Author: Kurt Helin

Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade

Report: Heat trying to add shooting guard, another big but for veteran minimum


Right now, the Heat have the older, coming-off-injury Danny Granger backing up the older, his knees still bother him Dwyane Wade at the two guard spot (after that comes Reggie Williams I guess).

Right now the big man rotation for the Heat is likely Josh McRoberts and Chris Bosh starting with Udonis Haslem and Chris Andersen coming off the bench.

Understandably, Miami might want to add a little depth along those spots, something reported by Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Of course, the only problem is the money.

The Heat is serious about adding another shooting guard and a big man if it can find two good ones willing to take the veteran’s minimum. After recently working out Jordan Hamilton (who signed with Toronto) and Chris Douglas-Roberts, the Heat also has inquired about Leandro Barbosa and Jordan Crawford, who both hold appeal to Miami.

Among power rotation players, the Heat has shown interest in Emeka Okafor and has considered Ekpe Udoh. Preliminary inquiries were made on Andray Blatche and Jason Maxiell. Agent David Falk said he talked to the Heat about Elton Brand but that Brand is unlikely to end up here.

When you pick up a veteran minimum player at this point in the summer, you mostly get what you are paying for. Teams try to find a guy who maybe is poised for a bit of a bounce-back year and roll the dice, but the bottom line is most of the quality guys are off the board. And to add to the fun, most of the veterans still on the board are convinced they are worth more than the minimum they are being offered.

The Heat have a rotation that should solidly land them in the playoffs in the East — with Wade, Bosh and the addition of Luol Deng they can keep playing the small ball, space-and-pace system they have the last few years. It’s not going to be the same, but it can win games because they still have some talent. Don’t see them lasting long in the postseason, but they should comfortably make it.

But they sure could use a little more depth.

Report: Derrick Rose does have knee pain (but it’s too early to worry about)

Derrick Rose, Anderson Varejao, Raulzinho Neto

You cannot push all the way back from knee surgery without having pain. Does not happen. It’s not even supposed to happen.

Derrick Rose has sat out the last couple days of Team USA practice and will not start the exhibition game Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden against the Dominican Republic in what USA Basketball had called a precautionary move.

But’s Nick Friedell (among others) heard Rose does have some knee pain, something passed along by Marc Stein of ESPN.

A source familiar with Rose’s condition told’s Nick Friedell that Rose has been bothered by knee soreness since his return to the floor Saturday night in an exhibition victory over Brazil in Chicago and requested the extra time to recover. But Team USA officials, to this point, have downplayed concerns about Rose’s status.

The fact that Rose missed a second consecutive workout is bound to worry some Bulls fans back in Chicago, given the star guard’s knee problems over the past two seasons, but Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski actually revealed in a radio interview Monday with ESPN’s “Mike and Mike” that he was planning to hold Rose out of practice for the first two days of the week.

This takes us back to the first sentence of this post: You cannot push all the way back from knee surgery without having pain.

Rose has to push through this now rather than in the marathon grind of the regular season. Team USA is a great setting for him to push his body because there isn’t going to be a huge load on him in terms of minutes or carrying a scoring burden (and he’s looked fantastic on the court, a bit rusty but a lot like his vintage self). Team USA team is stacked at the guard spot, Rose just has to be Rose when he is on the court.

I get why Bulls fans may be skeptical of Rose. There are some just ripping him, those people are fools. But a little concern about the knees is legit.

Look at it this way: He sat out two summer practices and will not start a meaningless summer exhibition. And you’re going to get worked up over that?

It’s far, far too early for any of that.

Kobe Bryant says he will not be same player as before, says he’s evolved into something equally good

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant is on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week, admitting he’s old in basketball terms. He knows he put some hard miles on that body.

He also knows he’s coming off the kinds of injuries that can dramatically slow if not end a career — a ruptured Achilles two seasons ago, then a knee injury last year.

But his game has evolved over the years, from the explosive young Kobe of the Shaq era who could pretty much get to the rim and dunk at will, to the guy with the fantastic post moves and studied game of the last few years.

Now he says its time to evolve again in the article written by Chris Ballard of Sports Illustrated.

“So when I hear pundits and people talk, saying, ‘Well, he won’t be what he was.’ Know what? You’re right. I won’t be. But just because something evolves, it doesn’t make it any less better than it was before,” Bryant said.

Vintage Bryant. Use the doubters and naysayers to fuel you. Back when he didn’t have many doubters he’d create straw men to get angry about as fuel (Jordan did the same thing).

But now Kobe has plenty of doubters. Ones who question how good he can be. Ones who question how good the Lakers can be (I’m in this group). Ones writing off him and his team.

If he proves us wrong, it wouldn’t be the first time.

Stephen Curry says he, Klay Thompson would be best NBA Jam duo in NBA

Oklahoma City Thunder v Golden State Warriors

Stephen Curry is wrong.

I just had to start there. In an NBA Jam face-off of duos from current NBA teams, Curry and Klay Thompson would not win. They’d be good, maybe top four, but not win. I get he’s going to pick himself, but he’s wrong.

In a fun little Bleacher Report video segment Curry picked the Splash Brothers to beat LeBron James and Kyrie Irving in the NBA Jam face-off.

This is a pretty fun little game to play come summer. Here’s how I would rank the top five NBA Jam duos on current teams.

1. Kevin Durant/Russell Westbrook
2. LeBron James/Kyrie Irving
3. Blake Griffin/Chris Paul
4. Stephen Curry/Klay Thompson
5. Derrick Rose/Joakim Noah

Dirk Nowtizki with Monta Ellis would be the sleeper there (because Nowitzki would be a force). But Durant and Westbrook would be unstoppable on offense — there would just be a loop of the announcer saying “He’s on fire” and “Boom-shakalaka!”

Hat tip to The Big Lead.

Matt Bonner goes new car shopping, chooses Chevy

Matt Bonner

Talk to the Spurs’ Matt Bonner for just a few minutes and if you picture him in a car it will likely be a classic American convertible, say a 1966 Pontiac GTO. He’d be cruising top-down through America finding the best sandwich shops anywhere.

Turns out what Bonner had been driving is a 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix. And it died.

So it was time to do some new car shopping, and because it’s August the San Antonio Express-News decided to find out what he got and write about it. And because it’s August I’ll pass the answer along — a 2014 Chevy Impala.

“Love it,” he said. “It’s completely remodeled. It’s American-made. You have to stay true to your roots, right? I tried an Audi. I tried an Infiniti. I looked into a BMW, some of the higher-end stuff. It just didn’t feel like me.

“The leg room is far superior, which is basically No. 1. No. 2, it has over 300 horse power, which is plenty for me. And it still gets 29 MPGs, which is pretty good for a mid-size model. It had all the same technology packages. It has ventilated seats. It’s very luxurious.”

As someone who in the last year purchased an American made car after not being sure I’d do that again (Ford Fusion hybrid, if you care), I am with Bonner here. I tried other models in the class but the feel and technology of the American car won me over.

Although since it’s a new car Bonner may not want to eat those sandwiches in the car, potentially staining the luxurious ventilated seats.