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

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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.

Remembering Notre Dame, Laker legend Tommy “the hawk” Hawkins

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Tommy Hawkins passed away recently at the age of 80.

The former NBA player was the first black athlete to earn All-America honors in basketball at Notre Dame (he still holds the school’s total rebounds record), was drafted in the first round, and went on to have a 10-year NBA career playing for the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers as well as the Cincinnati Royals. Los Angeles fans may also remember him as the long time director of communications for the Los Angeles Dodgers after his playing days ended.

The NBA put together this well done video look back at Hawkins’ career.

Celtics’ Brad Stevens said early September tests will show if Thomas ready for camp

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Isaiah Thomas said he expects to be ready for the Celtics’ training camp next month. The guard’s All-NBA season came to an early end in the playoffs when he aggravated a labral tear in his right hip initially suffered back in March. At least the injury did not require surgery.

Players are also about the worst judges of when they will recover from an injury. They pretty much all think they are invincible and will be healthy faster than doctors predict.

Coaches tend to be more pragmatic. Take Boston’s Brad Stevens, who told Chris Mannix on The Vertical Podcast that tests in a couple of weeks will show if Thomas is ready for camp.

“He has another follow-up and another scan in the early part of September. Obviously, it’s been a lot of appropriate rest, a lot of rehab. There have been some good strides here certainly in the last month or few weeks, but we’re not going to know that until after that early September timeframe.”

The Celtics are understandably going to be cautious with Thomas, while Thomas wants to prove he is healthy and has no ill effects from the injury as he enters a contract year (one where he expects to get PAID). Also, the Celtics could use him in camp as they start to figure out how he and Gordon Hayward can share playmaking duties.

Still, from the outset, the timelines have suggested he should be ready for camp in late September. Coaches are just cautious on these things by nature.

Allen Iverson predicts LeBron James will win MVP

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LeBron James has four NBA MVP trophies in his case. (Does he keep that case in his home in Akron or the one in Los Angeles… that’s a question for another day.) Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six) and Michael Jordan (five) have more.

Could LeBron James add a fifth to his case this season?

Allen Iverson said yes at last weekend’s Big3 playoffs in Seattle.

LeBron was fourth in preseason odds to win the MVP at 15/2, behind Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard.

To me, LeBron could be a good bet. If/when Kyrie Irving is traded, the chances of LeBron getting the MVP go up. If LeBron puts up impressive numbers (again) and leads a depleted Cavaliers team to a top two seed in the East, he is certainly going to be in consideration. And should be.

It’s a long season, and personally, I think you need to get midway through the season before seriously considering the year-end awards. But history says LeBron will be in the mix, and Allen Iverson could be proven prophetic.

Phoenix Suns with quality solar eclipse joke on Twitter

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With the cooler-than-I-expected solar eclipse on Monday came a lot of bad solar eclipse jokes on Twitter. Because that’s what Twitter does. Especially the NBA Twitterverse. We knew a lot of “where on the flat earth will Kyrie Irving watch the eclipse?” jokes were coming.

There were a couple of good ones, however.

Appropriately, the Phoenix Suns won the day.

One personal favorite here, an old meme that never goes out of style.