The numbers do not lie — the Miami Heat’s starting five with Mike Bibby and Zydrunas Ilgauskas was outscored by 39 points in the first round. By the 76ers starting five.
Every game — including Game 5 — the Heat would fall behind quickly, but in four of the games the Heat’s substitutes stabilized them, got them back in it (in Game 5 the Heat were down 11 inside of five minutes but a 14-0 run had the Heat ahead after the end of the first quarter). Four times the Heat went on to win.
Do that against the Celtics and it will cost the Heat games. And maybe the series.
The lineup with Miami’s big three with Ilgauskas and Bibby had an offensive rating of 89.9 (points per 100 possessions) and a defensive rating of 125.2 (via NBA statscube). That lineup would average 79 points per 48 minutes shooting 39.4 percent.
Swap in Chalmers and Anthony and the offensive rating becomes 128 (points per 100 possessions) and the defensive rating 86. This lineup would score 108.8 points per 48 minutes shooing 54.2 percent.
The matchups will be different with the Celtics, particularly with Jermaine and maybe Shaquille O’Neal Heat coach Erik Spoelstra will be tempted to go with the size of Big Z rather than the 6’9” Anthony in the middle. And Big Z did provide some offense.
But Spoelstra knows how much better his team is playing when Bibby and Ilgauskas sit — there’s a reason he took them out after 4:27 in Game 5 Wednesday and they never got back on the court.
He needs to make a change with the starters. Falling 10 points back of the Celtics is a much harder hole to climb out of than it is against Philly.
DALLAS (AP) The Dallas Mavericks have signed rookie forward Ben Bentil to a 10-day contract to fill one of the two spots from a roster shake-up that came at the trading deadline.
The addition of Bentil on Sunday puts the Ghana native in position to make his NBA debut. The former Providence player was drafted in the second round by Boston but was waived during the preseason.
Bentil has played in the NBA Development League and in China since the Celtics let him go. He played 13 games in two stints with Fort Wayne in the D-League, interrupted by an 11-game stint with Xinjiang in China.
The Mavericks had two roster spots after sending Andrew Bogut and Justin Anderson to Philadelphia in a deal for Nerlens Noel and waiving guard Deron Williams.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Marquese Chriss got into a bit of a scuffle on Sunday, with the Milwaukee Bucks star earning a technical foul for his role in the hubbub.
It happened midway through the first quarter in Milwaukee after Antetokounmpo blocked Chriss on defense, then charged down the floor on the fastbreak.
Antetokounmpo drew the foul on Chriss, who was bumping with the Milwaukee wing with his arms up and his elbow parallel to the floor.
Chriss’ right elbow was above Antetokounmpo’s head, and there appeared to be incidental contact between the two players.
That, and a bump on the floor from Chriss’ leg sent Antetokounmpo off as the two ended up against the stanchion with Antetokounmpo pushing at Chriss.
After review, Chriss was assessed the foul and Antetokounmpo was given a technical.
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert has been fined $25,000 for making contact with an official during the third quarter of Friday’s game between the Jazz and the Milwaukee Bucks.
The incident occured with 5:19 left in the third after a drive to the bucket by Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Bucks star was driving past Jazz wing Joe Johnson, who fouled Antetokounmpo as he went up with a shot over Gobert in the paint.
A foul was whistled on Johnson, but it appeared that Gobert thought the call was initially on him despite his up-and-down contest.
That sent Gobert flying after the official, where he made slight contact, earning him an immediate technical foul.
Video of the incident was released by the NBA and can be viewed here.
Vlade Divac has started the clock on his own success or failure as an NBA GM with the Sacramento Kings. Speaking with the Sacramento Bee this week in a long Q & A, Divac said that if the DeMarcus Cousins trade hasn’t put the Kings in a better position in two years he will step down.
The trade that sent Cousins and teammate Omri Casspi to the New Orleans Pelicans returned Buddy Hield, a first round pick with protections, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, and a second round pick.
Via the Sacramento Bee:
Q: Well, the pressure is on you now. It’s pretty clear that Divac, not Ranadive, is making the personnel decisions. Some people still can’t believe Ranadive actually stepped aside and allowed you to trade his favorite player.
A: That’s my job, and I take responsibility. And I totally understand why some fans would be upset. They supported DeMarcus, and I like DeMarcus a lot. But I believe we are going to be in a better position in two years. I want to hear again from these same people in two years. If I’m right, great. If I’m wrong, I’ll step down. But if I go down, I’m going down my way.
Divac also mentioned that he approached Cousins’ management team about anger therapy, and again harped on the move as being the right thing for the “culture” he wants to build in Sacramento.
The clock is ticking.