone said of the Heat. “I pick the Lakers.”
When somebody asked Scottie Pippen if the Heat could win 72 games…
“I’d like to see them win a championship first,” he said.
What the players did back LeBron on was his decision.
“I don’t know what all the grief was about,” Pippen said. “No fans, no organization, no one can decide what a free agent can do or should do or where he’s going to go, and there’s no reason for anyone to hold a grudge against LeBron for making that decision.”
Malone said the same thing, noting when he left Utah for a year with the Lakers to try and win a ring. But Pippen added he thinks the Heat have some matchup issues right now.
“There are a couple of teams in the East that they’re going to have to contend with, that they’re going to have matchup problems with,” Pippen said. “You think of Boston, Orlando. I don’t see anybody that they can get to run up and down the court with (Dwight) Howard right now and that’s a game changer.”
What championship hangover? Cavaliers rout Knicks on ring night in Cleveland.
LeBron had a triple-double — 19 points, 14 assists, 11 rebounds — and led the Cavaliers to an easy win over the Knicks, 117-86. Kyrie Irving had 29 points — 19 in the third — and Kevin Love added 23 in the win.
But mostly it was the Cavaliers’ offense getting whatever shot it wanted and the Knicks watching dunks from up close.
Over the course of this season, these Knicks will evolve into something better than they showed opening night. No Derrick Rose (trial) and no Joakim Noah (injury) meant the Knicks starting five didn’t have a lot of cohesion and chemistry from the start.
After a sluggish first five minutes by both teams — they were a combined 6-of-22 shooting to open the game — the Cavaliers slowly started to create a little space behind 10 first quarter points from Love. That lead really started to grow as the Knicks bench came in and went 0-of-6 shooting to end the quarter, with Brandon Jennings making questionable decisions. Tack on seven Knick turnovers and the first and they were down 10 after 12 minutes.
The Cavs were in control through much of the second quarter until the Knicks went on a 10-0 run to make it a game again. It was Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony driving the team — they shot a combined 12-of-20 in the first half, the rest of the Knicks were 5-of-23. It was 48-45 Cavaliers at the break.
In the third quarter the Cavaliers starters cranked it up behind Kyrie Irving and tighter defense — the third quarter saw Kyrie Irving with 19 points and the entire Knicks team with 19. It was 82-64 Cavs after three and the celebration was on.
Kristaps Porzingis showed some moments but his 16 points came on 5-of-13 shooting. Anthony had 19 points on 18 shots. Rose had 17 points but four turnovers and one assist. Brandon Jennings came off the bench to shoot 1-of-7. It was not their best night.
For the Cavs, it was one to remember — the first banner in 52 years went up.
Did we mention LeBron James was dunking all over Knicks? Watch for yourself.
“At this point, if you’re not from here, live here, play here, dedicate yourself to Cleveland, then it makes no sense for you to live at this point — Cleveland against the world!”
And with that, the Q went nuts.
LeBron James and the Cavaliers got their rings and raised a banner in Cleveland — the first title banner in that city in 52 seasons (although the Indians are trying to have their say on the matter across the street). It was emotional for everyone in the building, and particularly the hometown boy LeBron.