Indiana Pacers' Hibbert drives on Miami Heat's Bosh during Game 2 of their NBA Eastern Conference final basketball playoff in Miami

Chris Bosh apologizes to Heat

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Chris Bosh apologized to Heat teammates for his poor play against the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals, according to Tom Haberstroh of ESPN.

Bosh’s problems have shown most noticeably on offense – where he’s averaging just 11 points on 41 percent shooting – but I believe those issues are largely due to his defensive problem. Bosh (6-foot-11, 235 pounds) has been asked to bang inside with Roy Hibbert (7-foot-2, 280 pounds), and the Heat’s de facto center just can’t do it.

Via Haberstroh:

“It’s hard, it’s difficult,” Bosh said. “Everything you’re going to do in the postseason is difficult. And you’re going to be put in situations you don’t want to be in and you’re going to have to do things that you don’t want to do. It’s part of it, so you might as well get used to it, being miserable and really loving it.”

That quote wasn’t necessarily about Hibbert, but Bosh hasn’t hidden how difficult that challenge has been for him. By the time he exerts all his energy futilely trying to keep Hibbert from getting deep position in the post, Bosh has little left to give on offense.

Miami’s backup center, Chris Andersen, hasn’t fared any better guarding Hibbert. If Bosh can embrace the unpleasantness of this matchup, maybe he can contribute more in Game 7.

But really, the Heat management also ought to apologize to him for not having a viable Hibbert defender whom they trust to play.

Al Horford shows he still has hops dunking on Solomon Hill (VIDEO)

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That’s just nasty.

Atlanta’s Al Horford gets the ball out high, but within his range, so when he pump fakes Indiana’s Lavoy Allen goes flying by. That opens up the lane and Horford attacks it, Solomon Hill tries to cut him off, but Horford just finishes threw him.

Pacers and Hawks played an entertaining, close game Friday night.

Dwyane Wade shows he still has hops with dunk on Hornets (VIDEO)

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Dwyane Wade still has some springs.

In what may be his best dunk in recent memory, he shoulders Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to create space in transition, then gets up and throws it down before Nicolas Batum can get there for the block.

Not sure even Wade saw that one coming.

Reigning dunk champ LaVine: ‘I’ve got tricks up my sleeve’

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine is heading back to All-Star weekend to defend his slam dunk title. And he says he has “a few tricks up my sleeve” after dominating the event last year.

LaVine will compete against Detroit center Andre Drummond, Denver swingman Will Barton and Orlando forward Aaron Gordon in Toronto next weekend.

LaVine was one of the breakout stars of All-Star weekend last year with his electric performance in the dunk contest. He says he debated about coming back and made his decision after strong encouragement from his fans.

If LaVine wins, he will become the fourth player in the 31-year history of the event to repeat as champion. Michael Jordan, Jason Richardson and Nate Robinson are the others.

Report: Blake Griffin has second procedure on hand, timeline remains unchanged

Blake Griffin
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Blake Griffin will still return to the Clippers some time in March (barring any setbacks).

That said, he had a second procedure this week to repair the boxer’s fracture in his right hand, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

Clippers forward Blake Griffin underwent a second procedure this week on his broke right hand, sources told ESPN. The procedure was a part of the original surgery last week, so sources said the 4-6 week timeframe for his return remains unchanged.

This might help explain why Griffin’s hand looked so swollen and scarred this week. But to be clear, this was a planned second procedure, not a setback.

Griffin suffered the fracture punching a Clippers’ equipment manager while everyone was out to dinner in Toronto recently, while Griffin was still sidelined with a quadricep injury. The Clippers have moved on, but it is likely the league will tack on a couple of game suspension for Griffin upon his return to health.

And no, the Clippers are not looking to trade Griffin in spite of this. So stop asking.