Paul George hit a big time shot at the end of regulation to get the Pacers to overtime, but once we got to the end of the extra session, LeBron James took his turn at the last-second heroics.
With the Heat trailing by one and 2.2 seconds remaining, James receives the inbounds pass and immediately bolts to the basket. It was poor judgment on the part of George to not make sure to stay in front of James there, and LeBron had a wide open lane to his left for an uncontested layup as time expired.
The obvious question afterward was to wonder why in the world Roy Hibbert was on the bench for that possession, especially after James had made a similar play with 10.8 seconds left and with Hibbert similarly sidelined by his coach’s decision.
Had Hibbert been there to protect the rim, it may have forced James to pass the ball to an open shooter (likely Chris Bosh) once Hibbert came over to help. And as solid of a shooter as Bosh is from the outside, his percentage is far lower than the 100 percent James shoots at the rim on an uncontested shot.
Frank Vogel will certainly have his reasons, but for now, he’ll shoulder the bulk of the blame for this one as the Heat took Game 1 from a Pacers team that had every chance to steal it.
Who will start at power forward for Bulls? “It’s an open competition.”
The conventional wisdom has been that Mirotic would get the start because with Rondo/Wade/Butler teams could just pack the paint, clog driving lanes, and force them to shoot jumpers. Mirotic shot 39 percent from three last season and could be a stretch four that opens driving lanes for the three guys who like to slash to the rim. The downside there is defense, which is why Gibson can’t be counted out.
Expect Hoiberg to try a lot of combos trying to figure out what works. That’s what preseason games are for.
With 100 percent certainty, he will be a max player.
With 99.9 percent certainty, he is not leaving the Golden State Warriors, if you talk to other teams around the league.
Still, when he heads to his hometown of Charlotte and a few other spots, he’s going to be asked about it. The topic came up on Tuesday, the first day of Warriors training camp practices, and Curry tried to shoot the idea of him leaving down. Here is the exchange, via Anthony Slater of the San Jose Mercury News.
Are you optimistic about your chances of coming back next offseason?
“Yes,” Curry said.
Kevin faced this a ton last year in almost every city he went. Are you gonna talk to him at all about that, how he handled it?
“Maybe,” Curry said. “But I’m not gonna let it distract me at all. I want to be back here. I like playing here. And that’s it. The rest of it is about what we’re gonna do this year.”
There are a lot of teams hoarding cap space and planning to make a run at free agents next summer, but no teams are setting their sights on Curry as happened with Durant. Where there was a sense around the league Durant wanted to look at his options and could be swayed, that is not the sense with Curry. He’s not going anywhere.
Maybe Curry plays the final couple years of his career back in his hometown of Charlotte, where his father played, but that’s a long ways off. At midnight July 1 next summer the Warriors will offer Curry a five-year max contract, he will sign it, and nothing will change in the Bay Area.
LeBron James has Chris Bosh’s back, says he was “surprised” by Heat’s move
Chris Bosh wants to prove he can still play, something he reiterated Tuesday in his latest video for The Uninterrupted. “I feel right now that I can still play at that level,” Bosh said in the video.
When asked where he stood on this impasse, former Heat star and Bosh teammate LeBron James had Bosh’s back. Here is his quote, via Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.
“I stand behind my brother Chris,” he said. “The most important thing is his health. Whatever decision he wants to do, I’m all for it. I support him in every way, shape and facet. It’s a difficult situation for him. I was pretty surprised to hear that the team was just done with him, for them to come out and say that. But it’s not like I’ve been there to know exactly what’s gone on. I’ve only seen it from the exterior. I wish the best for him, he has my support.”
Not sure what else LeBron would say, other than to have his friend’s back.
The resolution to Bosh’s situation is a long way off. The Heat will not play him, he will not retire, and no team is going to give up good players in a trade for a $75.8 million contract where the player may never set foot on the court again. There is going to be some kind of negotiated deal, likely with the league and players’ union pitching in. Nobody is sure yet what that deal will look like, however.