Jason Terry said LeBron James couldn’t guard him tightly for seven games. DeShawn Stevenson said LeBron “checked out” of Game 4.
The Miami Heat heard all that. LeBron heard all that.
Dwyane Wade told Dallas thank you for adding fuel to the fire under the best player walking the planet, as reported by Matt Moore over at CBSSports Eye on Basketball.
“(LeBron) doesn’t need it, but it adds fuel to the fire. We appreciate Dallas for that. Even if he had lost focus, he was going to get it back, but we appreciate the words that are coming out of their mouths….
“LeBron obviously wants to play better, but it’s not always about the scoring aspect. It’s just about playing better overall.”
The second part of that is key, and our Game 5 preview focuses on that. It can’t be LeBron being more aggressive by just dominating the ball and drawing all the defense then shooting over a triple team — he needs to attack but kick when the time is right, and he needs to work hard off the ball when Wade has it.
There’s a line at the end of the classic World War II movie “Tora! Tora! Tora!” where Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, who led the attack on Pearl Harbor, when congratulated on the attack, says, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” (Yes, I know in real life he didn’t actually say that.)
Dallas may someday look back at all these comments the same way.
While the rampant speculation continues about whether the Celtics may or may not trade for a superstar, Danny Ainge is filling out his roster with veterans. Sean Deveney of the Sporting News reports that they’ve agreed to a one-year minimum deal with guard Gerald Green:
Green was originally drafted by the Celtics in 2005 at No. 18 overall, and after bouncing around different teams and overseas in the first few years of his career, he’s carved out a nice niche for himself in the NBA as a scoring guard off the bench. He played 69 games for the Heat last season after two solid years in Phoenix.
The NBA has unveiled its top 100 plays of the 2015-16 season, and there’s no mystery as to what were the top two.
No. 2: Stephen Curry‘s halfcourt buzzer-beater in overtime against the Thunder in Oklahoma City during the season.
No. 1: “The Block” by LeBron James on Andre Iguodala in the final stretch of Game 7 of the Finals.
There’s plenty more, too, and if you have 25 minutes to kill, you can and should watch all of them above.
Tyler Zeller is one of the few restricted free agents left on the market who could make an actual impact next season, and on Saturday morning, he’s come off the board. Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reports that the fourth-year big man has agreed to a deal to stay with the Celtics. It’s for two years and $16 million, with the second season being a team option.
Zeller isn’t a starter, but he’s a nice rotation big man, especially at that price. He can play minutes off the bench for Boston, and his contract is also very movable with the second season being unguaranteed. He played just 11.8 minutes per game last season, but averaged 18.5 points and 9 rebounds per 36 minutes.
The Toronto Raptors were good last season, second best team in the East. That means the guys on Inside the NBA on TNT had to talk about them.
Which means Charles Barkley had to say “Jonas Valanciunas” a lot. Which is high comedy. While a lot of people struggle to say his name the guy is a solid NBA center who, with a little practice, you can say (and spell) his name pretty easily.
This comes from a YouTube user, via Reddit, with a hat tip to Eye on Basketball.