Tag:Miami Heat
Posted on: February 22, 2012 12:22 am
 

Report Card: Pop gets an A, his team gets an F

Posted by Royce Young

Popovich made a smart move, but his team didn't back him up much. (Getty Images)

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.


Gregg Popovich
The Spurs got destroyed by the Blazers, 137-97. So an A for Popovich? What? Nobody keeps the big picture in mind better than Coach Pop. Even though the Spurs were working on an 11-game win streak, Popovich decided to sit both Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, essentially conceding the game to the Blazers. The Spurs were coming off a game the night before and have another tough one Thursday against the Nuggets before the All-Star break. By sitting Parker and Duncan, Popovich was buying his guys some much-needed rest at the back end of their rodeo road trip.
Dwyane Wade
The Kings looked to be game for the Heat early on, but behind Wade's 30 points (on 11-16 shooting), 10 assists and four rebounds, the Heat were able to pull away late.
Portland Trail Blazers
The Spurs brought their b-team to the Rose Garden Tuesday, but the blowout sure was impressive regardless. In starting for Raymond Felton, Jamal Crawford was brilliant and Felton was actually solid off the bench. A night after getting it handed to them in Los Angeles, the Blazers bounced back and put it on the Spurs, a team that had won 11 straight.
Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavs rallied from 17 down to come back and beat the Pistons. Not the craziest feat in the world and yeah, it was the Pistons but I continue to be intrigued by this young team. Kyrie Irving led the spark that did it finishing with 25 and any time a growing, evolving team can put these type of wins in their pocket, it means a little more than just having another tally in the win column.
Isaiah Thomas
The rookie point guard finished with 24 points and hit four 3s in the third quarter. Problem was, he didn't score in the fourth. Still, a nice game in a losing effort to one of the league's three best teams.
Detroit Pistons  They blew a 17-point lead to the Cavs and were outscored 35-22 in the fourth quarter. They wasted really nice games from Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight. In other words, just another night for the Pistons.
San Antonio Spurs
Yep, Popovich gets an A, but his team gets an F. Just because he made a smart move sitting Duncan and Parker doesn't mean the rest of the team is allowed to completely take a dump on the game.

E FOR EFFORT
Roy Hibbert (30 points on 11-for-17 shooting, 13 rebounds and three blocks in a win over the Hornets)
Antawn Jamison (32 points, 11-for-22 shooting and 10 rebounds in a win over the Pistons)
Greg Monroe (19 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in a loss to Cleveland)
Marc Gasol (15 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists in a win over Philadelphia)

Posted on: February 20, 2012 2:43 pm
 

Video: Lebron makes a kid cry

Posted by Royce Young



LeBron James has built a pretty solid reputation for dunking on children. Now he's taking it up a notch. He's just making them cry.

In the Heat's win over the Magic Sunday, LeBron tried to challenge a corner 3-pointer and ended up crashing into two young fans sitting in the first row. One of them, he hit hard enough to make him cry. LeBron went over at the next break and checked on the two little guys, who were both just fine.

But if either one of them sign up for a LeBron basketball camp in the near future, you know they're getting dunked on.
Category: NBA
Posted on: February 20, 2012 12:42 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2012 1:05 pm
 

Eye on Basketball Midseason Awards

LeBron James is having one of the best seasons of his career and is the midseason NBA MVP. (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore
 

The 2012 NBA All-Star break begins this week as this season continues to fly by on a shortened lockout schedule. Already we've seen an incredible year, even in the midst of some ugly, ugly, ugly basketball. The Heat look better than ever, the Bulls are still dominant through injury, the Sixers are impressively complete. The Dwight Howard saga drags on. The Lakers and Celtics are struggling to find their dominant gear. The Thunder are blistering offensively, the Timberwolves surprising and of course, Jeremy Lin, Jeremy Lin all the time. 

With that, here are the 2012 NBA Midseason Awards, based on where we stand on February 20th, 2012. 

Eastern Conference Most Valuable Player: LeBron James


When CBSSports.com's Gregg Doyel wrote that LeBron was different this year, he was spot-on. James has talked about how he spent the summer re-discovering his love of basketball, getting away from all the criticism, and getting back to the person he wants to be. He and the Heat have admitted that the resounding backlash to "The Decision" played a large part in their mental approach to last season. In short, James is not comfortable being bitter, angry, resentful. He's at his best when driven by a simple love of the game. That's the dichotomy with James. He is inarguably the single most arrogant and out-of-touch player in the Association, and yet he does possess a genuine love of basketball. It's always playing at his home. It's something he lights up when he gets to talk about instead of storylines. Basketball came easily to James athletically, but it's also something he works obsessively at. History teaches that you have to hate your opponent, have to be driven by anger and resentment. James is simply not built that way. In reality, he may be too goofy, too fun-loving to ever reach the kind of iconic play that is necessary to be considered one of the best, to have the killer instinct that so many criticize him for lacking, which he himself has admitted he may lack.

None of this changes the fact that there are only three things which can stop James from earning his third MVP this season, should he continue to play as he has for the first half of the year. The first is largely the same reason he failed to win it last season: vengeance. Voters showed their disapproval of James by not truly considering him for the award. Whether it was a distaste for the arrogance of James' approach to leaving Cleveland on national television, a disgust at the preseason championship comments at the presser with the smoke and fireworks, or disappointment with James seeking to team up with two great players instead of winning on his own (an element neither Carmelo Anthony nor Chris Paul have received criticism for), James was shut out, when by most measures, he simply played better than Derrick Rose. Rose was a phenomenal player last season and a wonderful story, well-worthy of the award. However, James was better. Those sentiments have cooled this season, but if voters decide to maintain their teeth-grinding disapproval of James, that could cost him. The second is simple injury. James has only missed a small handful of games, but that can always derail a player's path. And the third is the most likely impediment: minutes.

The Heat did not take the tactic of prioritizing homecourt last season. It wouldn't have mattered, the Bulls were simply better in every way during the course of the regular season. But the Heat were clearly more focused on being healthy for the playoffs than capturing homecourt. And it's likely to be the same this year. The Heat have managed to handle the compact schedule well, outside of some Dwyane Wade bumps and bruises as to be expected. But when March rolls around, this team will start looking for rest, and that means James could sit out several games. The Heat will happily trade in April wins, provided they have a top four seed, for rest. James could lose momentum in that case as he watches from the sideline and another worthy candidate pushes his way to the finish line.

What makes James worthy of the award this year? Pick one. The Heat are the best team in the East, and you may claim that Dwyane Wade is still the focal point of the offense, metrics be damned, and that's fine, but James' overall work on both ends of the floor still takes the notch. Without resorting to statistics, you see James take over games as if he's a one-man army. He's seemingly everywhere, interrupting passes, working in the post, snatching rebounds, blocking shots, lobbing to Wade, dishing to Chalmers, attacking the rim over and over again. It's awe-inspiring basketball. You don't need metrics to see he's the best player in the game this season. This is all factoring in the fact he's taken a step back defensively. He's turned it on the past five or six games, but this hasn't been a season of his usual defensive dominance... and he's still been this good overall.

But if you want them, they bear it out as well. James is enjoying a career high (tied) in points per 36 minutes, rebounds per game and 36 minutes, field goal percentage, True Shooting percentage (factoring 3-point shooting and free throws), and of course PER. The confusion with PER most often is that it somehow measures value, that it establishes how good a player is. Instead, it's just what it's defined as. Player Efficiency Rating. It establishes who produces the most per minute, considering how many possessions they use in doing so. And right now, James is doing the most of any player in history in that department.



So that's fun.

James may not win MVP this year, for a variety of reasons. But there is absolutely no question at this season's halfway mark, that he's the best player in the league, and most valuable.

Western Conference Most Valuable Player: Kevin Durant

If you prefer the classic mold of the MVP, AKA a scoring machine, Kevin Durant fits pretty well. He's a jump-shooter shooting 52 percent from the field. Think about that. The league average is 36 percent. Durant is hitting 15 more shots for every 100 attempts from the hardest place on the floor to knock them down. That's ridiculous. That's just absurd. He is the best pure-scoring machine in the league. Kobe Bryant may topple him for the scoring crown, but he'll need five to six more attempts to do so. The cherry on Durant's Sunday has to be his 51-point explosion Sunday night. He managed 51 points on 28 shots.

And really quietly, Durant's become an elite defender. He's allowing just 26 percent from the field in ISO situations according to Synergy Sports. Defense was a huge weakness in Durant's game over the past few seasons and he's really hit his stride this season. The Thunder aren't even that great defensively, Durant has just been individually incredible.

For him to catch James, he would need for the Thunder to continue their impressive winning percentage. He would need to top the league in scoring, and for his impressive uptick in rebounding rates to continue. It's a tall order, but there's no question he's within range. Durant has become the most impressive offensive force in the league.

He is 23 years of age.

Rookie of the Year: Kyrie Irving

Ricky Rubio is dazzling. He's a phenom. He changes the course of games and wows you with the eyes. No rookie has impressed more than Rubio, who has silenced all his critics, of which I was very much one, regarding his ability translate his game to the NBA level. Rubio is honestly poetry in motion, and the feel he has for the game is joy-inspiring more than awe-inspiring. It is such a fluid and spectacular range of abilities, it makes the Timberwolves so much fun to watch.

And Kyre Irving is a better player.

It's not really close.

Get past the fact that Irving has been shooting at historic levels, that his overall production is in line with some of the all-time greats in this league in their first years. Irving has a mastery of the game that Rubio does not, even after so many more years of playing professionally. Irving can run an offense more completely and calmly, and is a superb crunch time scorer (Rubio is brilliant in that area in his own right). But if you want numbers, it's simple. Rubio's a 38 percent shooter. Irving is a 48 percent shooter. You can talk about how you would prefer your point guard pass than score, but Irving's numbers are truncated by a lack of talent on the Cavaliers, while Rubio has Kevin Love, Michael Beasley (a scorer for all his faults), an emerging Nikolai Pekovic and Derrick Williams.

Rubio would be a fine choice. He's the most exciting rookie. Maybe even the most impactful rookie.

Kyrie Irving is the Rookie of the Year, halfway through. This one will be tight to the finish.

Defensive Player of the Year: Andre Iguodala

I know. It's always Dwight Howard! It has to be Dwight Howard! But here's the thing. Howard's effort hasn't been as consistent this season. Whether it's the trade talk, the lockout schedule effect, coaching, whatever, it hasn't been there. His rebound rate is there, it's the highest of his career. He actually is allowing fewer points per possession than he did last year, but if we consider the lockout effects on all shooting percentages, Howard has slipped from the 96th percentile to the 77th percentile in rank on points per possession. Howard is maybe the most impactful defensive player in the league. But his performance hasn't been worthy of the award this year.

Iguodala, on the other hand, is the star defender on the league's best defense (Philly is tops in defensive efficiency, points per 100 possessions), and is most often given the toughest assignment night in and night out in this league. He is tasked with stopping the best perimeter threat on offense each game, and in doing so, has limited opponents to 35 percent shooting. He is able to body up larger opponents, stick with smaller ones, switch, shift, deter, block, steal, cajole, harass and otherwise make his opponent's life miserable and has done so for the majority of the season.

A close second on this list is Luol Deng, who actually has better marks via Synergy. But a combination of Deng's missed time due to injury, and the Bulls' reliance on help defense under Tom Thibodeau's system barely, and I mean barely, gives Iguodala the edge here. Dwight Howard will wind up winning this award, but ask yourself, is it more difficult to shut down perimeter elite scorers in this league or to stop the awful, horrible batch of big men currently roaming the lanes?

6th Man of the Year: James Harden

Harden should be starting. By any and all accounts, he is a much better player than Thabo Seofolosha, or Daequan Cook, or whoever you want to start at two-guard for the best offense in the land. Harden should be the starter, he plays starters minutes, he finishes like a starter, he's close with the starters, he's a star in his own right. And yet, he's much better off the bench. He provides the Thunder with not only a scorer off the pine, but an offensive creator, maybe his best asset. Harden can run the offense, he facilitates, and can make a play go even off-ball. He's a capable if not excellent defender, and his decision making and effort is often times the difference in close wins and losses for OKC.

This award has been wrapped up for a good long time.

Coach of the Year: Doug Collins

The Philadelphia 76ers have the third seed in the East as of this writing, with signature wins over the Lakers, Bulls, Magic, and just about everyone not from South Beach. Doug Collins has managed to turn a team without a central star, without an Isolation scoring threat, without a dominant big man or an all-world point guard (no offense to the brilliant Jrue Holiday) into a powerhouse that overwhelms teams with defense, savvy, bench scoring, team play, and fortitude.

The players genuinely love to play for Collins and he's gotten through to them to a man. Spencer Hawes is playing well, for crying out loud. Elton Brand is producing. Iguodala is having the best overall season of his career by the eye test. They have the best defense, the best bench, the best record in a tough division. Collins has done an incredible job and is every bit deserving of this award as much for his process as the results it has garnered.

Most Improved Player: Jeremy Lin

What were you expecting? Usually second-year players are exempt in my eyes. They're supposed to develop and improve in their second season. But Lin is a special case. Lost in the Linsanity and all the great storylines surround him is the fact he has talked a lot about what the D-League did for him. This league too often doesn't allow players to develop, simply shreds them through and only the strong survive. Lin is a testament to the idea that players can develop, can improve, can learn this game and get better to the point of success. He's improved the most simply by making himself relevant, let alone raising New York from the dead for 15 percent of the season.
Posted on: February 20, 2012 1:58 am
 

Report Card 2.20.12: Durant goes OFF

Kevin Durant scored 51 in the Thunder's win over Denver Sunday. (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore 

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.

Kevin Durant These are numbers, but they are important numbers. 51 points on 28 shots, 19-28 from the field, 5-6 from three, 9-10 from the stripe. Eight rebounds, three assists, 4 steals and a huge win over the Nuggets in overtime. Denver was without two starters but dug deep and forced the Thunder to the edge. But Durant put on a performance for the ages, the shine on his MVP candidacy and lifted OKC to a win. It was the kind of performance you tell your friends about, your kids about, the kind you start the water cooler conversation about. He was unstoppable from the elbow, unstoppable from the perimeter, unstoppable at the rim. It was a transcendent performance, and this is alongside Russell Westbrook with 40 points and nine assists and Serge Ibaka's triple double in points, rebounds, and blocks. This Thunder team may not be good enough defensively to win a title, but they may wind up as one to remember for a long, long time.
LeBron James The surges are becoming more pronounced, the dropoffs less so. James is solving defensive adjustments used against him. He's finding open shooters in the corner who are actually knocking them down this year, he's battling more inside, he's still a freak of nature in transition, and on Sunday, he guarded Dwight Howard on a handful of possessions. James buried the Magic by doing all the things he does, and true to form, did them in less than 40 minutes of time. 25-11-8, a full-court lob to Wade, just one miss from the stripe, just five misses from the field. There are games where James feels like a one-man horde, storming the opponent's gates. Sunday was such a game and the Magic had no defense.
Jeremy Lin Defending champs? No problem. Shawn Marion who helped shut down Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, and LeBron James last year? No problem. Increased expectations, a Sunday afternoon double-header on national television, and the grind of interviews and a compact schedule? No problem. Jeremy Lin did his thing again, the Knicks won again, and Linsanity rages on. Lin managed the offense as well as he has. Were the turnovers great? No, clearly not. But a 2:1 turnover ratio is acceptable given his usage, and turning Steve Novak into a scoring machine deserves a reward all its own.
Denver Nuggets They were short-handed, and still the Nuggets managed to push the Thunder to the brink before a furious comeback landed them in overtime and a few good shots (a good roll for Westbrook on a three) and some Durant brilliance downed them. The Nuggets were without Nene and Danilo Gallinari, but they were stil stranded without a closer. Denver had such a good approach in the first half, attacking a weak Thunder interior (those Ibaka blocks all come on the weakside, not man-up) and killing them on the glass. They abandoned it in the second half and it cost them as the Lakers topped off a 2-0 run.
The Old Guard Boston loses to Detroit for the second time in a month. The Lakers get whacked by the Suns in a game that wasn't competitive after the first quarter. Neither side has any real idea of where they're going or if they can perform as needed to compete for a title. There's constant trade talk surrounding both teams. They look slow, they look old, they struggle to score and they struggle to defend. These teams were the two Finals squads two years ago. Time marches on.
Charlotte Bobcats After three quarters against the Pacers, the Bobcats, a professional basketball team by strict definition (only), were down 88-48. For-ty-poi-nts. That's embarrassing. That's disgusting. That's... not totally surprising. There is no hope in Charlotte right now. Not even with the rookies. It's all bad, all the time. This performance was worthy of inventing a new letter beneath F just to give it to them.


E FOR EFFORT
Jeremy Lin (28 points, 14 assists, general linsanity, magical powers)
Ersan Ilyasova (29 points, 25 rebounds in a win over New Jersey)
Kyle Lowry (32 points, 9 assists in a win over Utah)
LeBron James (25 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists)
Posted on: February 17, 2012 11:09 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2012 1:20 pm
 

Report: LeBron denies camp contacted Dan Gilbert

Posted by Ben Golliver 

LeBron James reportedly denies that he or his camp have made overtures to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. (ESPN)

On Thusday, Miami Heat All-Star forward LeBron James opened up a pandora's box for rumors, acknowledging that he would consider returning to play in Cleveland for the Cavaliers at some point in his career. 

"I don't know. I think it would be great," James said, according to the Associated Press. "It would be fun to play in front of these fans again. I had a lot fun times in my seven years here. You can't predict the future and hopefully I continue to stay healthy. I'm here as a Miami Heat player, and I'm happy where I am now, but I don't rule that out in no sense."

On Friday, Yahoo! Sports reported that it wasn't just an idle thought, that James had actually reached out through backchannels to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert about a potential return.
This was no accident, no misspeaking, nothing out of context. Before mentioning Thursday his openness to playing in Cleveland again, James months ago had an emissary or two carry that message to the Cavaliers’ front office, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. His camp wanted the message delivered to owner Dan Gilbert, sources said, but so far, the response has been silence.

“He has started to lay the groundwork, and he’s waiting to see what Dan Gilbert’s reaction to it is,” one league source with direct knowledge told Yahoo! Sports.

The Heat, of course, were in Cleveland to face the Cavaliers on Friday night at Quicken Loans Arena, a game they won easily, 111-87. James finished with 28 points, 5 rebounds, 5 asssists, 1 steal and 1 block on 11-for-19 shooting in 30 minutes.

After the game, James denied that that he and his camp had reached out to Gilbert.

"It's not true, it's not true at all," James said, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

When James announced he was headed to Miami during a nationally-televised special called "The Decision," Gilbert publicly accused James of disloyalty and betrayal, guaranteeing that the Cavaliers would win an NBA title before the Heat.

On Thursday, James said that was all water under the bridge and admitted that he didn't handle his departure in the proper manner. 

"I don't hold grudges," he said, according to ESPN.com. "I hold them a little bit but I don't hold them that long. He said what he said out of anger. He probably would want to take that back, but I made a mistake, too. There's some things I'd want to take back as well. You learn from your mistakes and move on."

The Plain-Dealer has reported that Gilbert will not respond to James' comment for fear of receiving a fine from the NBA league office.

James' current contract runs through the 2015-2016 season. He has an early termination option for 2014-2015 and a player option for the final year of the deal, according to StoryTellersContracts.com. He will be 31 years old when the entirety of the deal is completed.

James, 27, spent his first seven NBA season with the Cavaliers. He is averaging 28.0 points, 8.2 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.7 steals in 36.9 minutes per game this season, and he's a leading NBA MVP candidate.
Posted on: February 16, 2012 2:34 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2012 11:11 pm
 

LeBron James: Return to Cleveland is possible

Posted by Ben Golliver 

LeBron James says a return to the Cleveland Cavaliers is a possibility. (ESPN)

LeBron James set aflutter the hearts of basketball fans in his former NBA home on Thursday, telling reporters in Cleveland that he would consider a return to the Cavaliers later in his career. James' Miami Heat are in Cleveland to face the Cavaliers on Friday night. 

The Associated Press reports that James, an Akron, Ohio, native, said that a return to Cleveland was a possibility, although he is happy with how things have turned out in Miami. Of course, he made international headlines by bolting the Cavaliers during the summer of 2010 to form the Miami Heat's Big 3 with All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
 Asked if he could play for the Cavs again, James initially paused before giving his answer.

 "I don't know. I think it would be great," he said. "It would be fun to play in front of these fans again. I had a lot fun times in my seven years here. You can't predict the future and hopefully I continue to stay healthy. I'm here as a Miami Heat player, and I'm happy where I am now, but I don't rule that out in no sense.

"And if I decide to come back, hopefully the fans will accept me."
"Anything is possible," Wade told the AP regarding a possible James return to Cleveland. "Hopefully, I'm retired."

When James announced he was headed to Miami during a nationally-televised special called "The Decision," fans in Ohio burned his jerseys and Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert publicly accused James of disloyalty and betrayal, guaranteeing that the Cavaliers would win an NBA title before the Heat.

On Thursday, James said that was all water under the bridge, according to ESPN.com, and admitted that he didn't handle his departure in the proper manner.

"I don't hold grudges, I hold them a little bit but I don't hold them that long," James said. "He said what he said out of anger. He probably would want to take that back, but I made a mistake, too. There's some things I'd want to take back as well. You learn from your mistakes and move on."

The Plain-Dealer reports that Gilbert will not respond to James' comment for fear of receiving a fine from the NBA league office.

When James returned to Quicken Loans Arena for the first time during the 2010-2011 season, he was met with heavy booing and dozens of signs and shirts mocking him.

"It doesn't sting anymore," James said, according to the AP. "The booing isn't as bad as it was last year so it's not even a big deal."

In case you were wondering, James' current contract runs through the 2015-2016 season. He has an early termination option for 2014-2015 and a player option for the final year of the deal, according to StoryTellersContracts.com. He will be 31 years old when the entirety of the deal is completed.

James, 27, spent his first seven NBA season with the Cavaliers. He is averaging 28.0 points, 8.2 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.7 steals in 36.9 minutes per game this season, and he's a leading NBA MVP candidate.

Posted on: February 16, 2012 9:43 am
 

Report: Heat targeting Kaman

The Heat reportedly have interest in Chris Kaman if he's bought out from the Hornets. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore 

The Heat are not through trying to build their roster. FoxSports.com reports that the Heat are attempting to acquire Chris Kaman, should he be bought out of his contract after the trade deadline. 
Heat officials, including president Pat Riley, have been calling people who know Kaman to ask about him, a source told FOXSports.com on Wednesday.

The thinking is the Heat’s best effort to get a center would be to sign Kaman — if his contract is bought out by New Orleans after the March 15 trade deadline.
via Miami Heat Chris Kaman Minnesota Timberwolves Pau Gasol Los Angeles Lakers trade 021512 - NBA News | FOX Sports on MSN.

A trade isn't feasible due to the very little flexibility the Heat have on their roster to make salaries match. Kaman was put on the block in January and even allowed to stay away from the team while a trade was negotiated, but a deal wasn't found. After a week the Hornets actually publicly announced they were taking him off the block and he rejoined the team. So the odds of another team swooping in to snatch him up are very low.

The Heat would be a great fit for Kaman, allowing him to compete for a title and giving the Heat a legitimate center down low. In stunning news, Eddy Curry has failed to make an impact and the Heat face the same problem they had last season with size down low. Joel Anthony is a skilled defender and has made great strides offensively this season but still lacks the bulk to make an impact down low. If Kaman were to agree to a deal for the veteran minimum, which doesn't seem likely, it would mean the Heat would start four current or former All-Stars. Which is just kind of ridiculous.

It's no guarantee the Hornets will buy Kaman out, nor is it likely he'll lean towards the Heat if bought out. It's entirely another team, like the Boston Celtics could make a similar offer, or a team with more cap room could make an offer. Kaman would have to agree to a buyout in the first place, and there's been no indication either way of Kaman's feelings on that front. 

It's a scary thought for the rest of the league that the Heat could wind up with Kaman, and you'd have to think that puts separation between them and the rest of the league in terms of who is the best team in the league by shoring up their biggest weakness.
Posted on: February 15, 2012 1:43 am
Edited on: February 15, 2012 9:11 am
 

Report Card 2.15.12: Devastating fun

LeBron James produced a lot of points in not a lot of minutes vs. the Pacers. (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore
 

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.

Miami Heat You were expecting Linsanity, weren't you? A buzzer-beater over the Raptors with 8 turnovers won't get you an A around these parts. But absolutely demolishing the Pacers, being up 20 in the second quarter on? Yeah, that'll do. The Heat were in full-on Flying Death Machine mode Tuesday night. They just ran the Pacers out of the building and out into the night, never to be heard from again. LeBron James 23-9-7 in 33 minutes in the win.
Jeremy Lin I want to give Lin an A as much as you probably want me to. But eight turnovers are eight turnovers, and 9-20 shooting is 9-20 shooting. It's not bad. It's just not great, and that, with the turnovers and the struggle with splitting the double renders us unable to give him a top grade. Something tells me he'll take it. But seriously. What a shot.
Memphis Grizzlies The Rockets were exhausted on a road game at the end of a long stretch of games, Kevin Martin was scoreless for the first time in a long, long time, and yet this was a five-point game under five minutes. The Grizzlies did enough to win, and they get the credit that goes with it. But they don't get much more than a passing grade
Phoenix Suns The Suns were chewed up by the Nuggets inside, torched from the perimeter and ran ragged. They're wholly unprepared at the worst times this season and it doesn't seem like there's much of a chance they recover this season. Steve Nash deserves better.
Portland Trail Blazers A home loss to the Wizards. I need no further justification for this grade, regardless of the health of LaMarcus Aldridge who left the game with an ankle injury.



E FOR EFFORT
LeBron James (23 points on 15 shots, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 steals in 33 minutes. Destroyed Indiana and got to rest.)
Jeremy Lin (27 points on 20 shots, 11 assists, 8 turnovers, one huge shot)
Jose Calderon (25 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists, brilliant for 45 minutes)
DeMarcus Cousins (28 points on 20 shots and 17 rebounds in a loss to the Bulls)
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com