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Enough with the preliminaries, let’s get this thing started — one of the most anticipated, likely entertaining finals in years is set to tip-off between the Heat and Thunder on Tuesday night. So we thought why not give you another NBA finals preview.
We’ve done the big preview, looked at the keys for the Heat and Thunder, but now it was time to bring in our man Ira Winderman — who writes for us at PBT and covers the Heat for the South Florida Sun Sentinel — to talk Heat and the finals matchup.
We discuss hay stacks, LeBron James’ legacy, Dwyane Wade’s health and we make our predictions.
I’ll reiterate what I’ve said before — if the Heat play up to their capabilities they can win this series. I just haven’t seen the level of focus and execution from them needed at both ends game to game (or even quarter to quarter) and if they leave the door open a crack the Thunder will run through it and blow the thing wide open.
But either way, this should be fun.
Kobe Bryant reflected, told stories and showed his emotions.
For nearly 25 minutes, the Lakers star talked about his pending retirement. It was pretty cool.
DeAndre Jordan‘s free-throw problems – 38.7% this season, 41.5% for his career – are mental.
You can’t watch this trip to the line and convince me otherwise.
Nene hurt his calf. Drew Gooden is banged up. Martell Webster is out for the season.
Those are three players the Wizards expected to play power forward this season.
So, Washington – which has lost four straight – will bring in another big man: Ryan Hollins.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
The Wizards have a full roster of 15 players. They don’t qualify for a hardship exemption, which a team gets if four players have missed three straight games and will continue to be out. Only Webster and Alan Anderson definitely fit that bill. Gooden, who has missed five straight, might. But it’s unclear both how many of those absences were due to injury and when he’ll return.
So, Washington will have to waive someone to sign Hollins now. It’ll probably be Webster, whose $5,845,250 2016-17 salary is just $2.5 million guaranteed. If he’s out for the year and the Wizards plan to drop him by the summer to clear cap space, why not just do it now?
Hollins is more center than power forward and doesn’t appear to fit well with Marcin Gortat. But at this point, Washington just needs big bodies. Hollins – a nine-year veteran who plays decent interior defense, lacks offensive skill and rebounds poorly for his 7-foot frame – is at least that.
Sometimes – as Kristaps Porzingis sees against Dwight Howard – it’s more flattering just to play James Harden-level defense.