Boston would like to state for the record that they are not too old, are still a contender, and you should not mess with them

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In Boston’s 92-71 win over Miami on Sunday, the Celtics opened the game and took their will to live. Rajon Rondo decided from the outset to destroy the Heat and did so, slicing in-between and through the Heat. There’s a lot to be said about Miami’s effort, cohesion, and generally disturbing level of terribleness. But let’s talk about Boston.

The Celtics put up a 100 efficiency against one of the better offenses in the league, and in the third quarter posted a 127 offensive efficiency and, wait for it… held Miami to a 50.5 offensive efficiency. That’s horrific. That’s terrible. That’s terrible in every way for Miami. And it’s how Boston ripped them apart.

Boston was phenomenal in its execution, finding open spots consistently. They targeted Joel Anthony early and often, relying on his inability to rotate effectively to get to the rim. Rondo found teammates open on the perimeter, open underneath, open cutting to the lane. It was a massacre.

Is Boston saved? Is this the team that will be there in the playoffs? Can they make one more run with the Big 3?

It’s a tall task. They had everything go for them Sunday, and everything fall apart for Miami. This was their finest performance of the season, and this was without Ray Allen and Mickael Pietrus. But there will be questions about their effectiveness in the playoffs. Remember, there will back-to-back games in the playoffs and on those old legs, it might be an issue. But what Sunday says is that Boston can do what they need to in order to find their confidence. In reality, they need to believe they are better than they are. That’s when Boston’s dominant. They have to convince themselves they have an edge over whoever they’re playing, regardless of who the more talented team is.

Boston was talked about as done, that they needed to blow it up. One game doesn’t change the concerns, and they could very well go on a three-game losing streak now.

But one thing is certain. As opposed to Miami, Boston shows up when it needs to. If they’re going out, they’re going out tying.

(Statistical support provided by NBA.com.)

LeBron James passes Kareem to become all-time leader in playoff made field goals

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LeBron James is already the NBA’s all-time leading playoff scorer, having passed Michael Jordan last postseason.

However, LeBron racked up his buckets in the era of the three-point shot (as did Jordan, to a lesser extent), so Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the all-time leader in field goals made in the postseason. A lot of them beautiful skyhooks that still give Celtics fans nightmares.

Monday night, LeBron made history passing Abdul-Jabar for the top spot in NBA playoff made field goals.

Just add that to the already insane resume.

Kevin Love with insane touchdown outlet to LeBron James for bucket

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Not sure what part of this was better.

Was it Kevin Love‘s length-of-the-court outlet touchdown pass that was right on the money, where only the receiver could get it?

Or was it LeBron James, with a catch in a crowd that would make Julio Jones’ draw drop?

Either way, this first quarter bucket from the Cavaliers may well be the play of the game.

Spurs disbanding all-female dance team in favor of co-ed hype team

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Is this the wave of the future?

Since then newly-minted owner Jerry Buss started the Laker Girls’ in 1979, all-female dance teams have become standard around the NBA. However, with how things are now viewed through the prism of the #metoo movement, and reports on how NFL cheerleaders were treated in places such as Washington and Miami, a lot of professional sports teams are re-thinking the concept of female dance teams.

The Spurs are apparently doing away with theirs, to be replaced by a 35-person co-ed “hype team.”

The Spurs have not said officially that this is the end of the Silver Dancers. “Lack of interest” is an odd reason to give — is there suddenly less interest now than there was five years ago? A number of teams have both female dance teams and co-ed “spirit” or “hype” teams.

Far more likely, this is about perception in what is a conservative state and marketplace.

The question is will this become a trend, both around the NBA and professional sports. As the teams try to evolve and make more dynamic their in-arena experiences, are the dance teams going to fade from view?

Just something to keep and eye on going forward.

Just a reminder: Spurs hope to repair relationship with Kawhi Leonard, offer-him $219 million

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It’s everyone’s favorite parlor game around the NBA: Where will Kawhi Leonard play next season? Philadelphia? Los Angeles? Somewhere else? Fans of 29 teams are posting their trade scenarios online, while GMs of 29 teams privately have tried to come up with offers that could tempt San Antonio.

The most likely answer: San Antonio.

While the relationship between Leonard and the Spurs is frayed — and with the people close to Leonard and in his ear seemingly trying to push him out the door — the Spurs would rather keep one of the five best players in the NBA (when healthy) in-house. From Tom Osbourne of the San Antonio Express-News.

Still, the Spurs hope to meet with Leonard and his representatives soon in a bid to mend fences and pave the way for Leonard to come to terms on a five-year $219 million supermax contract that he will be eligible to receive starting July 1. If attempts to patch up the relationship fail, the Spurs will be forced to explore trading a player coach Gregg Popovich once labeled “the future face of the franchise.”

The timing of that meeting has been slowed in part because of the death of Popovich’s wife and everyone involved understandably giving him all the space wants. It will happen.

Can the relationship be salvaged? Maybe, $219 million can mend a lot of fences. There are things the Spurs can and would be willing to do to promote Leonard more (although that all starts with him getting out of his comfort zone and building his brand, starting with speaking more in public). Also, Gregg Popovich was able to sooth LaMarcus Aldridge‘s ego when the big man demanded a trade, and not only did the player stay he had an All-NBA level season. Popovich and Leonard still have a strong relationship.

Is that enough? Time will tell, but people around the league think at best it’s a coin flip. Things are not good right now. However, the Spurs will get the first crack at fixing this before they are forced to consider a trade.