I got such a kick out of watching so many Heat fans leave Tuesday night's Game 6 early. I got an even bigger kick out of watching them bang on the doors outside the arena after they realized their team was coming back.
Heading into Game 7, we are faced with a litany of questions -- namely centered around why Popovich subbed out Tim Duncan and Tony Parker late in Game 6; how in the world the league's most consistent team and well-run organization choked away a surefire win; and whether or not either one of these teams has anything left in the tank. Maybe, though, the question we should be asking is what will Dwyane Wade provide for the Heat, because lightning won't strike the same place twice.
With the San Antonio Spurs leading the NBA Finals 3 games to 2, the question becomes, can Spoelstra respond? Will he stay with a smaller lineup, or will he re-insert Chris Andersen for some much-needed shot blocking?
Wade is averaging the fewest minutes, points, field goal attempts and, perhaps most telling, free throw attempts of his nine playoff appearances.
The Miami Heat's Game 3 showing of the NBA Finals was so awful it could serve as a 48-minute guide of how not to play basketball. Lazy closeouts? Check. The Spurs made a Finals record 16 3-pointers. Poor effort on the glass? Check. The Spurs out-rebounded the Heat 52-36. A starting five who didn't show up? Check. Danny Green and Gary Neal combined for 51 points, yet all five Heat starters combined for 43.
With an even playing field laid out and growing expectations for both teams, it was the perfect time for two opera companies to arrange a friendly bet.
Can't wait to hear "Play Ball" five more times! Even if I am watching alone in my condo with the alarm clock set for six.
Every year when we get to the NBA Finals, if the Heat is in the mix, I get caught up in the excitement most of my friends have been feeding on since the regular season started. I find myself hashtagging #goheat and trying to have intelligent conversations about how LeBron is not the next Jordan or Magic.
Although President Pat Riley is a gifted former coach and talented executive, rooting for the Heat is like rooting for the Yankees in the days where their payroll doubled the rest of baseball and arrogance was their hallmark.
If James lets the defense define his style and refuses to impose his will, the Heat must continue to rely on perimeter shooting to win this series.
Kawhi Leonard has a huge task but it will be fun to see he can stop the best player in the world. No pressure.
There is a chance that you might be put in a situation in the next couple of weeks in which you'll have to watch one of the games of the NBA Finals -- the horror! So here's a quick guide that will hopefully improve the viewing experience for the not-so-much-sports-inclined.
Consider that Hibbert makes $4 million less than Bosh this season and at one point during their respective contracts, will make $7 million less. Make no mistake: This is absolutely a slight to Bosh, who is Miami's highest paid player and perhaps its biggest conundrum as well.
LeBron James, in Game 5 Thursday night, showed Frank Vogel and the Pacers why people like to say players, not coaches, win championships.
When Wade is truly healthy, he attacks the basket with a reckless abandon. He is equally active defensively, playing the passing lanes and disrupting the perimeter. But, he is not healthy right now. His right knee is severely limiting that explosion and, as a result, he's attempting just three free throws per game, or half of his regular season attempts.
"I would say we'll probably have him in next time," Vogel said after the Pacers' 103-102 defeat. Paul George added: "[Hibbert] does an amazing job of protecting the rim. I'm 100 percent sure he would've been there."