Memphis Grizzlies v Miami Heat

Heat do not regress against Grizzlies, instead pulverize Memphis into oblivion


Sure, the Heat beat the Lakers on Thursday. But that was a desperation win for a team that was trying to stop the hemorrhage. Surely in their next game against Memphis, they would revert to the shaky, unreliable, fourth-quarter collapsing squad that has seemed so out of sync since the All-Star break, right?

If anyone caught the license number of that helicopter tank with jet engines, please let the Grizzlies know.

They say stats don’t tell you everything. And that’s very true. But see what these numbers tell you about the Heat versus the Grizzlies.

Dwyane Wade: 28 points on 9-15 shooting, 5 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 steals, 5 blocks. Two steals shy of a 5X5 that he probably would have gotten had he stayed in the game to finish it.

LeBron James: 27 points on 10-16 shooting, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks.

Chris Bosh: 18 points on 7-11 shooting.

Miami Big 3: 73 points

Grizzlies’ top five scorers: 63 points

eFG% (shooting factoring three-pointers weighted) Miami 66.7% Memphis 39.9%

It was an epic beatdown. The Grizzlies were without Rudy Gay, but unless Michael Jordan, fresh out of Bill and Ted’s phonebooth in 1993 was stepping onto the floor, it wouldn’t have mattered. The Grizzlies looked totally overmatched and you couldn’t really blame them considering how the Heat played. All the hype Miami was given in the preseason? It was in anticipation of days like this. Wade and James were locked into one another on the floor, Bosh was aggressive in the elbow post, and even Mike Bibby was dropping 3-pointers. It was a beatdown of epic proportions. The final doesn’t really reveal how lopsided this game was, and the final score was 118-85 for crying out loud.

Memphis is no great team, they’re not in Boston or Chicago’s league. But they’re a playoff team (at the moment), who have played pretty well this season and beat the Heat earlier this season (when the Heat were without Wade). Even without Rudy Gay, the Grizzlies have notched wins in the last week against Dallas and Oklahoma City. But against a motivated, locked in, and suddenly surging Heat team, they stood no chance. Maybe Miami will go back to their discombobulated ways of ISO’s and jump-passes. But if they don’t, ye Gods.

In closing, Jamal Magloire scored. That is all.

Spurs to give Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili Friday night off in Denver

Manu Ginobili, Harrison Barnes, Tim Duncan
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The Spurs are 12-3 and comfortably in second place in the West, they have the best defense in the NBA allowing just 93.8 points per 100 possessions, and they have a top-10 offense to go with it.

So, time to start making sure guys are rested.

That is the first night of a back-to-back, with former Spurs’ assistant coach Mike Budenholzer and his Atlanta Hawks coming to San Antonio on Saturday. Popovich is saving his two veterans for that game.

Duncan and Ginobili have looked like they found the fountain of youth this season. Duncan is taking on less of the offense but has been very efficient in those moments. Ginobili has the impact he did a few years back in his bench role.

What Gregg Popovich cares about is them playing like that come the postseason. So they will rest on Friday.

Brandon Armstrong impersonates Ray Allen (video)

2014 NBA Finals - Game Five
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Ray Allen is retired-ish, but he’ll always be running through screens – in our mind and in this video.

Celtics draft pick Marcus Thornton gets beer dumped on head during Australian game (video)

Marcus Thornton, Will Cherry

The Celtics drafted Marcus Thornton with No. 45 pick in the 2015 NBA draft. That essentially entitled him to the required tender – a one-year contract offer, surely unguaranteed at the minimum.

Thornton rejected that, which is almost always a mistake.

Rejecting the tender is a favor to the drafting team, which gets to keep the player’s exclusive rights for a year. If Thornton tries to join the NBA now, he’s stuck negotiating with only the Celtics.

By accepting the tender, the player typically gets one of two outcomes. He either plays on that contract and draws an NBA salary or he gets waived. But even getting waived is better than rejecting the tender, because at least the player becomes a free agent and can negotiate with any team.

Players who reject the tender go to another league and play for less money. In Thornton’s case, that mean Australia.

How’s that going?

(Almost) never reject the required tender as a second-round pick.

Byron Scott says they just have to get Kobe Bryant better looks

Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson, Byron Scott

Kobe Bryant is averaging 15.2 points a game at age 37. It’s just taking him 16.4 shots per game to get there. After his 1-of-14 shooting performance against the Warriors the other night — with too much isolation and too many plays run just for him — there has been a lot of talk about his shot. With reason, this is his shot chart so far this season.

Kobe shotchart season

So what do the Lakers’ do? Get Kobe to shoot less and get the ball in the hands of the young stars they supposed to be developing more? Nah.

They just need to get Kobe better looks, Scott told the Los Angeles Times.

“I know his mentality is that he can still play in this league,” Scott said. “And we feel the same way….

“Obviously he’s struggling right now with his shot, and I think everybody can see that,” Scott said. “So it’s trying to get him in better position to be able to have an opportunity to knock those shots down on a consistent basis. That’s No. 1.

“I don’t know if it’s his legs. I don’t think so. Again, our conversations are pretty blunt. … He tells me when he is tired and he tells me when he’s not tired. And the last few days, he said he feels great. So, I don’t think it’s a matter of him being tired or his legs being tired. I think it’s a matter of his timing being a little off.”

Yes, how could it be his legs? It’s not like he’s a 37-year-old with more than 55,000 NBA minutes played, and coming off an Achilles rupture and major knee surgery.

Honestly, I hope the Lakers and Kobe find a balance soon, because they have become just hard to watch. And I don’t want Kobe to go out this way.