LeBron James is slated to meet with Pat Riley this week, and if you’re a Heat fan living and dying with every development, there’s a big difference between today and Friday.
Heck, if you’re fan of any NBA team and you just want to see free agency get moving, you have an interest in that meeting occurring sooner rather than later. So many teams and agents won’t proceed until LeBron and Carmelo Anthony choose their landing spots.
Good news might be on the way for those in a hurry.
Riley can try selling LeBron on his two big signings – Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger. I have no idea how LeBron will react to those moves, but unless he reverses his stance on receiving a max contract, those two are likely Miami’s last major outside additions this offseason.
I’d guess this meeting will trigger one of two outcomes:
1. LeBron states an intention, publicly or privately, to re-sign with the Heat.
2. LeBron, after his agent laid the groundwork, will begin meeting personally with other suitors to hear their pitches.
A third possibility – a longer holding pattern – is possible, but I’d think LeBron has waited long enough for everything to shake out. I believe/hope this meeting with Riley will set wheels in motion – one way or another.
This sure didn’t look like just another game for Kevin Durant – and not only because the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since he left.
The 108-91 Oklahoma City victory didn’t look like just another game for Russell Westbrook (34 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals), either.
With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.
Emphasis on “almost.”
The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.
The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.
After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.
The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.
Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.
The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.