If you expected the two-time defending champions to just roll over down 3-1 to the Spurs heading into Game 5 Sunday night, well, I’m not sure what team you’ve been watching the last two years. They often need their backs against the walls for motivation.
Chris Bosh wouldn’t go the full Joe Namath and guarantee a win in Game 5 Sunday night, but he came about as close as you can expect speaking to Sekou Smith of NBA.com’s Hangtime Blog.
“We’re not going down,” he said. “So we’re going to win this game tonight … plain and simple we’re going to win this game….
“I don’t care about any guarantees we’re just going to win this game,” Bosh said. “Take it how you want it.”
What else do you expect him to say? “We plan on getting thrashed just like the last two games, we expect this will be over by halftime?”
The Heat are a proud team and one the Spurs had two games to eliminate last season and couldn’t do it. It will be three games this year and the way the teams are playing it feels like a longer shot, still you have to expect they will put up a fight in Game 5.
We’ll see if that’s enough.
Everything LeBron James does and says gets magnified and scrutinized.
So when he put out this photo on Instagram standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan Thompson and the caption “get it done” it seemed a message to the Cavaliers.
LeBron clarified that on Sunday, saying this has become a distraction, and the message was for both sides to bend, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer.
When Thompson didn’t sign the qualifying offer he surrendered a lot of leverage, the Cavaliers don’t have to raise their five-year, $80 million offer — but reportedly they still would, a little. Thompson and his agent Rich Paul have pushed for a max contract, but that’s not happening.
At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.
The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.
China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.
China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.
Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.
This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.
The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.