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Tracy McGrady says Wade’s, LeBron’s games “really don’t mix”

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Tracy McGrady is clairvoyant. Ms. Cleo incarnate. He says he saw this coming.

While the world is talking about the 9-8 Heat, the slow start and the frankly ugly offensive basketball they have settled into, McGrady told the Detroit Free Press this is what he expected.

“It’s what I expected,” McGrady said of the Heat’s struggles Sunday after the Pistons suffered a double-overtime loss to the Knicks. “You’ve got two guys (James and Wade) that really don’t mix. I mean, they’re the same type of player. They just don’t complement each other.”

“Not at all,” he said. “It’s tough to get that chemistry. You can’t just go somewhere and create that type of chemistry. (James) had that in Cleveland. He had everything going for him. Great energy in the building. He created a great atmosphere. I enjoyed going to Cleveland because the atmosphere was just unbelievable.

“The chemistry he had with his teammates was unbelievable,” McGrady continued. “You can’t just go somewhere and create that. You can see it on his face. He’s not having fun. I’m so used to him doing all his antics on the basketball court, and he’s not doing that. You can see that something is just not right.”

Both guys have had the ball in their hands and did often in years past, but the thing is LeBron can work well off the ball. They did run some of those sets in Cleveland to great effect. Besides the steady diet of pick-and-roll we imagined an offense with some more flex-like sets, maybe even some pure isolation (so the help defenders have farther to go). Or, you know, they could just run more.

McGrady says he saw this coming, and so far he has the scoreboard. But what is frustrating is we all saw in our minds much more, an offense that wasn’t so predictable and execution worthy of this Big 3. Right now that remains a figment of our imagination.

Report: Bucks brought Jabari Parker off bench for discussing with media team’s meeting

Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker, center, looks for an open teammate as he is surrounded by Miami Heat players during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017, in Miami. The Heat defeated the Bucks 109-97. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Associated Press
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The Milwaukee Bucks had lost four in a row and had slid out of a playoff slot in the East. It’s not one end of the court — in their last five games, the Bucks had the second-worst defense and fourth-worst offense in the NBA. After that fourth loss, the team held a players’ only meeting, one where Jabari Parker reportedly ripped his teammates for a lack of togetherness.

In the postgame media sessions that followed, Parker told the press he confirmed there was a meeting and said he had been “thrashed” by his teammates for what he said.

It was that speaking to the media that got him benched for a game — as decided by his teammates — reports Chris Haynes of ESPN.

Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker did not start in Saturday’s road loss to the Miami Heat for violating a team rule that prohibits disclosing locker room discourse to the media, league sources told ESPN…

Parker’s teammates deliberated and decided the appropriate punishment for the violation was to bring him off the bench against the Heat, league sources told ESPN. It was the first time this season that he did not start.

The meeting and the benching didn’t help, the Bucks fell to the lowly Heat 109-97. (Team/players meetings are overrated in how often they help teams turn things around.)

The good news for the Bucks is that in a tight East they remain just a game out of the playoffs and three games out of the five seed. It’s going to be a tough week to turn that around with the Rockets, resurgent Sixers, Raptors, and Celtics on the schedule.

 

Denver’s Kenneth Faried gets up, blocks DeAndre Jordan dunk attempt (VIDEO)

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Without Chris Paul and Blake Griffin in the lineup, the Clippers don’t have much going for them offensively. However, there is one thing: DeAndre Jordan can still run to the rim and dunk with authority.

Denver’s Kenneth Faried took that away Saturday.

Faried hustled back in transition, showed he still had some hops and swatted away a Jordan dunk attempt.

The Nuggets went on to win the game comfortably, 123-98, behind 19 points and 10 boards from Nikola Jokic.

Suns’ Devin Booker sinks three that defeats Knicks (VIDEO)

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The Knicks last three losses have come by a total of six points. The team is not good, a little banged up, and doesn’t play any defense, but New York also has just had a run of bad luck.

The latest example: Phoenix’s Devin Booker draining a three to knock off New York, 107-105. It was a mistake by Derrick Rose, who sagged down to the free throw line watching Eric Bledsoe with the ball coming off the pick, which led to the open pass. Also, notice that Booker set up three feet back of the three-point line — this is a trend a lot of teams and good shooters are following (watch a Rockets’ game) because it makes the closeout harder. Rose would have contested a shot at the arc, but Booker gets a clean look from where he spotted up, and drills it.

Carmelo Anthony got a shot to win it for the Knicks, but his rimmed out.

Kawhi Leonard drops 41, Spurs best Cavaliers in OT in what may be game of the Year (VIDEO)

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The Spurs would like you to include them in your conversations about contenders.

Without Pau Gasol (hand) or Tony Parker (foot), San Antonio went into Cleveland and beat the defending NBA champions in OT 118-115 in what was one of the wildest, most entertaining games of the season. Check out the clutch-time action above, including LeBron James hitting a three Shaker Heights.

But the real star was Kawhi Leonard, who put up a career-best 41 on 30 shots. He’s the guy who has to create and make plays for this offense, and he did it on a big stage. LeBron added 29 points. Between them, they put on quite a show.