May 7th, 2013
During the 2012 NBA finals, we saw the Miami Heat smash the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games. LeBron James finally redeemed himself and won his first ring, alongside Chris Bosh and D-Wade. It’s true that the Heat put their Championship chances in jeopardy, after Bosh’s injury during last year’s Playoffs. However, The King stepped up and zipped the mouths of all his critics about his late-game performances and his inability to deliver in crunch time.
So what has really changed since then?
Well, Miami’s chances have surely become better. LeBron, after a close-to-unreal season won his 4th MVP award in the last five years. The Heat recently knocked off the Bucks in just four games. They broke the franchise record for most wins in a season, with 66. They are putting on display a game that proves they possess what it takes to repeat. Plus they have a more powerful roster from last season. After managing to retain the core of the team, they added Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis in their arsenal. They were really tough for any team to stop throughout the season. Most of their opponents had to just pick their poison when they were facing them.
Is there a team that can really beat the Heat in seven games?
First of all, it was a season with many injuries of star players. Even when the Playoffs started, many key players for strong teams were not in their full health.
Let’s take it one by one. The most dangerous opponent for the Heat at the moment is the Oklahoma City Thunder. Despite the fact that Durant lost his fellow superstar Russell Westbrook, they are still arguably the best team in the West. Although Durant is having another great season putting up huge numbers, the team could actually be less powerful than last year, when they got hammered by Miami. Kevin Martin is surely a great player off the bench and a terrific shooter. However, the loss of James Harden is surely was costly for Oklahoma. Now, with Westbook sidelined, there were many voices that the repeat just got easier for the Heat.
Apart from the Thunder, the Spurs could post a threat for the Heat, at least theoretically. Gregg Popovic’s veteran ensemble is always a countable opponent. They showed their force in the first round when they swept the injury-depleted Lakers. Health is a concern for them, too. Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker experienced some injuries and were not at their 100% at the start of the Playoffs. They should be ready come NBA Finals time.
In the West, the Indiana Pacers and the New York Knicks are the two teams that could seriously assail the Heat. The Knicks rely much on the offense of Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith and that could be a problem for them. Keeping in mind that the Heat’s defensive system is very effective against the pick and rolls and also the fact that Miami has the defensive guru in the name of Shane Battier in their roster, it could get tricky for the Knicks to exploit them.
Indiana on the other hand proved that they came to fight. They broke New York’s home court advantage last night, taking Game 1 of their series. They also troubled the Heat extensively during their matchup last year. Miami finally advanced after Game 6. Nevertheless, LeBron and Wade hit the wall of Indiana’s big men, Hibbert and West. Should the Pacers roll past the Knicks in the East Semis, the Eastern Conference Finals will really be interesting. Of course they are still playing without their rstar Danny Granger, who is out due to a knee injury.
Miami will have to overpass the obstacle of the Chicago Bulls. This is yet another of the many teams that lacks of its best player. Derrick Rose, one of the best players in the NBA has yet to play this season. There is much speculation about his return during these series. However, nothing is certain and of course it’s questionable which version of him we’ll see after his extensive time off the courts. Chicago will also play without All-Star forward Luol Deng, at least in Game 1.
There is no doubt that the Heat are capable of winning any team currently in the NBA even with all players at full health. But now, their road to their second consecutive Championship might be a bit easier.
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March 24th, 2013
Lakers Vs Heat Win Streak
The Miami Heat are ready to write history in yet another sector of the NBA. After their recent win against the Detroit Pistons, they have now extended their winning streak at 25 in a row. The NBA’s record for the longest winning streak throughout its history is still held by the Los Angeles Lakers.
LA managed to win in 33 consecutive games during the 1971-72 season, when Wilt Chamberlain was in the team’s roster. This is also the longest streak of any American sports team. The Lakers closed out that season after winning a total of 69 games and went on to be crowned as NBA Champions, marking that season one of the mostsuccessful ones amongst any professional team in the history of sports.
The Miami Heat can challenge this record right now and also ink their names in the golden pages of the NBA’s history book. If they continue to prevail and win one game after another, they can be remembered as one of the best teams to ever participate in the league. Up to now, when we talked about the NBA, the best teams and players to every play in the league, the first ones that came in our minds were the Chicago Bulls with Michael Jordan, the Lakers with Chamberlain, Magic and Abdul-Jabbar and the Celtics with Larry Bird. Now the Heat have a great chance to protagonist in that list, too and LeBron James can be considered as one of the greatest to every play the game.
14 games are left in their schedule till the end of the regular season and they are also considered as the team with the easiest schedule until the playoffs. They will have to win another 8 games to match with the ‘71-’72 Lakers and that last game would be against the Philadelphia Sixers. In-between they will have to roll past the San Antonio Spurs and also the New York Knicks, two games that could possibly end their superb streak. Nevertheless, the Heat, led by the Big Three, have proved that they can literally win any team, even the Spurs or the Thunder.
Of course, Miami will need not only the winning-streak record but also this year’s Championship and maybe the following year’s, too, in order to verge the glory of the legendary teams of the Chicago Bulls or the Los Angeles Lakers. Those teams used to dominate the league throughout the years. At present they do have what it takes to reach this top-tier level. What will be needed from now is duration. Since LeBron and Bosh landed to Miami to join D-Wade, Miami recorded a great course, with one Finals appearance, one Championship and counting. The question from now on will be if they can stay healthy, retain their core under the new CBA that penalizes teams with high payroll and continue to perform the way they’ve been this season. If they succeed in these, then not only can they surpass the Lakers’ winning-streak record but they can also be remembered as a dynasty in the NBA for many years to come.
Miami Heat Vs Lakers Tickets are always available for their upcoming games. Next time they will face each other would be in the 2013 NBA Finals!
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January 8th, 2013
Heat Championship Rings
After a tough first 9 seasons in the NBA, with lots of criticism, lots of hate and love for his face, Lebron James finally redeemed himself last season winning the long-awaited Championship Ring. Can he really do it again this year?
Whether you hate Lebron, love him or simply don’t care about him –that would be curious- you have to admit that he is the best player currently in the NBA. I am not talking about best scorer, best passer or best rebounder or even the most clutch player. I am talking about doing all these together at a superior level, non-human, video-game like. Even if you were a tough NBA defender it’s almost impossible to stop a 6-8” body-frame weighting 250 lbs coming towards you at full speed. Combine it with top-class agility and shooting stroke and you have an ultimate weapon at your arsenal. I mean, what can’t Lebron really do? The most usual answer to this question until last June was that he can’t win a championship. Or some jokes about giving him a dollar and him giving you ¾ back. Well, all that has now changed, at least at some point. It’s always natural for a champion to ease the tension towards himself and that happened also with Lebron. Especially when this summer we all witnessed the Dwight Howard saga that finally ended up with him being traded to the Lakers. In fact the Lakers took a lot of the media attention and the criticism that Miami and Lebron had last year. It seems that together with power always comes responsibility and expectations for the greatest achievements. That’s what the Lakers face this year, they are in the tough position the Heat were last year. They are in a win now mode and not only because of getting 4 former all stars in their starting lineup, but also because everybody knows that in order to compete in the NBA, you need to be fresh (and young enough). The Lakers don’t have the luxury to wait a year or two like Miami did. On the other hand, the Lakers have already won several championships and the fans may not be so championship-hungry.
Back to Lebron and Miami, though, could they really make it to the finals again and win their second in a row? Only the Lakers have achieved to win two or more in a row the past decade. But the question might be which team can beat Miami in 7 games? As they’ve proved last year, they can do well even with tall teams managing well their weakness at frontcourt. They found the way to make the most out of their roster. What they wisely did last year for example against the Thunder at the finals, was that they switched Shane Battier at the four. That changed the game, because it forced Serge Ibaka, the monster blocker, run all the court around to chase Battier and defend him shooting the three. So that left the inside space clear Lebron and Wade. This year, they’ve added also Ray Allen, who needs no comments about his three pointers and Rashard Lewis, plus they’ve kept all the valuable members at their team. And with Lebron having another super season this far, they look like they are eligible to repeat. Let’s wait and see how things go for Miami and all the other true Championship contenders.
November 16th, 2012
It’s early in the season but not too early to see a clear theme taking shape. The Clippers are legit and clearly the best basketball team that currently occupies the Staples Center. They’ve now run off four consecutive big wins against the Spurs, Grizzlies, Hawks and Heat, with the seven point margin over the Heat being the smallest margin in those four wins. Those previous four games, like last night against the Miami Heat, weren’t really all that close.
The most impressive part of the win streak is the types of teams they’re beating, matching up effectively with all of them. The Clippers can match the Spurs bench and versatility. They can match the Grizzlies superior size and strength inside. Last night they overpowered the small-ball heat with a dominating combination of size and quickness inside, depth off the bench and versatile perimeter play. Pick your style and this deep Clippers team can match it.
Last night was another impressive step in the evolution of Blake Griffin as a complete player. When his spot up jumper is falling he’s un-defendable. If the defender tries to come out and defend his jump shot he can easily blow past any four or five in the league. Try to cover him in the post? He can easily overpower smaller bigs like Chris Bosh. Try to cover him with Shane Battier? Good luck.
Beyond Griffin several others things stood out on the Clippers side yesterday, most notably the Clippers bench. Eric Bledsoe’s block on Dwyane Wade will make all the highlight reels and rightfully so. According to Twitter Lebron called Bledsoe “Little Lebron” following his performance. Highlight reel aside Bledsoe is quickly becoming a game-changing difference maker off the bench with his phenomenal athleticism and ability to get to the rim. He provides a perfect change of pace with Chris Paul, not giving teams any break when Paul gets a rest.
Bledsoe is just part of the story when it comes to the Clippers reserves. Matt Barnes and Jamal Crawford have stepped up huge in recent games. The Clippers second unit has a great balance of offensive threats (Crawford), defensive stoppers (Barnes) and size and strength (Ronny Turiaf and Ryan Hollins). Early on there were questions about how Del Negro would mold this unit together. The roles are now being clearly defined and the argument can be made that the Clippers are now the deepest team in basketball.
A couple of early losses aside when power ranking the west the argument has to be made that the Clippers are the top team. Of course it’s a long season and injuries can happen, with Griffin and Chris Paul both being somewhat injury prone in the past. Still, unforseen injury aside the Clippers are going to be a forced to be reckoned with and are real contenders—and the top team in LA. Hopefully the LA media will get off the Lakers soap opera a bit and realize the story that’s brewing in Clipperland.
As far as the Heat are concerned it’s not surprising they lost to the Clippers in LA, something they’ve done in all three years of the Lebron James Heat era. The fashion in which the Heat lost that has to concern Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra. Like in Memphis and Houston on this current road trip the Heat displayed a lack of intensity on defense. The good thing for Heat fans is that the defensive intensity can be ratcheted up. The big factor that has to concern Heat Nation is the play of Dwayne Wade who just isn’t the same player. The second thing that jumped out is how another team was able to exploit the Heat’s “small ball”. Like Memphis earlier on the road trip it’s pretty clear that a team with dominant big men can exploit a lineup that sometimes employs Shane Battier at power forward. If Memphis or the Clippers find a way to get into the finals they could very well give the Heat quite a series.
Tickets for all Los Angeles Clippers home games are instock and onsale now.
October 14th, 2012
SHANGHAI–DeAndre Jordan scored 15 of his 18 points in the first half and the Clippers defeated the Heat, 99-89, Sunday in the finale.
Blake Griffin added 13 points and 10 rebounds in 22 minutes and Chris Paul, making his preseason debut, scored four points with six assists.
The Clippers play the Heat at the Staples Center on Nov 14th.
August 3rd, 2012
USA Dream Team 1992 Vs 2012
The fundamental 1992 Dream Team set the gold standard-both literally and figuratively-for Summer Games basketball. Kobe stated the 2012 Dream Team could beat Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and the rest of the 1992 group. Is he right?
Miami Heat LeBron James, LA Laker Kobe Bryant and Thunder Kevin Durant head line the latest edition of the “Dream Team,” one that will defend Team USA’s World and Olympic championships in basketball at the Olympic Games in London.
Much has been made about the current team’s weak frontcourt. The 1992 team had 4 players who grabbed at least 15 percent of available rebounds in 1991-92 (Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone, David Robinson).
The present team has about three players at that rebound rate last season (Tyson Chandler, Clipper Blake Griffin, Grizzlie Kevin Love). The 1992 team had two players (Ewing, Robinson) who blocked no less than 5 percent of the shot attempts they faced in 1991-92. No 2012 player had a block percentage greater than 3.4 last season (Chandler).
The 1992 team was about 2½ years older on average (28.8-26.2). Other than Bird and Magic, every Dream Team member was 30 years old or younger. Each member of the current team is 29 or younger, apart from Kobe, who is 33. But the NBA experience level is about the same.
The 1992 team had, on average, 7.3 years of practical experience per player. This year’s team has 7.1. The 2012 version has seven championships among them, carried by Kobe’s five. LeBron and Chandler each have one. The present team has members of each of the past four NBA champions, while the 1992 team had members of the then-past two champions.
There’s no assurance the 2012 team wins the gold medal this summer, but LeBron, Durant and Kobe could probably rampage through the other teams at the 1992 Olympics relatively conveniently.
The 1992 Dream Team involved greats such as Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Magic Johnson among others. In all 11 Hall of Famers were on the team.
The latest 2012 U.S. Olympic basketball team consists of superstars such as Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony.
2012 team has looked strong during its very first two games at the London Olympics 2012, and you can anticipate to see more of the same during Team USA vs. Nigeria as the team continues its bid for a gold medal. This year’s team may be preferred to bring back the gold from London, yet compared to its counterparts who took Barcelona by thunderstorm in the summer of 1992, the 2012 team appears at the silver podium.
July 11th, 2012
Just in case their roster wasn’t loaded with enough star talent, the Miami Heat have added the NBA’s all time leader in 3-point field goals, Ray Allen, to their championship squad. The Heat won it all last year with defense, athleticism, and a constant attack the rim mentality. The one thing that could’ve been considered lacking for them was their outside shooting. It’s starting to look like that won’t be the case anymore with Allen on the court. There may not be a spot for Ray in that ridiculous starting line-up (he’s fine with playing behind D-Wade and LeBron), but he knows that it’s not about if you start the game. It’s about whether you finish it; where you are during crunch time. Ray will certainly be on the court during crunch time. He’ll be just one more option (and a pretty good one too) to knock down any crucial last-second shots.
In addition to Allen, the Heat have also signed free agent Rashard Lewis. Depending on what he has left, the two-time All-Star could also help spread the floor and knock down those outside jumpers, something he’s done his entire 14-year career. Nobody can say the Heat aren’t a deep team anymore. With the addition of these two veterans, the bench just got a whole lot better.
With the impressive showing Mario Chalmers had in the playoffs last year, and the addition of 10-time all-star Ray Allen, should we just go ahead and start calling them the Big Five?
We will have Lakers Vs Heat Tickets for the Staples Center onsale soon.
March 3rd, 2012
Game Preview: Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Staples Center March 04, 2012 12:30pm
On Sunday, March 4 2012, the Miami Heat are scheduled to travel to the Staples Center to take on the LA Lakers. Of course, the first thing that comes to the minds of fans is the fact that LeBron and Bryant will be playing against each other.
LA Lakers felt that way when they had the pleasure of meeting Kobe Bryant, and fans of the Miami Heat felt that way when the team acquired Dwayne Wade. Any time these two teams meet on the court, there is electricity in the air and sparks around the basket.
That leads to an argument that will go on for a long time: Kobe or LeBron? This past weekend, Kobe Bryant took a hit to the face from Dwayne Wade as he went in for a layup. Bryant somehow was able to finish the game and break Michael Jordan’s record for the all-time all-star scoring title. Unfortunately, because of Dwayne Wade, he broke his nose as well. The team doctors are being very careful with Bryant’s status, and have him listed as day-to-day. On top of sustaining nasal fractures, he suffered from a concussion as well. Bryant will undoubtedly be ready to play against the Miami Heat on Sunday. Will the other members of the Lakers be prepared to step up and teach Miami a lesson?
When the Lakers have Kobe Bryant in the lineup, they are automatically considered a dangerous team. Which is why the team should do everything they can to back the all-star up and protect him from hard fouls. Wade said that he apologized for the foul he had on Bryant, but it is still unacceptable to foul someone so hard in a game that means nothing. As a result of Wade’s thoughtless action, Bryant now has to go through a long process of check-ups and examinations in order to get back on the court. As the PTI crew said earlier today, it should be expected that the Lakers will not be welcoming to the Heat on Sunday.
How will the “big three” of the Miami Heat respond to the scrutiny that they are now under? Will Kobe or LeBron have the better game? Will aggressive personalities like Ron Artest retaliate against Wade? Is this the beginning of a more heated rivalry between the two teams? Perhaps this is the surge or spark the Lakers need in order to start winning.
Any game against Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and the Heat is meaningful for the Lakers. This one took on added significance after Wade mugged Kobe Bryant on a drive to the basket during the All-Star Game, causing some serious damage to his noggin.
You can still purchase Lakers Vs Heat Tickets as well as Lakers Tickets for all home and away games on our site 24 hours a day.
February 27th, 2012
Kobe Bryant got the scoring record, Kevin Durant the MVP, and the West got the win – barely.
Oklahoma City Thunder Kevin Durant scored 36 points to lead the Western Conference All-Stars to a 152-149 victory against the Eastern Conference All-Stars in the 2012 NBA All-Star Game on Sunday night, earning MVP honors in the process. The game proved to be about as dramatic as one without any lead-changes can be, as the East rallied from a deficit that reached as many as 20 points in the final period to draw to within one point twice in the final two minutes, only to come up short. LeBron James had 36 points, six rebounds, and seven assists for the East, while Miami Heat teammate Dwyane Wade posted a 24-point, 10-rebound, 10-assist triple-double.
James and Deron Williams helped lead the East’s comeback effort as each hit a pair of three-pointers in the final period. Williams ignited the Amway Center crowd by stealing a Durant inbounds pass under the basket and laying the ball in to bring the East to within a point. After forcing a LA Lakers Kobe Bryant miss, the East had a chance to claim its first lead of the game on a fast break, but Wade lost the ball out of bounds on what should have been an easy layup attempt.
And, in a twist that’ll be debated throughout the media in the days ahead, James turned the ball over with two seconds left and his team trailing by two points. Williams’ go-ahead three-point try missed the mark, but New York Knicks Carmelo Anthony made an impressive back-tap to keep the ball alive for the East. James recovered the ball, but fumbled it away before the East could call timeout or get anything going. It was the 19th turnover of the night for the host conference, which was one of the factors that contributed to its defeat: the West scored 30 points off the East’s turnovers.
The game got off to a horrid start, with the East somehow managing to shoot 43.3 percent in the first period of an All-Star Game. The silliness progressed from there, as one might expect, given the low-intensity, low-stakes nature of the event. The West’s 88 first-half points set a new record for All-Star scoring in a half, which is as good an indicator of the quality of play through the first 24 minutes as any.
But in the third quarter, the game turned and all the players on both sides seemed to wake up. James hit three three-pointers in the first three minutes after halftime, helping the East cut the West’s lead from 21 to 12. Wade’s hard foul of a driving Bryant at the 8:48 mark–it drew blood! in an All-Star Game!–signaled the East meant business, and would not be content to let the West continue to pile up the points. Bryant declined to address the media after the game due to a headache he suffered on that foul.
Durant had plenty of help in leading the West to its second consecutive victory. Bryant scored 27, though he shot just 4-of-11 after the first period, while Russell Westbrook scored 21 points in 28 minutes off the bench, giving the East fits with his speed and leaping ability. Kevin Love scored eight of his quiet 17 points in the fourth quarter to help the West hold off the East.
In all, the players rewarded the City of Orlando with an All-Star Game for the ages, despite the low-energy first half. Several records fell: Bryant passed Michael Jordan on the career All-Star scoring list; the East made 14 three-pointers; the teams combined for 301 points; Wade tallied the third triple-double in All-Star history; and Durant and James nearly broke Wilt Chamberlain’s record for single-game All-Star scoring (42 points).
February 27th, 2012
Recap: NBA All-Star Saturday Night
NBA All-Star game is the biggest event of All-Star Weekend, but as we all know, some of the best competitions and sneaker surprises happen on NBA All-Star Saturday Night.
On the docket was the Haier Shooting Stars, Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Footlocker 3-Point Shooting Contest, and the crowd favorite Sprite Slam Dunk Contest.
The night seemed to evaporate rather quickly, as is the weekend, and it will be back to business much too soon for most of us here in Orlando for the festivities.
Here are the results from the four events:
1. Haier Shooting Stars Winner: Team New York
With a time of 37.3 seconds in the final round Team New York Knicks defeated Team Houston’s (Chandler Parsons, Kenny Smith & Sophia Young) time of 47.6 seconds. The competition is far from the best of the evening but it does provide some interest watching players hoist up half court shots to closeout their attempt. It also incorporates a female from the WNBA on each team which brings that league a tad bit more attention. Team New York had the two fastest times of the night and Houston said the trio had practiced “a little bit”.
2. Taco Bell Skills Challenge Winner: Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs
Parker won the skills challenge with a time of 32.8 seconds in the final round defeating Rajon Rondo (34.6 seconds) and defending champion, Deron Williams (41.4 seconds). Rondo probably could have gotten the W if his bounce passes didn’t continue to rattle in and out. It took him 4 attempts to complete that challenge and was inevitably his downfall. Parker has competed in the competition twice previously and was at ease coming in he said the following afterwards.
3. Foot Locker 3-Point Contest Winner: Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves
Love squeaked into the finals and then pulled an upset win over Kevin Durant and defending champion James Jones. Love survived 2 overtimes or shootouts to take home the title with 17 points in the final shootout.
Love certainly wasn’t the favorite as “Bigs” don’t usually do well in the competition. James Jones had the competition high 22 in the first round and certainly looked like he was primed to repeat. He just got cold and was unable to keep up with Love and Durant.
4. Sprite Slam Dunk Contest Winner: Jeremy Evans, Utah Jazz
Evans might be the happiest player at All-Star weekend capturing 29% of the (reported) 3 million votes for the contest. (I would really like to see that tally) Just being given the opportunity to attend the event would have been enough for the humble forward but winning it might just make a difference in his play the rest of the season. He is that appreciative.
Remember he was a last minute replacement for Iman Shumpert.
Unfortunately his win is mired in the dubious distinction that the event field was more boring than vanilla.
Paul George had two of the better dunks of the evening but lamented that the competition does indeed lack star power. The dunk contest needs the league’s “faces” he said, mentioning (Miami Heat) LeBron, (Chicago Bulls) Rose, even Westbrook by name.
Evans did have the most original dunk of the night and it probably carried him to the win. He jumped over a seated Gordon Hayward then caught and dunked two balls thrown in the air by Hayward.
Unfortunately, the humility of Evans was not enough to save the lackluster evening. The NBA will have to look at ways of keeping the format fresh and potentially getting bigger names to commit to the event in the future.