You have to live with your past mistakes in the NBA, more so than most people in a normal life. Your faults and misfortunes are broadcast to millions of people, over and over again, dissected in print, television, podcasts, and bar conversations for year. Things which happened in seconds become the source of constant questions. The Heat face that kind of scrutiny after putting up the big talk in 2010 and failing to deliver in their first Finals appearance as “the big three” last year.
A lot of the conversation this year has followed how this Heat team is the same, and different, from last year’s Finals squad. How the experience is similar and different. How the players are similar and different. How the narrative is the same, always, and repeating.
The Heat, well, they’re kind of done with it.
From our own Ira Winderman, via the bane of my existence, Sulia.com:
Erik Spoelstra, on if LeBron James, has changed from last year’s Finals, “We’re done with last year and analyzing last year’s Finals.”
via Ira Winderman’s post on NBA Finals | Latest updates on Sulia.
Yeah, something tells me Spoelstra and the Heat are going to get asked about that stuff at least once more, and that it’s going to keep coming in waves. Something also tells me if they win the NBA Finals, he won’t mind talking about last year so much. Funny how that works.
You can’t escape your past, you can only try and live with it.
DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.
Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.
The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.
This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.
After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.
Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).
Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.
Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.
But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.
He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.
LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.
Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?
In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.
But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.
Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.
“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”