Author: Kurt Helin

Miami Heat v Atlanta Hawks

Chris Bosh says championship pressure part of reason he didn’t pick Houston


There were a lot of factors that went into Chris Bosh choosing to stay in Miami rather than joining James Harden and Dwight Howard in Houston. At the top of the list is money — Miami could offer one more guaranteed year and nearly $30 million more guaranteed dollars than Houston. That’s a lot of scratch. Plus, after living four years in Miami and loving the lifestyle of the city, he wasn’t eager to leave that behind, even to return to his home state of Texas.

But there was also pressure.

In Miami Bosh has the pressure of being the first offensive option on what will be a pretty good but not contending team. But there’s a different pressure that comes with forming a big three to contend for titles, which is what there would have been in Houston, and Bosh had been down that road before. And he wasn’t that eager to return to it, he told Ken Berger of

“I could see where people would think that’s an attractive site,” Bosh told, speaking of Houston, where half the NBA expected him to land back in July. “They were trying to win right away. And I was really happy to be touted that I possibly could’ve been out there. But you know, that doesn’t guarantee anything, and I know that. All that guarantees is a bunch of pressure.”

Some of you will shortsightedly slam Bosh in the comments but know this:

Bosh did the same thing LeBron James did — he made the best decision for himself.

Bosh enjoyed the winning with LeBron but there were things he didn’t enjoy — nobody sacrificed more of their game, nobody altered their game more to fit with LeBron. Bosh moved out of the post and on to the perimeter, he learned to shoot the three and become almost a stretch five to open driving lanes for LeBron and give him a dangerous weapon on kickouts. He gave up a lot of touches. For casual fans Bosh was seen as a third wheel, not the key to the Miami defense (he’s one of the best pick-and-roll defending bigs in the game) and a key to making their offense work.

If he went to Houston, it would have been much of the same. Howard is in the post, forcing Bosh to be a stretch four. Harden is the guy with the ball in his hands. Bosh is back to being option No. 3 on a team that would have been anointed as the most legit threat to the Spurs in the West. It wouldn’t have had all the crazy hype Miami had because, well, LeBron, but there would have been a lot of it.

Bosh got what he wanted — $30 million more, to stay in a city he loves, and he’s the focal point of the offense now (although he’s still getting a lot of touches out on the perimeter). Not wanting the pressure may have been part of his decision making process, but it wasn’t at the heart of it.

And I’d like to meet the person who knocks his decision and would walk away from $30 million personally.

Dallas’ Raymond Felton healthy, so now he starts four-game suspension

Raymond Felton
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Raymond Felton is finally healthy this season after missing the first few weeks trying to get over a high ankle sprain.

That didn’t mean he suited up and played for Dallas against Charlotte. It just means that his suspension started, the team announced.

Felton was suspended four games by the league over the summer after he pled guilty to attempted criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a firearm, as well as knowingly having a large-capacity ammunition magazine and a pistol that was unlicensed. It all started back when he was a Knick and the police were brought in after he allegedly pointed a gun at his estranged wife. He sentenced to 500 hours of community service and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.

Felton will be eligible to play Nov. 24 against the Pacers.

How many he minutes he gets remains to be seen, the Mavs have a log jam at the point. Jameer Nelson starts (next to Monta Ellis, who has the ball in his hands plenty), then there is Devin Harris (who tweaked his ankle against Boston) and J.J. Barea. We’ll see where Felton squeezes into that rotation, but whatever it is his role will be limited.

Suns’ P.J. Tucker suspended Monday by team after missing team bus

P.J. Tucker, Spencer Hawes
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P.J. Tucker’s production has slipped this young season in Phoenix — he is coming off the bench and giving them 6.6 points and 5.6 rebounds a night — but they still count on him for better than 25 minutes a night of physical, veteran play.

Except they didn’t have him Monday night in Boston.

He was suspended for a violation of team rules and was inactive for the game, although Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic has the details.

It ended up not mattering as the Suns got the win behind a big night from brothers Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris: 43 points on 29 shots, plus 12 rebounds, 12 assists, and 5 steals. With Tucker out rookie T.J. Warren got his first meaningful run and was 3-of-5 shooting and hit a key three in the fourth quarter. He looked like a guy who should see the floor more.

PBT’s Monday Night NBA Winners/Losers: Memphis stakes claim to being best in NBA

Detroit Pistons v Memphis Grizzlie

Every night the NBA can be a cold hard reality — there are winners, there are losers. It’s the nature of the game. We know you are busy and can’t keep up with every game, so we’re here to bring you the best and worst of the NBA each week night. Here’s what you missed while wondering why seals have sex with penguins (well, it was 2 a.m. and nobody else was in the bar)….

source:  Memphis Grizzlies. Houston had not looked good the last couple games (the Rockets scored 69 points against the Thunder) yet they squeaked by with wins and had a 9-1 record heading into Monday night’s showdown. However, play poorly against 9-1 Memphis and they embarrass you — which is what happened. Memphis jumped out to a 34-16 lead after one quarter, helped by the Rockets 15 first half turnovers, and never took their foot off the gas. The Grizzlies have one of the best defenses in the NBA and they clamped down, holding the Rockets to 8-of-34 shooting from three and an offensive rating of 94.7 points per 100 possessions. Meanwhile Memphis shared the rock — seven guys in double figures and they shot 53.5 percent as a team. It’s early in the season, but he Grizzlies showed they are the best team in the NBA 10 games into the season.

source:  Anthony Davis. He is a beast. And he continues to show it nightly He went against Portland’s strong front line and had 31 points on 20 shots, pulled down 11 rebounds, blocked three shots and was generally one of the top five players in the NBA. He had the Pelicans in position to pick up a key win on the road until…

source:  Tyreke Evans/Jrue Holiday. These guys suddenly forgot it might be a good idea to run the offense through Anthony Davis and as a result Portland got the win. In the final 6:30 of the game Holiday was 0-of-7, while Evans was 0-4. Davis? He got just one shot (until he took a desperation three on a rebound in the lat 30 seconds). Evans and Holiday were 10-of-37 on the night, and when you throw in a 1-of-5 night from Austin Rivers it got worse from the guards. Run the offense through the best player on your team in crunch time guys. It’s pretty simple.

source:  Morris twins. Goran Dragic had the key plays late, but the Suns were in it because Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris combined for 43 points on 19-of-29 shooting. The Suns owned the Celtics in the first half behind 23 points, 6 boards, and 6 assists from the twins. Markieff led the way with 30 points, seven rebounds and even four steels, looking like the guy who got consideration for Sixth Man of the Year last season. Good road win for Philly.

source:  Los Angeles Clippers. No Derrick Rose. No Pau Gasol. Yet it was the Bulls went on a 51-18 run from late in the second quarter through the start of the fourth to take control of the game. The Bulls have an identity, they know who they are and they play hard in that system regardless of who puts on the uniform and suits up. Which is pretty much the opposite of the Clippers. The biggest problem remains L.A.’s perimeter defense — when Jamal Crawford and J.J. Redick were on the court together Jimmy Butler morphed into Jimmy Buckets and was just making plays to the tune of 22 points and 8 assists. It forced Doc Rivers to put Matt Barnes back in late in the fourth and sacrifice shooting. However, the Clippers problems go beyond just that — there is a clear chemistry issue on this team, guys are not playing hard, their defensive rotations are slow and there are going to be more ugly losses as long as that continues.

Heat’s Shabazz Napier spins Kevin Garnett, Deron Williams around; James Ennis dunks (VIDEO)

Milwaukee Bucks v Miami Heat

Miami’s rookies are fun. They have a ways to go to become steady NBA players, but man are they fun.

First up, Shabazz Napier puts Kevin Garnett and Deron Williams in the blender and spins them around.

Then there is my guy James Ennis — Long Beach State in the house — reminding us why he might get a Dunk Contest invite.