Shaquille O’Neal will be back in Game 3 for Boston.
Probably for about 10 minutes, 15 tops. There are questions about how effective he can be as he has not really played since January. And the Heat have said when he is on the floor they are going to try to run on everything because they don’t think he can keep up.
In a best-case scenario for Boston, for around a quarter of the game Shaq’s offense can make the Heat pay for their small lineup with Joel Anthony at center.
That is not enough.
Boston is going to need to get a great game out of Rajon Rondo, which in part means they need to get more out of the pick-and-roll. Miami has backed off that play, given Rondo room and he has not made them pay with either a jumper or a drive that leads to an assist. It has to. Also, the Paul Pierce with Garnett pick-and-roll has led to nothing either (except Heat defensive traps and some poor ball movement by Boston). That has to change.
And that aggressive (except on Rondo) pick and roll defense has been key for the Heat, if they can keep it up they can win in Boston. But will the Celtics feel more comfortable and will the shots fall for them in the Garden?
Boston also needs Kevin Garnett to do more than play Chris Bosh to a standstill. If one team can win that battle, they will have a huge advantage.
Boston is going to need a complete game from all their key players — they are not the more athletic team in this series and so far their veteran savvy has not made up for it. Starting today it will or Boston will join the Lakers on playoffs death row.
Nets GM Sean Marks gets suspended for going into ref’s locker room after Game 4
Emotions are high as the playoffs move into the second week. Things got a little testy between the Brooklyn Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night as Jared Dudley got in the face of Joel Embiid after the Sixers big man committed a hard foul on Jared Allen.
That caused Ben Simmons and Jimmy Butler to respond to Dudley, who overreacted to a good, hard playoff foul by Embiid. The result of the fracas was an ejection for Butler and Dudley, and a flagrant 1 on embiid.
But apparently that’s not the end of the disciplinary process for the NBA.
Nets general manager Sean Marks went into the officials locker room after the game — no doubt to discuss what happened here — which is a big problem in the eyes of the league.
According to a release by the NBA, Marks has been suspended for one game without pay and has been fined $25,000.
Marks will be suspended for Game 5 between these two teams on April 23rd.
The playoffs are high-stakes, but Embiid blocking the crap out of somebody shouldn’t result in someone going crazy like Dudley did.
Philadelphia beat the Nets, 112-108.
Everyone’s hero is dad who pulls son away from Nets/76ers fracas (VIDEO)
You set up a bonding experience with your son or daughter, one you hope will leave an impression on them and create a memory that will last a lifetime… for example, you get courtside seats, just behind the basket, for one of the first NBA playoff games in Brooklyn, ever.
Then everything hits the fan.
Joel Embiid commits a flagrant foul on Jarrett Allen, Jared Dudley rushes in and shoves Embiid to stand up for his teammate, Jimmy Butler runs in to shove Dudley on the same premise, and suddenly there is a wave of large professional athletes about to trample you and your son. So, you grab him, move onto the court, and get out of the way.
There were two fathers with the same thought, one on either side of the fracas that spills into the first row.
Unable to find a new NBA contract for this season, Andrew Bogut went home. The Australia native signed to play for the Sydney Kings in Australia’s NBL, where Bogut ended up being the league MVP and Defensive Player of the Year, leading the Kings on a deep playoff run.
When that run ended, the Golden State Warriors came calling, asking him to fill a role — a role that got much larger after DeMarcus Cousins tore his quad. Bogut has played well for the Warriors in the postseason, and there is a good chance Cousins will not be back in Golden State (the Warriors can only offer him a small raise off what he made this season, that likely will not be enough, even after the injury), so the Warriors may try to retain Bogut for next season.
“The be all and end all is that I gave my word (to the Kings)… That is basically what it comes down to…
“Someone outside of the Warriors could offer me a deal that would be pretty lucrative and a decent one-year deal, but I’m sold and locked in on coming to the Sydney Kings again to try and better what we did last season.”
Saying you’ll walk away from a lot of money and actually doing it are two different things, but Bogut is a man who stands by his word. He probably returns to Sydney for next season.
When that season ends, however, don’t be shocked to see Bogut back somewhere in the NBA helping a team make a playoff run.
Joel Embiid calls Jared Dudley “a nobody” (but NBA Twitter shows Dudley love)
Jared Dudley has been in the face of the Philadelphia 76ers all series.
He was the guy who said Ben Simmons was “average” in the halfcourt (which echoed every scouting report on Simmons ever), prompting Simmons to respond, “It’s coming from Jared Dudley. C’mon.” The feud between the Sixers and Dudley was brewing.