Heat do not regress against Grizzlies, instead pulverize Memphis into oblivion

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Sure, the Heat beat the Lakers on Thursday. But that was a desperation win for a team that was trying to stop the hemorrhage. Surely in their next game against Memphis, they would revert to the shaky, unreliable, fourth-quarter collapsing squad that has seemed so out of sync since the All-Star break, right?

If anyone caught the license number of that helicopter tank with jet engines, please let the Grizzlies know.

They say stats don’t tell you everything. And that’s very true. But see what these numbers tell you about the Heat versus the Grizzlies.

Dwyane Wade: 28 points on 9-15 shooting, 5 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 steals, 5 blocks. Two steals shy of a 5X5 that he probably would have gotten had he stayed in the game to finish it.

LeBron James: 27 points on 10-16 shooting, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks.

Chris Bosh: 18 points on 7-11 shooting.

Miami Big 3: 73 points

Grizzlies’ top five scorers: 63 points

eFG% (shooting factoring three-pointers weighted) Miami 66.7% Memphis 39.9%

It was an epic beatdown. The Grizzlies were without Rudy Gay, but unless Michael Jordan, fresh out of Bill and Ted’s phonebooth in 1993 was stepping onto the floor, it wouldn’t have mattered. The Grizzlies looked totally overmatched and you couldn’t really blame them considering how the Heat played. All the hype Miami was given in the preseason? It was in anticipation of days like this. Wade and James were locked into one another on the floor, Bosh was aggressive in the elbow post, and even Mike Bibby was dropping 3-pointers. It was a beatdown of epic proportions. The final doesn’t really reveal how lopsided this game was, and the final score was 118-85 for crying out loud.

Memphis is no great team, they’re not in Boston or Chicago’s league. But they’re a playoff team (at the moment), who have played pretty well this season and beat the Heat earlier this season (when the Heat were without Wade). Even without Rudy Gay, the Grizzlies have notched wins in the last week against Dallas and Oklahoma City. But against a motivated, locked in, and suddenly surging Heat team, they stood no chance. Maybe Miami will go back to their discombobulated ways of ISO’s and jump-passes. But if they don’t, ye Gods.

In closing, Jamal Magloire scored. That is all.

John Oliver roasts Dwight Howard in monologue on trade (video)

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Mocking Dwight Howard‘s frequent team changes has become commonplace around the NBA.

It even has crossover appeal.

On “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver opened his monologue on President Donald Trump’s trade war with a few jokes at Howard’s expense. Suffice to say, Oliver doesn’t believe Howard will transform with the Wizards.

(warning: rest of Oliver’s speech contains not-safe-for-work language)

Paul Pierce: I played all 82 games after stabbing to cope with depression

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Paul Pierce was stabbed 11 times at a Boston nightclub on Sept. 25, 2000. He suffered a collapse lung and underwent emergency surgery. But Pierce famously played all 82 of the Celtics’ games that season. That feat was seen as a testament to his resolve.

Really, it was a coping mechanism .

Jackie MacMullan of ESPN:

Long after he was released from the hospital, Pierce remained nervous, jittery, anxious. He couldn’t sleep. The Celtics urged him to seek counseling, but he waved them off. “I thought, ‘I can do this myself,'” Pierce recalls. “I didn’t want anybody else in my business.”

But as the weeks dragged on, moving around in public spaces became almost unbearable for Pierce. The trauma of the event had stripped him of his confidence. His anxiety spiked while dining at Morton’s restaurant in Boston just a few months after the stabbing, when the manager approached him with a house phone and said a friend was insistent on speaking with Pierce. He picked up the receiver, and a menacing voice sneered, “I’m going to kill you.”

“So now I’m really paranoid,” Pierce says. “I don’t want to go anywhere. The police sat in the front of my house for months. I was a mess.

“I think that’s the reason I got back on the court so fast. Me sitting at home thinking about [the stabbing] didn’t work. I went to every practice, sat on the sideline for hours, because that’s where I felt safe. I didn’t want those practices to end because then I had to go back out there in this world that really scared me.”

“I should have opened up earlier than I did,” Pierce admits. “It was eating me alive. Once I finally started talking to a family member, it helped me.

“I realized, ‘I should have done this sooner.’ I would tell everyone to get the help they need. My depression was bad — really bad. I never want to feel that way again.”

This is one small excerpt of MacMullan’s incredible piece on mental health in the NBA. I highly recommend reading it in full.

Report: Rockets signing Bruno Caboclo

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When the Raptors drafted Bruno Caboclo with the No. 20 pick in the 2014 draft, Fran Fraschilla famously declared, “He’s two years away from being two years away.”

If Caboclo is on that timeline, he’ll emerge with the Rockets.

Chris Haynes of ESPN:

This is a one-year minimum-salary contract Houston can convert in a two-way deal. It could also include a bonus of $5,000-$50,000 if the Rockets waive him and assign him to their minor-league affiliate.

Caboclo washed out in Toronto and still struggled when receiving more – though still little – playing time with the Kings late last season. Attitude issues with the Brazilian national team don’t engender confidence, either.

But Caboclo is still just 22 and possesses the athletic tools that made him intriguing in the first place. He’s a longshot, but it’s too soon to give up on him completely.

Bucks GM: Brook Lopez, Ersan Ilyasova “really fit way” Budenholzer wants to play

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The Milwaukee Bucks got 24.7 percent of their offense from three last season, the third-lowest percentage in the NBA. They were 25th in the NBA in three pointers attempted last season and 22nd in three-point percentage.

That will change with Mike Budenholzer as coach.

Budenholzer, however, cannot shoot threes himself, so GM Jon Horst went out and got big men who can space the floor for Milwaukee: Brook Lopez and Ersan Ilyasova. Horst talked about it to the Bucks network at Summer League (in an interview they just posted Sunday):

What’s important is Horst saying this is a team built around Giannis Antetokounmpo and his slashing skill set — teams that just pack the paint to cut off his drives will now face bigs who will make them pay from beyond the arc. The team, as a whole, will be unleashed to play faster, shoot more threes, and Budenholzer also will bring an improved defensive system.

It looks like a big three in the East this season — Boston, Toronto, and Philadelphia — but Milwaukee could be the surprise team to crash the party. They have the top five talent in the Greek Freak, quality players around him such as Eric Bledsoe and Kris Middleton, and now more depth and shooting. Put all that in a new system with a better Xs and Os coach and… it’s something to watch.