First of all, thoughts go out to everyone in Japan impacted by the earthquake. Reminder that there are far more important things than basketball.
- Can’t shake the hunch that the picks will be either Irving/a wing (possibly Barnes) if the Cavs win the lottery and Sullinger/Kemba if they don’t. Irving is the only guy in this draft I’m really sold on, and I feel like Walker is a bit more of a combo guard than I’d like, but the dude has talent.
- Heat/LAL — Definitely a lot of pro/con stuff for the Heat. They showed they can execute down the stretch against anybody and beat the Lakers, which is a big thing for their confidence. And Chris Bosh decided to play like an elite power forward. And Mike Miller is alive. Those are all big things.
On the other hand, that offense still does not look right. Even when Bosh had it going, the Heat were really just throwing Bosh post-ups into the mix rather than having Bosh, Wade, and James play off of each other. Maybe the team is a macro representation of LeBron — no matter what they do offensively, they’ll never be able live up to their perceived potential.
Wade was the guy down the stretch for them tonight — weird to see Tim Legler praising Miami for going away from LeBron isolations at the top of the key late. In the regular season, I watched late-game LeBron isolations work like gangbusters for a solid three years. The stats are out there to prove it — more importantly, I remember the prenatural sense of calm when the game was close late and you knew LeBron was about to go into “I am tired of pretending that I have to play basketball like the humans do. I am going to the basket and scoring every time now.” mode. And yet clearly LeISO hasn’t been effective late in games in Miami.
I am rarely, if ever, right about draft-related things. However, let the record show that I had a YEARS-long draft crush on Ty Lawson. I cannot believe he fell as far as he did. He was a freak of an athlete, he won a championship in college, and his numbers were amazing. It was not rocket science. Also, the Nuggets are a lot of fun to watch.
That’s all for me tonight. Have a good weekend, everyone.