Dallas Mavericks v Miami Heat - Game Two

Report: Pat Riley has sent word to nix trade offers for any of the Big 3

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As soon as the Heat started struggling, all the way back in November of 2010, the ideas started coming in. “What if they traded Chris Bosh?” The ideas continued all the way through the Finals including a few insane people talking about how they need to trade LeBron James. Sorry, I don’t care how much of a headcase he is. He could dance half-naked on the training room table to “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and he still wouldn’t be too much of a headcase to keep. But since they lost in the Finals, terrible end to the season that that was, only being better than every team in the East and all but one team in the West, including face-kicking both Boston and Chicago, the noise has been similarly loud.

The New York Daily News reports that Pat Riley’s been out in front to get this one quiet before it even becomes a question:

Not long after LeBron James’ Finals flameout, Miami president Pat Riley has sent word to other league execs: He’s not breaking up his Big Three.

via Raptors take a pass on landing Knicks’ Mike D’Antoni, opt for defensive-minded Dwane Casey.

What are you possibly going to get for any of the Big 3 that would in any way meet value? Even if you take the worst of the three, Chris Bosh, no one is going to trade for him after he’s been revealed as a guy you can’t put as your top guy, who lacks toughness and mental resolve? Meanwhile there’s simply no one you can put together to try and trade for James. He’s untouchable, as is Dwyane Wade. Lost in the overreaction, and let’s be honest, glee over the Heat’s demise is the fact that they were two games from winning the title. If the Heat’s defensive rotations are a bit better on a pair of Nowitzki layups, the parade would have been on South Beach. It wasn’t, and let’s credit the Mavs.

But unlike Dallas, who shot the moon in one of their few remaining seasons of contention, perhaps people should realize that the odds of the Heat winning the number of titles they predicted in that silly event last summer are the same. They just didn’t do it the first year. The NBA got the best of the brazen Miami Triad this year. Unfortunately, they have to deal with them next year, and for another four years after that. The only thing that is going to break up the Big 3 is the CBA. Then again, with as petty as the other NBA owners and front offices have been toward’s the Heat’s juvenile arrogance, some punitive measures built specifically to limit them wouldn’t surprise anyone.

 

(HT: HoopsHype)

TNT to cover NBA games with only former players, no traditional play-by-play men

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 19:  Grant Hill #33 of the Phoenix Suns looks to move the ball as Derek Fisher #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers defends in the first quarter of Game Two of the Western Conference Finals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 19, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK (AP) — TNT will use broadcast teams featuring only former players and no traditional play-by-play men during five NBA doubleheaders later this season.

The “Players Only” schedule runs Monday nights from Feb. 27 to March 27 and includes matchups such as Golden State-Oklahoma City on March 20 and Cleveland-San Antonio a week later.

Brent Barry will serve as the primary host of one team with Derek Fisher and Grant Hill, while Greg Anthony partners with Kevin McHale and Richard Hamilton on the other.

Lisa Leslie and Dennis Scott will serve as reporters.

Turner Sports says Thursday that Chris Webber will anchor the studio coverage with Isiah Thomas and Baron Davis, and that additional NBA players will contribute to the five-week program.

James Harden presents fan with game ball on her 100th birthday (video)

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HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden took some time out after the Houston Rockets’ win over the visiting Milwaukee Bucks to give a fan a present on a her 100th birthday.

Video shows Harden signing a ball for the woman and spending a few moments sitting next to her in her courtside seat and posing for pictures Wednesday night.

Harden told ESPN’s Doris Burke in an interview that he told the woman how “blessed” he was to be able to have a chance to meet her.

The Houston guard also put on a good show for the fan during the game, scoring 38 points in a 111-92 victory over the Bucks.

Paul George dunks on DeMarcus Cousins while getting whacked in the face (video)

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Kings center DeMarcus Couins appears set to become the first player to sign as a veteran designated player. The Pacers hope Paul George will follow.

But in the Pacers’ win over the Kings yesterday, George beat Cousins.

Not even Cousins thwacking George in the face could stop this dunk.

Report: Khris Middleton could return to Bucks before All-Star break

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 16:  Khris Middleton #22 of the Milwaukee Bucks reacts during their game against the Charlotte Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena on January 16, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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The Bucks projected Khris Middleton to miss about 70 games when he tore his hamstring before the season. That extended absence often leads players just to shut down for the year, but Middleton vowed to return in time for the playoffs.

He might get back far sooner than that.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Sources told ESPN.com the Bucks think Middleton, who suffered a hamstring tear just days before the season began, “has a chance” to return to the lineup during a three-game homestand next month before the All-Star ‎break.

Whether Middleton ultimately makes his season debut before or after the All-Star Game, he is expected to be kept on a minutes restriction as he eases way his back from the injury, sources said.

The Bucks have started Tony Snell, who has held his own as an outside shooter. But Middleton will upgrade Milwaukee on Snell’s biggest strength and provide massive defensive improvement. After a strong start, the Bucks have really struggled lately on that end.

Giannis Antetokounmpo has led Milwaukee to a 20-21 record, though the team is better than its won-loss mark indicates. The Bucks will be even better with Middleton, who will rival Jabari Parker as their second-best player and fit seamlessly.