Dallas Mavericks v Miami Heat - Game Two

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


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)

51Q: Does Ty Lawson vault the Rockets into the top tier of championship contenders?

DENVER, CO - MARCH 07:  James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets controls the ball against Ty Lawson #3 of the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center on March 7, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockets defeated the Nuggets 114-100. 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 Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

I see five clear upper-echelon championship contenders –  Warriors, Spurs, Clippers, Thunder and Cavaliers.

Do the Rockets belong in that group, or do they fill the next tier by themselves?

Ty Lawson – acquired for pennies on the dollar – could put Houston over the top.

But, really, this premise might not be fair to the Rockets. They earned the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference last season and reached the conference finals last season. James Harden finished second in MVP voting. Dwight Howard looked like a star during the playoffs. The supporting cast – Trevor Ariza, Terrence Jones, Donatas Motiejunas, Patrick Beverley, Corey Brewer and even Jason Terry – played better than anyone expected. Young players like Clint Capela, K.J. McDaniels, Sam Dekker and Montrezl Harrell could make a leap at any moment.

There’s a case to be made we should have taken Houston more seriously even before trading for Lawson.

I didn’t, though, and I don’t think many others did either.

I suspect one of the biggest reasons is the Rockets’ balance. Houston – 12th in points scored per possession, sixth in points allowed per possession – was one of only two teams to win more than 51 games last season without ranking top five in either category. Of the seven teams with so many victories, the Hawks – sixth, seventh – were the only other. Atlanta was a darling team, winning 60 games after going 38-44 the season prior. The Rockets’ modest win increase, from 54 to 56, drew less attention.

But balance shouldn’t be punished. Houston’s surprisingly strong defense should be celebrated. Lawson might push its middling offense over the top.

There are reasons to question that, though.

The biggest is Lawson’s sobriety. If he’s not focused and engaged, this all goes out the window. His comments about going to rehab only because it was court-ordered raise doubts, though they hardly foretell anything.

Let’s say Lawson’s off-court problems are behind him. How big of an upgrade is he? The Rockets already had a pretty good point guard who fit well with Harden in Beverley. Lawson is a clear offensive upgrade, but in the biggest moments, the ball will still run through Harden. At that point, would you rather have Beverley or Lawson on the floor? Beverley is a far superior defender, and his off-ball offensive game isn’t far from Lawson’s. Beverley is is a fine spot-up shooter, and Lawson’s strengths involve having the ball and creating. Lawson’s biggest boost could come when Harden sits, but that was fewer than 12 minutes per game last season.

Sure, a secondary ball-handler could ease pressure on Harden throughout a long regular season. Lawson and Harden can take turns running the attack.

But we’re talking about title contention, and in those high-leverage situations, it’s Harden’s show. How much does Lawson matter then?

The Rockets have a chance to win a championship. As good a chance as the NBA’s five best teams? I’m not so sure.

UNLV following Kentucky’s lead with combine for NBA scouts

Goodluck Okonoboh, Patrick McCaw
Leave a comment

Kentucky held a two-day combine last season for NBA scouts.

Now, LSU and UNLV are following suit.

Rob Dauster of NBC Sports:

The Runnin’ Rebels will hold their event on October 23rd and 24th at the Mendenhall Center, UNLV’s practice facility, sources told NBCSports.com. The expectation is that all 30 NBA teams will be in attendance.

LSU has potential No. 1 pick Ben Simmons and another first-round prospect in Tim Quarterman.

UNLV features lottery prospect Stephen Zimmerman.

This won’t replace scouts attending games and watching practices, but the fact that all 30 teams plan to attend shows how seriously the pro league takes these. No college team wanted John Calipari to have that competitive advantage in recruiting, so the smart ones are leveling the field with their own combines. Soon, more college teams will follow.

As the calendar gets packed, NBA teams might have to pick and choose which they attend. At that point, we might get little clues about which prospects they’re scouting hardest.