Miami Heat v Indiana Pacers - Game Three

Miami Heat cancel Friday practice (so do Pacers)


The Miami Heat will have a team meeting, which they clearly need. They will watch film from Game 3, which should turn their stomachs.

However they will not take to the court for practice. And they will not meet with the media, according to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel and other reports.

This is not really a big deal — the Heat clearly looked tired and banged up in their Game 3 loss to the Pacers. A lot of coaches would recommend a day off, just stay at the hotel and watch some film. Pacers coach Frank Vogel would and did — the Pacers are not practicing either.

However, by Miami not meeting with the media it will allow all sorts of wild speculation — will Pat Riley try to trade Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh in the offseason? — to run rampant and unchecked for another day. It’s another day of conversation about Wade and Erik Spoelstra’s little run in without another Heat storyline to displace it.

The Heat likely are going into an “us against the world” mentality that a lot of teams like to convince themselves is the case this time of year.

Which is fine, but it doesn’t solve the on-the-court problems. They need to find an answer for what Roy Hibbert is doing to them on both ends of the floor. They have to get their pick-and-roll working again without Chris Bosh. They have to figure out how to knock down some threes. They have to figure out how to create defensive pressure that they can convert into transition points.

It feels like desperation time for Miami — any time you start Dexter Pittman in a playoff game it is desperation time. We will see what these Heat are really made of with their backs against he wall in Game 4. But right now the Pacers are longer, stronger, more confident and just flat out better.

Gordon Hayward goes behind Jordan Clarkson’s back with dribble

Gordon Hayward, Nick Young
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Utah’s Gordon Hayward abused the Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson on this play.

First, Hayward reads and steals Clarkson’s poor feed into the post intended for Kobe Bryant, then going up the sideline he takes his dribble behind Clarkson’s back to keep going. It all ends in a Rudy Gobert dunk.

Three quick takeaways here:

1) Gordon Hayward is a lot better than many fans realize. He can lead this team.

2) It’s still all about the development with Clarkson, and that’s going to mean some hard lessons.

3) Hayward may have the best hair in the NBA, even if it’s going a bit Macklemore.

(Hat tip reddit)

Could Tristan Thompson’s holdout last months? Windhorst says yes.

2015 NBA Finals - Game Five
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VIZZINI: “So, it is down to you. And it is down to me.”
MAN IN BLACK nods and comes nearer…
MAN IN BLACK: “Perhaps an arrangement can be reached.”
VIZZINI: “There will be no arrangement…”
MAN IN BLACK: “But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.”

That farcical scene from The Princess Bride pretty much sums up where we are with the Tristan Thompson holdout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, minus the Iocane powder. (Although that scene was a battle of wits in the movie and this process seems to lack much wit.) The Cavaliers have put a five-year, $80 million offer on the table. Thompson wants a max deal (or at least a more than has been offered), but he also doesn’t want to play for the qualifying offer and didn’t sign it. LeBron James just wants the two sides just to get it done.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN thinks LeBron could be very disappointed.

Windhorst was on the Zach Lowe podcast at Grantland (which you should be listening to anyway) and had this to say about the Thompson holdout:

“I actually believe it will probably go months. This will go well into the regular season.”

Windhorst compared it to a similar situation back in 2007 with Anderson Varejao, which eventually only broke because the then Charlotte Bobcats signed Varejao to an offer sheet. Thompson is a restricted free agent, meaning the Cavaliers can match any offer, but only Portland and Philadelphia have the cap space right now to offer him a max contract. Neither team has shown any interest in doing so.

And so we wait. And we may be waiting a while.