When NBA general managers were asked who they thought would win the NBA title this year, they overwhelmingly chose the Miami Heat to repeat. Even people looking to pick against the Heat this season have to do so in terms of defining their pick against Miami. They have the best player in the game, two other elite players and system in place now that is proven to work.
But there are no unbeatable teams. Achilles had his heel.
When asked what it was, Dwyane Wade was honest — size. Via Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida.
“Yeah, we have weaknesses,” said Wade, whose Heat went 46-20 during the 2011-12 lockout-shortened campaign, an equivalent of 57-25 during a normal season. “We’re not the biggest team in the league. It’s a glaring weakness.”
One of the turning points in last season’s title run for the Heat was when they had to adapt to deal with Roy Hibbert from the Indiana Pacers. Miami had now way of just matching up with him, they had to adapt and find a way to exploit their advantages as well.
“As well as it’s a weakness, it’s a strength,” Wade said. “And so we got a weakness. We’re not going to come out and we’re not going to say this big guy is going to get 14 rebounds a game. We have to rebound collectively as a team. So, obviously, that’s a weakness for us. But it’s also a strength for us because at the other end of the floor, when the ball gets off the rim, we’re able to use our speed.”
And as of right now, 29 other teams have to adjust to that strength. Size might be part of that equation — Philadelphia, Brooklyn Indiana and the Lakers may have a leg up there — but it’s not enough by itself.
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.