Author: Brett Pollakoff

Atlanta Hawks v Miami Heat

Michael Beasley fails to get a shot off in closing seconds of Heat’s two-point loss to Wizards (VIDEO)


It was a wild one in Washington on Friday.

The Miami Heat were extremely shorthanded, playing without Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng and Mario Chalmers, who were all out due to injury. Then Goran Dragic left in the third quarter with a back injury and would not return, further depleting the available talent on the roster.

The guys who were left managed to rally from a deficit of 35 points, and the game was within a single possession, with the Heat trailing by just two with the ball and 1.6 seconds left.

Then, this happened.

Somewhat inexplicably, Beasley put the ball on the floor rather than attempting a catch-and-shoot, and time expired before he could get a shot off.

Erik Spoelstra could only laugh in disbelief, and though the players consoled him afterward, Beasley knew that his error was critical.

From Joe Goodman of the Miami Herald:

Beasley confirmed after the game that he knew how much time was on the clock after the Heat came out of its timeout with a chance to win the game.

“That was just lack of experience,” said Beasley, who consulted with Wade after the game about the play. “I was just so anxious to get the last shot and do great for my team that I just had a brain cramp. That was my fault.”

To be fair, the Heat wouldn’t have had a chance at tying it at the buzzer if not for Beasley’s 13 fourth quarter points. But the mental aspect of the game continues to elude him, and the timing wasn’t great, as his current 10-day contract with the team is set to expire on Saturday.

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Stephen Curry fakes behind the back, delivers sick pass for open corner three (VIDEO)

Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry may or may not win the MVP award this season, because while he’s been the best player on one of the league’s best teams, the field is overly-crowded this year, with at least three other very worthy candidates.

But what’s not up for debate is this: Curry has been by far the most fun player to watch.

This highlight from Friday’s win over Dallas is just another that proves it.

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As Curry gets into the paint, he fakes a behind-the-back pass to momentarily distract his defender, before whipping one along the baseline for an open look at a corner three. The best part was Curry turning and running back down the court as soon as the pass was delivered, knowing all along exactly what was about to take place.

Anthony Davis finishes the half-court alley-oop over Celtics’ Tyler Zeller (VIDEO)

Anthony Davis, Dirk Nowitzki

It was only the opening moments of the game, but Anthony Davis was pumped nonetheless.

He went up high to convert the alley-oop throw-down from Quincy Pondexter, and seemed to take an extra bit of satisfaction from the fact that he was able to get up over Tyler Zeller to complete the acrobatic play.

Sixers’ Joel Embiid throws down between-the-legs dunk in warmups, remains sidelined

Indiana Pacers v Philadelphia 76ers

The Sixers have done nothing to disguise the fact that they’re primarily interested in putting the least amount of talent on the floor possible, in order to continue to acquire assets aimed at (presumably) improving the team’s fortunes in the not-too-distant future.

But when videos like this one emerge, it further hammers that point home.

Joel Embiid looks healthy enough in this warmup clip sent out by the team’s social media account, throwing down a dunk between his legs that would make any Philadelphia fan drool with anticipation.

But there’s no timetable for Embiid to make his initial on-court appearance, and with the Sixers trying to secure as many ping pong balls in this summer’s draft lottery as possible, there doesn’t appear to be any urgency on the part of the team to rush him onto the court for meaningful game action.

Jeanie Buss promises ‘changes’ if Lakers aren’t contenders again soon

Jeanie Buss

The Lakers are on the verge of missing the playoffs for the third straight season, which is something that has never happened at any time in the history of the franchise, which dates back to the 1948-49 season.

Jeanie Buss is the person in charge, and she promises that this aggression will not stand, man — and that “changes” will be made if the franchise is unable to find a way to turn things around.

From Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:

“I’ve been assured by our basketball operations that the team will be back in contention soon. If we are not meeting those goals, then changes have to occur,” Buss said in a recent interview with Los Angeles News Group in her office at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. “I have no reason not to believe them when they tell me that’s what they can deliver. I don’t see what would be holding them back.” …

And if not?

“Then we owe it to our shareholders, fans and partners that we have to move in a different direction to get this team back into contention,” Jeanie Buss said. “We made a commitment that we would operate the team the way Dr. Buss ran it.”

The problem, of course, is that Jeanie’s brother Jim is the one running things on the basketball operations side.

Jim Buss said he’d step down if a few seasons go by where the Lakers aren’t contenders, but given his relationship to the franchise, that’s easier said than done.

It’s only worth making a change if a qualified and suitable replacement can be secured; if there’s any question at all about a replacement candidate’s qualifications, it might be better for the team to do its best under the circumstances, and simply stay the course.