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.
Joakim Noah hasn’t set foot on an NBA court since Feb. 4, and his season was all but ended when he had knee surgery at the end of February. It was a $72 million gamble that has not worked, and left New York with an anchor o a
Tomorrow it will be official he is done for the season, but not because of the Knicks or his injury.
During his recovery, Noah violated the NBA’s drug policy and will pay for a 20-game suspension, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
Noah tested positive for an over-the-counter supplement that is prohibited under the outgoing Collective Bargaining Agreement, league sources said.
Noah, 32, is expected to serve 10 games of the suspension to finish out the 2016-17 regular season and 10 games to start the 2017-18 season, league sources said.
The National Basketball Players Association’s investigation concluded that Noah hadn’t “knowingly or willingly” violated the policy and cooperated fully with the league’s probe, league sources said.
Over-the-counter supplements could be something put in his regular workout recovery drinks that he was unaware of, although we are unsure of the details.
Traditionally, the player has to be healthy enough to play before the league starts the suspension. Noah has been out for more than a month, but if a league doctor says he is healthy enough to play the then the clock on the suspension can start. But that is interesting.
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker is just 20 years old. He’s a League Pass favorite, and indeed he should be a favorite in Phoenix for years to come. On Friday, Booker dropped 70 points — yes, 70 — in a loss to the Boston Celtics.
Booker’s 70 points is the best outing of the season. It also made him the youngest player to ever reach 70 points.
His final stat line, as you might imagine, was ridiculous. Booker shot 21-of-40 from the field, going 4-of-11 on 3-pointers and a whopping 24-of-26 from the free-throw line. The Suns phenom also grabbed eight rebounds to go with six assists.
Despite the loss to Boston, 130-120, it’s still an incredible milestone for Phoenix and for Booker. There’s a bright spot out there for the Suns.
Aaron Gordon may not have had the best dunk contest this year — apparently drones and dunks don’t mix well — but the guy can still get up and finish with the best in the league.
As he did on this alley-oop against Detroit.
Elfrid Payton had to throw a lob that would get over Andre Drummond, but how many guys in the league can get that high, reach back and finish that? Damn.
Former Atlanta Hawk Pero Antic is now playing for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce, in case you were not aware.
Fenerbahce was facing Anadolu Efes in a EuroLeague game, it was tight late and former NBA player Ekpe Udoh was at the free throw line for Fenerbahce. He missed his second shot, but the rebound caromed out-of-bounds off an Anadolu Efes player. Antic was pumped.
Maybe a little too pumped.
That was Nikola Kalinic, by the way, the guy Antic now owes dinner to. Kalinic would like the dinner more than the hug and kiss he got from Antic right after the play.
Also, Anadolu Efes held on to win 80-77.
(Hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie.)