If we can stop laughing, we’ll tell you about the Heat being interested in Eddy Curry

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We’re going to get through this with a straight face. Or at least as far as we can. You ready?

Yahoo! Sports reports Saturday that the Miami Heat are strongly considering signing free agent center Eddy Curry to help with the playoff run.

… Hold it in.

Curry played, well, was on roster for the Knicks for five seasons, appearing in 222 games across that span (I’ll let you do the math). A combination of weight issues, injuries, weight issues, personal problems, and weight issues kept him from seeing much time and eventually his contract became the largest behemoth around the neck of the Knicks, and came to symbolize the failure of the Isiah Thomas era. But after being waived this season, Curry went to Chicago to work with Tim Grover. Estimates are that in just a few weeks, Curry has lost close to 25 pounds.

He is still reported to be close to 350 pounds.

Seriously, serious news story here. Don’t distract us.

To make room for Curry, the Heat would likely cut second round pick Dexter Pittman, who has seen almost no time this season, despite having quite the hefty frame himself and showing some potential in preseason in areas Curry might suffer in, like… dexterity. And freedom of movement. And cholesterol.

Sorry. Won’t happen again.

The Heat do need a center upgrade. Even adding Erick Dampier hasn’t solved their problems down low, and an effective Curry might be the difference in staving off some of the Eastern elite like Boston and Chicago…

I can’t do it anymore.

It’s Eddy Curry, for crying out loud. It’s great that he’s trying to get back in shape. It’s awesome that he’s lost 25 pounds. Him recovering and having any semblance of a career after what he’s gone through in his personal life over the past few years would be a remarkable story. And surely, Pat Riley used washed-up veterans like Antoine Walker and Gary Payton in 2006 to help the Heat win a title. But it’s Eddy Curry. He was never that talented to begin with, and the weight issues only further complicate that. When word leaked out that Curry was hopeful to sign with Miami, everyone laughed it off, saying how not even Miami was that desperate.

Turns out Miami is exactly that desperate.

What’s odd is why they don’t give Pittman at least a shot. A big, slightly overweight rookie who can come in and provide energy? Isn’t  taking a chance on a player like that exactly how the Celtics got Glen “Big Baby” Davis? Instead the Heat continue to be obsessed with veterans, particularly ones three to four years past their prime. If this doesn’t work out, and we mean in a big way, it’s going to be a pretty huge mark against Pat Riley. Signing the Big 3? Stroke of genius. Everything after that? Nothing but gristle.

Sorry. Couldn’t help it.

Update 4:51 p.m.: The Palm Beach Post spoke to Riley who said he worked out several players in Chicago, that it was a “big picture look” and that anything beyond that is purely speculative. Maybe, some sense in a world gone mad? Possibly?

Jimmy Butler on Marcus Smart dustup: ‘He’s not about that life. So, he’s calming down’

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Marcus Smart and Jimmy Butler had to be separated during the Celtics’ Game 4 win over the Bulls after Smart pushed Butler, who was hounding him defensively in the backcourt.

Butler:

As far as the Marcus Smart situation goes, he’s a great actor. Acting tough, that’s what he does. But I don’t think he’s about that, and I’m the wrong guy to get in my face. So, he needs to take it somewhere else because I’m not the one for that.

Was that their first run-in? Butler:

That’s the first time. Last time, too. We’re not going to sit here and get in each other’s faces like that. Like I said, he’s not about that life. So, he’s calming down.

The Bulls, who’ve lost two straight to allow Boston to tie the series 2-2, is angling for any edge. Butler tried to intimidate Smart on the court, and the Chicago wing might actually rattle the too easily shakable Smart with his postgame comments.

The irony: Some might say Butler, who did come up hard, lost touch with his roots as he entered stardom. I don’t buy that, at least not majorly.

But even if both – or neither – are posturing to any degree, this will be a matchup to watch in Game 5.

Remembering former NBA official Jess Kersey, who passed away Saturday

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Jess Kersey, who officiated more than 2,200 NBA games, including being part of 19 NBA Finals, passed away over the weekend, losing his battle with cancer at age 76.

Kersey was a well-respected official who feared nothing. Maybe the most remembered image of Kersey is him trying to break up a fight between Mitch Kupchak and Hakeem Olajuwon, essentially trying to tackle Olajuwon with his head in Olajuwon’s chest and his arms wrapped around him. Kersey got in the middle of everything if that was what was required.

Our thoughts go out to the Kersey family for their loss.

Bulls Fred Hoiberg complains Isaiah Thomas gets away with palming. Thomas shrugs.

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The Boston Celtics have evened their series with Chicago Bulls, and more than that seem to have been able to take the Bulls best punch and now are responding.

At the heart of that is Boston All-Star Isaiah Thomas, who had 33 points on Sunday. He was attacking and getting into the heart of the Bulls defense all night, telling Michael Carter-Williams “you can’t guard me” so many times Thomas got a technical. Thing is, Thomas was right. No Bull has been able to guard Thomas the past two games.

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said the reason for that is the officials let him get away with a palming the ball when dribbling. Via Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago.com (video above).

“Let me say this: Isaiah Thomas is a hell of a player, an unbelievable competitor, a warrior, everything he’s going through right now. He had a hell of a game tonight,” Hoiberg said. “When you’re allowed to discontinue your dribble on every possession, he’s impossible to guard. Impossible to guard. When you’re able to put your hand underneath the ball, take two or three steps and put it back down. It’s impossible to guard him in those situations.”

I liked the follow-up comment from the reporter (not on the video), which was essentially “the league doesn’t call that on anyone, so that’s your complaint?” Thomas doesn’t get away with palming any more than any other ball handler in the league. If you want to define the rule by a 1950s standard then yes, he does carry, but so does pretty much every Bulls’ ball handler. So does 3/4 of the league by that measure.

Fortunately, Hoiberg never had to coach against Allen Iverson or he might have completely lost it watching him dribble.

This came off as a desperation ploy by Hoiberg. Or it was the worst attempt ever at a “take that for data” rant ever.

Thomas, for his part, basically shrugged when told about it.

When told about Hoiberg’s comments, Thomas said, “That’s not the reason. It is what it is. I guess (Hoiberg) is just going to continue to say it. I’ve been dribbling that way my whole life, I don’t know what to say to that.”

Joe Johnson dominates late, Jazz beat Clippers 105-98 to even series 2-2

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Rudy Gobert was back at center, giving the Jazz an emotional boost and someone who can match up with DeAndre Jordan (although Gobert wasn’t moving like his normal self).

Gordon Hayward had to leave the game with food poisoning.

It didn’t matter, the Jazz had Joe Johnson. The veteran forward who knows how to get buckets scored or assisted on 20 straight points for Utah in the fourth, sparking a run that got the Jazz a 105-98 come-from-behind win.

The series is now tied 2-2, heading back to Los Angeles for Game 5 Tuesday.

When people talk about Johnson, the first thing that seems to come up is the oversized contract Atlanta gave him, but they forget this is a seven-time All-Star. He was nicknamed “iso-joe” because of how Mike Woodson’s offense used him heavily in isolation for the Hawks, but that was playing to the strength of his skill set. He can get buckets. Just ask the Clippers, as Johnson finished with 28.

The return of Gobert, a quietly strong game from Derrick Favors, plus maybe something else (like the heavy load last game) seemed to wear on DeAndre Jordan, who was not as sharp as normal in this one. The Clippers again leaned on Chris Paul — 27 points, 12 assists, nine rebounds — and Jamal Crawford who had 25 points off the bench. However, take those two out of the equation and the rest of the Clippers shot just 34.2 percent against that elite Jazz defense. In the fourth quarter, the entire Clippers’ team shot 31.4 percent total.

Utah got good performances from their role players, who stepped up with Hayward out. Rodney Hood had 18 points and some key buckets in the fourth. Then there was Joe Ingles, who defended CP3 for stretches, was a force getting where he wanted on the pick-and-roll leading to 11 assists, plus he had two key threes down the stretch.

The Clippers clearly missed Blake Griffin in some of these matchups, but Los Angeles is going to have to adjust to that in this series because he’s not returning.

This series is even and feels like it may well go seven. The Clippers have two out of the remaining three at home, and they have the best player in the series in Chris Paul. All that may not be enough if the Jazz role players keep stepping up.