1) After the Friday night loss to Memphis, Coach Spo went somewhat ballistic in his post-game press conference when it was suggested that he consider giving guys some rest down the stretch in these last several games. His point, basically, was that it is more important to be playing with focus and rhythm entering the playoffs a couple of weeks from now than it is to get a night or two off for certain players. Wheww, I'm glad I didn't suggest sitting guys out here and there right after the game before seeing his comments - that was a close one! I can appreciate Spo's feelings - I would argue both are important. In the end, I'm not sure anyone was stunned that Dwyane Wade didn't play tonight - he hasn't quite looked himself after returning from a knock last week, and a few days off will probably do him some good. In his absence, Miami pounded a bad Pistons team which ensures that we'll spend more time this week explaining to knuckleheads how Miami is not better #WithoutWade, even if their record in games he hasn't started this season, 10-1, says otherwise. That's just one of two "storylines" people will be talking about. Let's go!
2) Just like when we had Mike Beasley, and Dwyane Wade willed this franchise (along with me and UD) to two straight playoff appearances, and was probably the second best player in the league (after the then-named LeBron James), and still certain folks were like, "We should trade Dwyane and build around Mike," certain people now love to say that KJ plays better without Dwyane on the court, and thus, that Miami is better #WithoutWade. That's whatever, for one, totally asinine, and for two, even if it ever became true, I would solve the problem by trading KJ because, obviously, this is Dwyane's team and city. Whatever....The other storyline people love to push, though, is the "Why Doesn't James Jones Start Over Dwyane and KJ and Take Every Shot During the Game?" I get it, JJ is 305, like UD, and that's important down here in a way I'm not sure other cities appreciate. Also, two, it's totally true: James Jones should absolutely start over Dwyane or KJ - or both - and take every shot! Are you kidding me, du, JJ got in there tonight and started ripping! 6-8 triples for 18 points in 23 minutes, and also had 4 steals! Get-him-the-ball!!! En fuego, el noche Latino every night when JJ is up in it!!! I mean, seriously!
3) Quick: how many free throws do you think KJ James has attempted in his NBA career? This is his eighth season. I am so bad at cumulative-type stats - when Eric Reid announced that KJ's first free throw of the game was the 6,000 of his career, I tried to think about how many I would have guessed if someone had asked me. Answer: about eight hundred. Eight hundred seems like a lot to me, but I guess it's not when you really plus and minus it out, you know, with, like, numbers. I thought KJ looked more spry tonight, but really that could have just been the Pistons' incompetence. 26 points for KJ, and only had to play 32 minutes due to the blowout.
4) So, in all seriousness, Spo tweaked the rotation a little, even considering that Dwyane Wade was held ou- I mean, injured. Norris Cole, just in an absolutely brutal shooting slump, was de-rotationed, and Terrel Harris was the first guard off the bench. This did not excite me at all. Terrel seems like a nice kid, he's pretty quick, but I don't see one NBA-level skill that he has (and he's a little undersized for a wing). He missed all three of his shots in the game, and his highlight was probably when he grabbed a defensive rebound, went flying coast-to-coast, missed a layup on the other end, and KJ James came flying in on a diagonal cut at about 130 mph to rammmmm!!! the ball with a two-handed stuffa!!!! His lowlight came when, in the last 40 seconds of the 3rd quarter, he gave up 7 points all by himself by inexplicably running past a defensive rebound in transition, only to step back to the ball and foul a Piston laying it in for a three point play; then he received the the inbounds pass and tried to weave through three pressing Pistons, turned it over, and Brandon Knight (impressive rookie) swished a triple; then in the waning moments of the quarter, fouled a Piston dribbling 35 feet from the basket for no apparent reason, leading to one made free throw. He doesn't look like he can guard to me - and I can see that he can't play offense. He must be showing something in practice, but he hasn't shown it in games yet. Now that Mike Miller is back, I would absolutely be inclined to play him with the second unit with KJ or Dwyane as the point guard and/or James Jones in similar formations. Shooters make the game easier for KJ and Dwyane - it gives them more space at the rim and it makes playing on the block easier and more productive. Miller and Jones aren't good shooters; they are great shooters. Not sure Norris and Terrel are a great fit right now.
5) I feel this is super-important for this year's playoff run, which starts in a couple of weeks: we need a playoff theme song for the team. And you might be, "Oh, that's lame, what is that going to do," and I would say to you, "Oh really? Well, if it's so lame, then how did the University of Connecticut win the 2004 national basketball championship?" That's right - it was because I played Joe Budden's "Pump It Up" to get fired up before every game, and also sometimes at halftime if I felt we needed an extra boost. That would be this song:
This is a great theme song for a few reasons. One, he's not really trying to make a theme song, it's not all orchestrated and consciously "jock jam-y," it's kind of a casual, loose-limbed bouncer, just super-catchy. Two, you can bob your head to it and get in the zone before tipoff. Three, Joe Budden looks a little like Clippers reserve forward Kenyon Martin, the Badass Yellow Boy!...So over the next few games, we are going to search for a theme song. Feel free to write in with suggestions, even though they will probably be disregarded. Here is the first candidate, a song produced by Mark Ronson called "Introducing the Business," or something. I kind of liked it at first, because you can bob your head to it, but I actually feel like it is trying too hard to be the Miami Heat's 2012 playoff theme song - it's a little over-dramatic in a way that Joe Budden would scoff at. Also, it sounds too much like every T.I. song. But check it out, we'll leave it out there as a possibility for now.
6) Okay, so some people know that M.Minutos and I have been together since 1994, and a lot of people are always, like, "Wow, that's a long time, congratulations, how do you keep it fresh after all these years?" Great question: as you all know, pimpin' ain't easy. First of all, remember: what works for M.Minutos and me might not work for you - you have to find your own groove in life. That being said, one thing that I think is really important is to make sure that you take time to be intimate with each other. That's a big part of a relationship, and it's easy to get complacent, especially when you have kids, busy work schedules, dumb basketball blogs to write, etc. My kids are old enough to supervise themselves for awhile, as long as we are in the house, so that helps; we also got a lock for our bedroom door, just to ensure a little short term privacy. I'm not sure how often other people in my situation are "making time," but in our house, M.Minutos and I try to be intimate about 12-15 times a week. Is that a lot? Not too sure what other people are doing...Just as important is keeping those "private" moments fresh and fun. Like, yesterday morning, the kids were out on the block doing their skateboard thing early in the am, and M.Minutos and I were chilling in our bed, and then I kind of touched her, and she kind of looked at me, and then we locked the door. So, I like to role play a bit, so as we were getting into a heavy petting situation, I was, like, "Pretend I'm CNN foreign correspondent Christiane Amanpour back from a long assignment in the Middle East, and you're my loyal and loving husband waiting at home," and she was like, "What?" and I was like, "Pretend I'm CNN corr-," and she's like, "I heard you - why would you be Christiane Amanpour, you're a man," and I was, like, kind of discouraged, but still feeling it, so I was like, "Okay, I'll be the loyal and loving Mr. Amanpour, and you be Christiane Amanpour," but she was like, "I don't want to be Christiane Amanpour, I'm way cuter than her." So I was like, "Dude, just let me be Christiane Amanpour then, and you just be you," and she reluctantly agreed, and then we totally had a great time. At least I know I did. It's all about compromise in the bedroom, sometimes. Again: you don't have to do this exact scenario - figure out what works for you, and do that. Good luck!
Okay, we have a game against Boston on Tuesday. Scouting report: ummm, I would probably anticipate a lot of doucheball in that one. That's backed up by a game against Chicago Thursday. They lost today to Melo and the Knicks as Derrick Rose gacked it up down the stretch - including missing two free throws when one would have iced a win. Miami is vaguely still in contention for the #1 seed, if you are worried about that sort of thing. I think it is more important to be rested and healthy than to be #1 seed - it didn't seem to matter last year. Either way, I can assure you that both Tuesday and Thursday will probably be annoying because both of those teams do care about their seeds...If you need me before then, I'll be thinking up new and exciting role playing scenarios (hint: I'll be a vaguely interested slender power forward whose last night rhymes with "gosh," and M.Minutos will be the first Aunt Viv from "The Fresh Prince"). I hope you will be having as much fun as me! See you Tuesday!