Losses? Whatever. Record numbers watching Miami Heat games.

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The Miami Heat taking on the Utah Jazz in November set a record for the most watched regular season Heat game in the history of the Sun Sports television network.

Think about that for a second. November against the Jazz earned a 7.2 rating and that beat anything in the Shaquille O’Neal era. The title year. The year after the title. This was a fairly unimportant game Tuesday — a very entertaining one (although maybe not the way Heat fans hoped) but still a pretty tedious one.

But this shouldn’t be a huge shock as ratings for Heat games are up 112 percent over a year ago, according to Sports Media Watch.

So far this season, Heat telecasts are averaging a 5.3 rating on Sun Sports, up 112% from last year (2.5). Though up big from last year, the 5.3 trails last year’s full season average for James’ former team, the Cavaliers, on Fox Sports Ohio (8.6).

The record that Tuesday’s game beat? The previous Heat game, against the Hornets the previous Friday night. The one that beat? Michael Jordan and he Bulls back in January 1998.

I know, I can see the comments in my mind now: “Who cares? And stop shoving he Heat down our throat!” Of course, to read this far you clicked the link. And read five paragraphs. And that’s the point — for all the complaining the public watches the Heat, reads about the Heat, devours everything they do. You want more, so we give you more. You could choose not to read this story or watch Heat games, but the fact is a lot of people do those things. So we give you Heat content. If you don’t want so much of it, turn the channel, don’t click the link.

Jazz boost international bona fides with new minor-league coach

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.

Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.

Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.

Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.

The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.

Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 with Celtics

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BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.

The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.

In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.

 

PBT Extra: Cavaliers’ new GM aces first big test with Kyrie Irving trade

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Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.

New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.

That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.

First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.

Cavaliers-Celtics deal first offseason trade involving players who just met in NBA Finals or conference finals

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The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.

Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

That seemed odd.

In fact, it’s unprecedented.

That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron Jamescachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.

Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.